THE SHOP

October '21

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56 THE SHOP OCTOBER 2021 TRADE SHOWS SPECIAL REPORT: T rade shows offer many opportunities for meeting new vendors, learning from seminars and hobnobbing with colleagues. All those activities can pay off with a fatter bottom line. "A trade show is the best place to see everything that is happening in the industry, and to learn what companies have to offer," says Alice Heiman, founder of her own sales consultancy in Reno, Nevada (aliceheiman.com). "Your presence at a show brings you face to face with three groups of people: attendees, speakers and exhibitors. You can learn from each." Despite their attractions, though, trade shows can toss monkey wrenches into any retailer's normal operations. How can you spare the time and money required to send yourself and staff members to a show? And how can you maximize the return you get on all the time and money spent? The answers lie in smart follow-through when you return home from the show. That means keeping the dialog going with vendors, passing along lessons learned to coworkers, and sharing the hottest industry trends with customers. Doing all that in a way that boosts profits is a constantly evolving skill. Like expert golfers working on their follow-throughs, successful trade show attendees are always improving the quality of their after-show swings. Here are some tips for doing just that: 1 TIP Prepare to Win The best follow-through begins before you leave the shop. Each person attending the show must plan in advance to take the right steps after returning. That means having an answer SPECIAL REPORT: TRADE SHOWS Smart Trade Show Follow-Through Steps to maximizing your experience. By Phillip M. Perry Trade shows offer many opportunities for meeting new vendors, learning from seminars and hobnobbing with colleagues.

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