7 Ways To Get More Value When Attending A Trade Show
Attending trade shows is a great opportunity to see the latest manufacturing technologies and help make better equipment buying decisions. Whether you visit small, local shows or larger events like IMTS, you’ll get more value for the time and money invested by following these 7 suggestions:
- Talk to your team. Get input from all parts of your organization, including floor workers, designers, supervisors, sales and front office. Explain the nature of the show you’ll be attending and ask what they think you should be looking for. They may have read about or seen some new technology or process that’s worth taking a look at, and they may point out some needs you’re unaware of.
- Define your goals. Trade shows can be overwhelming and fatigue will set in quickly if you simply try to take it all in. Determine what you most want to achieve by attending the show: Are you looking for specific machine tools or other equipment? Or are you seeking better ways to produce parts, without a specific solution in mind? Do you want to expand capacity, or add new capabilities? Whatever outcome you desire, have it firmly in your mind so you can make the best use of your time.
- Have a plan. Once you know what you want to achieve, study the exhibition layout, participants, demonstrations and any seminars or workshops offered. Set up a schedule that enables you to check all of the boxes on your list, so you won’t overlook anything. This can also help you determine how much time you need to spend there.
- Make appointments. If there are exhibitors you want to meet with, schedule appointments so you won’t waste time waiting around while they talk to other attendees. Be sure to bring a list of questions and any necessary details about your facility or processes that will help you get the facts you want.
- Look for trends. Pay attention to similar new or emerging technologies in multiple booths. These may be good indicators of where the industry is headed, and what you might consider adding to your capabilities. Likewise, seminars are a good source of information that can help you plan future growth.
- Record your thoughts. Remembering details once you return from a show (or even when you get back to your hotel room) can be tricky. It’s best to keep a real-time record of what you see and hear. You can jot down some quick notes after visiting each booth on your smart phone or tablet or, better yet, take along a digital micro recorder and capture your comments as you move from one booth to another. When you review this recording after the show, comments like “Saw new 5-axis machining center in XYZ booth. What I liked best is…” will help you keep facts straight.
- Leverage the opportunity to network. A great benefit of trade shows is the ability to pick the brains of both peers and exhibitors. Take advantage of hospitality suites, join others at lunch and hand out plenty of business cards. Jot down notes about the people you meet who could be valuable contacts in the future.
In between trade shows, check in with your local Gosiger facility for updates on all the latest manufacturing technologies and trends. From machine tools and factory automation, to 3D printing and more, the Gosiger team has everything you need to be more productive and competitive.