The Christmas period is over and 2019 has begun. We all know what that means… It’s time for P&P LIVE!
With one of the largest exhibitions just around the corner, we thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to put together a visitor’s guide for exhibitions, including important things that you need to remember.
Why attend P&P?
Printwear & Promotion LIVE! is a one-stop-shop for printers (transfer, digital and screen), embroiderers, retailers, and promotional product distributors.
No other show offers printwear professionals such a comprehensive range of product decoration equipment, new technology and blank garments, all under one roof.
It’s the ideal opportunity to see all that is new and meet all of the major suppliers. Many exhibitors are using Printwear & Promotion LIVE! to announce new equipment and to show the latest printwear styles for the first time.
Most people visit P&P to see what’s new in the industry and if there is anything else they can add to the business. It also helps you to reconnect with existing suppliers and to source new technology and garments.
If there is something new out there it’s going to be at P&P Live.
Make the most of your visit and take a look at our checklist below.
The number of exhibitions and tradeshows is growing every year, but not all of these events will be beneficial to your business.
First, take a look at what you want to get out of attending these exhibitions. Then do your research to find which ones line up with your goals.
You should also consider factors such as which exhibitors are attending, and when the event takes place – after all, you don’t want to miss out on valuable sales if that’s usually a busy time for your business.
We always recommend that you register online for exhibitions before the actual event. In most cases, this will allow you free, fast entry on the day.
You’ll also be one of the first people to know about the latest news relating to the show.
This will give you valuable insight into which exhibitors and events are the most relevant to your business.
Travel & Accommodation
If you’re looking to attend one of the larger exhibitions, then one day might not be enough to see everything that you want to.
In this case, you’ll want to look at booking a hotel. If you want to find somewhere for a decent price then you need to book your room early – remember that you’re in competition with everyone else who’s attending.
Even if you’re only attending one day, you need to think about the best way to travel.
If you’re driving, you might want to research the location to see if parking is sufficient. Remember that it might be ideal to have a back-up plan or just arrive early.
You want to make the best use of your time at the event so do your homework before you leave home.
Make a list of the goals you want to achieve by visiting the show. Include your own personal goals and those of your company. Every subsequent decision that you make should put you closer to achieving your goals.
Which exhibitors do you think will be of most use to you? Create a list of their company names and stand number – you can normally find this information on the exhibition website.
Read through the trade show promotional materials carefully. Use that knowledge and write a plan for attending the show.
Include a list of ‘must see’ booths and ‘want to see’ booths. Spend a little time researching the vendors, so that you’ll have a clear idea of who you need to see, and what you need to learn from them.
Depending on how much time you want to spend at the show, you should plan how long you want to stop at each booth, making sure to schedule the ‘must see’ booths first. Head to these stands early or consider making appointments with the exhibitors so you can ensure that you’ll have a chance to talk.
A lot of exhibitions will include additional events like speeches and Q&As.
These can offer valuable insight into new opportunities for your business as well as advice and industry insights.
Again, not all of these events are going to be useful to you so don’t just attend them all.
Research which events are taking place, then make a note of the ones that you believe will benefit you the most.
Make sure that you take advantage of any training opportunities that are offered across the show floor too!
When you watch demonstrations, attend training sessions and visit exhibitor booths, you have the chance to sharpen your skills – or develop new ones!
Remember that exhibitions are all about networking. So, make sure to take a stack of business cards with you.
Not only will you have the opportunity to talk and get to know the exhibitors, but other visitors could also be a valuable resource to you in the future.
By collaborating within your network and listening to industry experts, you can effectively develop your knowledge base. Try to find information about:
● New tools and equipment
● Current and upcoming technologies
● Useful techniques or processes
● Industry best practices and standards
● Changes within the industry
● Competitors’ strengths and weaknesses
You can then bring this information back to your company to improve your products, services or systems, and ultimately grow your business.
On the Day
Get a map of the show floor and consult the latest version of the trade show directory to revise your carefully made plans. Exhibitors may have dropped out or arrived unexpectedly, or seminar times may have changed.
You’ll also what to check your coat and bags before stepping onto the show floor – no one wants to have to lug them around for hours.
At the stand
Take everything that’s going – Make sure to only collect the information that is relevant to you, or that could be valuable to others in your company. Use your lead forms or a small notebook to record the most vital information.
Overwhelm yourself – Many exhibitors will gladly mail literature and samples, which relieves you of having to carry them around the exhibit hall.
Approach booths when they are packed – If you approach when it’s busy, the chances of you getting to the right person are slim.
Be nervous – Approaching a booth can be intimidating because it feels a bit like you’re walking into someone else’s living room. Simply observe what’s going on around you and wait for a salesperson to come to you. (They will.)
Take advantage of show specials, discounts, and sales –But first, make sure that they are actually bargains and needed in your store. Check freight costs and delivery dates first.
Be genuine – Salespeople want to help, just be yourself to get the dialogue going. Ask questions to find out what you need to know.
Always make sure to get a card – It’s not enough to give someone your information. If you work a trade show hard, you could walk away with dozens of cards. That’s why trade shows are powerful.
Finally… Enjoy yourself!
Don’t get too caught up in your own head. These events are important for business but remember to step back and have fun too.
You’re in a building full of people with creative new ideas and similar experiences.
It’s a perfect opportunity to talk to others who share the same passion as you.
Here at YES Ltd, we share a passion for garment decoration.