First Byte: It's just a fun experiment. First Bytes are 1-2 minute summaries and suggestions that tie directly to a specific blog post. I'm hoping they're helpful in expanding the topic of the post itself.
Here are some things to think about before you hit the road and while you're there:
- Make a list of what you need, broken down into three categories: hardware or software that's a necessity to your business, products that aren't a necessity, but it would sure be nice to have and help you personally need with your skill-set.
- If you can find it on the PPE site, (I didn't) print out the list of exhibitors before you get to the show. At least mouse over the floorplan so you know who's there and roughly where on the floor they're positioned.
- Look over the speaker list and look for topics weakest in your skill set. Always try and attend at least one program that's completely out of your comfort zone.
- Bring plenty of business cards and if you've got one, a promo piece that shows some of your work.
- A good trade show is about networking. Make it a point to meet at least one person from each company who manufacturers every product you use. This is a critical part of network building and it'll pay off so many times down the line when you need help.
- Follow a path instead of hitting the show like a storm trooper. Start in one corner and just work your way around the entire show. Don't jump around all over the place. You never know when you're going to stumble on a new product or concept that just might make life easier from a company who wasn't on your radar.
- Talk to the people around you when you're in any program. Again, it's a key part of networking.
- Last on the list are two important reminders - never have a meal alone! Breakfast, lunch or dinner are perfect for catching up to friends and making new ones. Along that same line, make some plans in advance. NYC is unlike any other city you're going to be in for a convention. Reservations, for dinner especially, can be tough.
- And last but not least - wear comfortable shoes!