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Are YOU Prepared? Tradeshow Tips & Tricks

Tradeshow season is upon us, and with it comes lots of preparation and planning!

The Serendipity team is always on top of what’s going on throughout the industries we work in, so we checked in with some of our team to find out what they’re doing to prepare for their upcoming shows—and what some of their must-bring items are.

An outstanding tradeshow season, comin’ right up!

What are your top tips for a successful tradeshow?

“Looking good is important, but comfortable shoes are more important than looking good. Also, be present! You never know where or when a new connection will be made!” —Kasie Smith, President and Publisher, Serendipity Media

“You don't have to sacrifice style to look professional on the floor. Err on the side of too professional, if you must. You are representing yourself and your company! People want to work with those who look like they mean business. That doesn't mean you shouldn't add touches that people think of as YOU: a bow tie, a scarf, a statement jewelry item, a certain pattern as part of every outfit ...” —Amy L Charles, Editorial Director, Serendipity Media

“Remembering a business discussion is important, but so is remembering chatting about an event, the food or their personal life. No matter how memorable a conversation is, by the end of the tradeshow your head will be swimming with all the conversations you had—on top of being tired from being constantly on-the-go for a few days straight.” —Ashley Micallef, Media Sales and Operations Coordinator/Media Consultant, Groups Today

“Always have business cards on you and go in with a plan. If you don’t have a scheduled appointment with someone, make sure to find them off the appointment floor or at a networking event.” —Monica Schafer, Media Consultant, Groups Today and Teach & Travel

“Attend the evening events! Get outside of your hotel room! A lot of great connections happen off the trade show floor.” —Lauren Abdelkader, Media Consultant, Groups Today and Teach & Travel

What are some items you’re always sure to have with you?

“Shaking hands with multiple people during flu season is like playing flu roulette! Pack travel-sized personal hygiene items in your bag, as well. There’s nothing worse than realizing you have to run all the way back to your hotel room for something you need!” —Ashley Micallef, Media Sales and Operations Coordinator/Media Consultant, Groups Today

Amy L Charles, Serendipity Media Editorial Director, suggests bringing products you love and are used to. While hotel amenities are improving, they may not always suit your needs—or your hair and skin.

“I always pack comfortable shoes and layers for warmth as the tradeshow floor temperature fluctuates. Also, a water bottle to stay hydrated. Our days are long and jammed packed, and drinking water can be easily forgotten.” —Monica Schafer, Media Consultant, Groups Today and Teach & Travel

Keep plastic bags in your suitcase. That laundry bag from the hotel closet? Use it for transporting dirty laundry home. Small Ziplocs and other sealable bags are good for toiletries, ensuring clothing stays dry if a lotion or liquid leaks. Larger bags keep shoes together or could be a "buffer" layer to help keep clothing neat. —Amy L Charles, Editorial Director, Serendipity Media

“TUMS! The trade show diet/lifestyle can be unforgiving. Also, I always bring anything and everything that supports your immune system; vitamins, Emergen-C, et cetera.” —Lauren Abdelkader, Media Consultant, Groups Today and Teach & Travel

Kasie Smith, Serendipity Media President and Publisher, recommends keeping aspirin and protein bars in your bag, to help you stay full and headache-free throughout the day.

How are YOU preparing for your next tradeshow?