Getting the most out of an Expo as a visitor

Exhibition season is now well underway and many of you will be attending as visitors.

Usually I am on an Exhibition stand at an Expo but recently I simply went along as a visitor and I think you can say I really embraced the experience, as I was exhausted by the end of it!

So I thought it might be helpful to share my top tips for getting the most out of the Expo experience as a visitor.

* The most important bit of advice I can share is that an Expo is really just a (very!) large networking event, so even if you have a couple of specific people you want to speak to, don’t place any restrictions on who you talk to; chat to anyone and everyone – you never know who they are connected to

* Plan to spend the whole day there so you really can talk to as many people as possible

* Make sure you attend a couple of the seminars and really engage with them – take notes, participate if requested and ask questions/make comments at the end

* Never forget the classic conversation starter in the tea room of asking how the coffee dispenser works and, no, whilst I didn’t use that myself at the Expo I visited, someone said it to me and we had a lovely chat

* Go round the exhibition and try to talk to someone on every stand – yes I did say every! If that sounds daunting remember people on exhibition stands want to talk to you; so just go up to them with a smile, say hello and start a conversation…

*  The Expo I attended had a Network Room so if you are grabbing a cuppa from there go and sit next to someone you don’t know and introduce yourself – remember this is a networking event!

* Finally, there is usually a Speed Networking event at an Expo. Make sure you participate in this – yes it’s crazy, noisy and there is always one conversation when you lose your voice and can’t hear a thing but it is great fun and everyone is always smiling at the end