Working the show: There's more to Labelexpo than strolling the aisles.

Author:Kenny, Jack
Position:FRONT Row

Many label converters, perhaps most, are familiar with what goes on at the various Labelexpo events around the world. If you Ye not among them, you might be one of those company owners or managers who can't or don't want to spend the money, consider it unnecessary, don't want to mingle with competitors and face hundreds of product reps, or already know enough.

Experts say that 39% of people who attend trade shows do so for fewer than eight hours. At Labelexpo, with its 500-plus exhibitors, one day makes it difficult or impossible to get a fuller sense of what's available to you and your enterprise back home. A day and a half is better. Two days might be enough. Some attendees want more.

Those who do understand the value of Labelexpo and other printer/converter shows know how to work it, how to get the most out of their two or three days in Chicago, Brussels and beyond. But there are those who might benefit from a bit of education about how to get the most out of the experience, both to benefit the company now and down the road. There's no substitute for learning.

Company owners and managers looking for recommendations about how to maximize the trade show experience might appreciate some tips, compiled from those who have been through the mill. They fall pretty clearly into three categories of activity: pre-show plans, show floor activity, and post-show homework.

PRE-SHOW PLANNING

* Checklist. Here's where you come up with the questions you want answered. What are your immediate business goals? Long range goals? What more do you want to learn about equipment, materials and services? Which of your vendors do you want to meet with? What other vendors are of interest to you? What evening events are worth attending?

* Have a clear strategy. Know what you're looking for--both needs and wants. Study the exhibitor list to decide whom you must see and others who might fulfill your company's needs. Study the show floor map: Plan your walk-through to save time and energy.

* Make appointments. Vendors will reach out to you to set up meetings. You can do the same, establishing your own schedule of events. It's been suggested that you book meetings early and late in the day, which leaves time for taking in the rest of the show before you get tired and footsore.

* Work the map. A show with multiple exhibit halls can be exhausting and possibly confusing. Labelexpo is successful in grouping some exhibitors by product or service, which makes it easier for an...

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