It’s not everyday that you get to attend a large convention of your favourite manufacturers, distributors and retailers. It can be quite an exciting and overwhelming experience if you haven’t been to one before. One of the many issues for many who attend is how prepared they are for these shows, especially when involving one’s self at the convention for more than one day. We’ve had plenty of experience attending trade shows. Having noticed what it is like to be unprepared and inexperienced has shown to take a greater toll on a person than a trade convention should.

Here are our top advice for attending a trade convention:

Keep Hydrated

Trade conventions can be quite large spaces of warehouses and/or trade complexes with or without air conditioning. If there is air conditioning, the environment is likely to be quite dry and cool. If there isn’t any air conditioning, you can expect conditions to vary depending on how much space there is per person on the trade floor, the furniture that has been set by booth organisers and the weather conditions outside. It is important to understand that no matter what the conditions, you will need to stay hydrated as the day goes by. Regardless of what your activities during a normal day, it is still vital to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. The only difference with attending a trade convention is that most forget that they’ve not been hydrated due to the many distractions a convention has to offer.

Stay Clean and Keep Sanitised

A trade convention is basically a very large petri dish of human samples from different regions of the globe. There is bound to be bacteria or viruses floating about in the rooms, on the furniture and on the equipment that people handle throughout the convention. Unless you want to experiment with a new type of cold that you haven’t had before, it is highly recommended to take hand sanitisers and/or wash your hands and face every few hours into the day. This is important as attending any form of large gathering, increases the chances of falling ill by an exponential value.

Wear the right Shoes

If you are attending a trade convention, you are pretty much attending a half-marathon at your own pace. You will be thankful that you are not wearing high heels, those classy tight shoes, or flip flops (yeah, that happens). A good example is the Shot Show floors at 12 miles across on each floor. You must understand that walking from one side of a convention, to the other is already quite a daily achievement for most who attend the convention. Just make sure that you are wearing the appropriate footwear for the convention that you are attending, you’d never how much walking or running you will end up doing at a convention until it happens.

P.S. Don’t try to wear in a new pair of shoes at a convention, that will be a very painful experience.

Bring a Wearable ID Badge Wallet

Normally if you see someone wearing a lanyard badge with a form of ID in it, you think of someone important or a journalist. This may be true, but it is becoming increasingly common for everyone to wear an ID Badge Wallet on their body. It is not just a way of showing status and ID, but is a very good utility for keeping pens, note sheets and other tools on your person without having to carry them in your pockets or in a backpack that could weigh you down.

Bring the right Snacks

As has been said with hydration, the same can be said with energy and nutrition. Many trade conventions have stalls and kitchens to provide assortments of food, however it is likely that said food will have little in nutritional value and cost a lot more than the equivalent on a high street. It is essential to plan a simple diet of snacks throughout your time at a convention. This does not necessarily mean that you should bring natural fruit and vegetables to a convention. You should make sure that whatever you bring will keep you going as you consume energy as you move around the convention floors. The best type of food to take are those that are wrapped, can be held in pockets and are not effected by temperature. You can decide what food meets these criteria.

Condition Yourself

Attending a trade convention is not the same as attending a marathon, but it can sure feel like one if you do not know what you are going to be doing until you are there. It is worth understanding the breadth of where you are going, the size and what your day may be like considering your interest and any other activities that you care to get involved in across a convention. If you plan your day and how it will effect your mood, stamina and any other stresses, you will be better prepared to understand how to best spend your time and not over extend yourself.

Plan your Attendance

The worst thing you can do is try to be a part of too much in any given day. Make sure you have a realistic plan and don’t try to attend or partake in more than can be possible at any given day. Make sure that you are not attending with a heavy load of equipment if you cannot handle carrying it all day, then you should not be carrying it. Don’t expect to be able to leave your belongings without risk. If you do have a place to store kit, make sure that is part of your daily planning for the convention as it can reduce the amount of time actually spent doing activities. This extends to planning other issues such as travel and other arrangements if you plan to stay for longer than a day.

We have been very busy, working on providing access to our readers to trade conventions and other events that are not easily available. We think that trade conventions are a one of a kind experience that allows traders to access each other’s services and products at a first person perspective that would normally be too difficult or inaccessible.

If you’ve been to a trade convention and would like to share your experiences, please let us know in the comments below.


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