Pack Expo East and After-Show Hours

Well…we are now less than one month away from Pack Expo East. I hope you and your team have been busy preparing for the event, whether you are exhibiting or attending. If you need a few tips on show preparation, I would invite you to check out one of our previous blog posts, Are You Ready for Pack Expo Las Vegas?, which provides a few insights to preparation. In this blog, however, I’d like to share a few other thoughts that I’ve learned throughout my years of attending and exhibiting at Pack Expo events.

Whether you’re an exhibitor or an attender, I think we can all agree that these PMMI Pack Expo events offer unparalleled opportunity to connect with existing customers, as well as meet new prospects. Many of these encounters and interactions will take place on the show floor—as well they should given the investment made by your organization. Still, if that is all you are planning for, may I suggest that you are missing an incredible opportunity.

The trade shows offer us, as exhibitors and attendees, the venue to connect and explore. One of the real values in the event is the gathering of suppliers, customers, and potential customers all in one place. For a few short days, both sides of the equation are captive to each other (usually without other distractions). Take advantage of that time!

If I’m honest, it took me quite a few years of exhibiting at trade shows to learn that some of the most important connections and relationship-building took place in the after-hours of the show. Whether it was planned dinners with customers, attending an OEM or PMMI sponsored event, or simply finding the show “hot spot” (you know—the place where it seems everyone attending the show hangs out after their respective dinners), these are where I often times found much of the show’s value. From networking and new introductions to long conversations with existing clients about their upcoming projects, these after-hour venues and activities proved to be invaluable.

So…let me ask you, have you given any thought to how you will spend your after-hours time for the upcoming show? If not, the good news is that there’s still time. Make a plan. Be sure to include dinners with customers and potential customers (or exhibitors, if you’re an attendee), as well as any OEM hospitality events and PMMI sponsored activities. Find the “hot spot” and plan on stopping by prior to retiring for the evening. Add these few suggestions to your show plan and see if it doesn’t drastically improve your overall trade show outcomes.