Navigating Networking Events: A First-Timer’s Guide to Maximising Your Visit

Are you a first-time visitor to a trade exhibition? The bustling atmosphere, countless exhibitors, and an array of products and services can be overwhelming. With some careful planning and smart strategies, you can ensure your visit is both productive and profitable.


Here’s how to make the most out of attending trade exhibitions.


1. Research the Exhibitors


Before the exhibition, take advantage of the list of exhibitors published online. Create a prioritised list of stands to visit, ranking them by importance. Familiarise yourself with the floor plan to navigate efficiently and avoid getting lost in the crowd.


2. Set Up Appointments


Contact exhibitors you want to meet in advance and schedule meeting times. Be cautious not to overbook yourself or create an unrealistic schedule. Account for queues and security, which can be time-consuming.


3. Bring Plenty of Business Cards


Ensure you have an ample supply of business cards. Drop your card at stands of interest, even if you can’t stop and chat. Taking a picture of each card on your phone can be helpful for future follow-ups.


4. Be Practical


Pack a bottle of water and wear comfortable shoes as exhibitions often involve a lot of walking. Also, carry some cash as not all exhibitors may have card machines.


5. Follow Up on Leads


After the exhibition, follow up promptly with exhibitors you’ve connected with. Don’t let valuable leads slip away.


6. Plan and Set Objectives


To make the most of your visit, set clear objectives. Decide which exhibitors you want to see, contacts to meet, or business cards to collect. Thoughtful planning increases the value of your visit.


7. Pre-Register


Register for the exhibition in advance to save money and receive the latest updates and benefits via e-alerts.


8. Allow Enough Time


Be prepared for unexpected conversations and allocate sufficient time. Don’t rush through the exhibition; sometimes, unscheduled meetings can be the most valuable.


9. Take Advantage of Offerings


Don’t miss out on seminars and conference sessions offered by organisers and exhibitors. You might discover new ideas and solutions.


10. Be Open to New Ideas


Exhibitions are great places to explore innovative concepts and solutions. Be receptive to new ideas that may offer solutions to your challenges.




1. Rush Through the Show


Avoid trying to see everything too quickly. Consider multiple visits if necessary to meet all your objectives.


2. Focus Solely on Planned Meetings


Explore other exhibitors, including start-ups and lesser-known companies that might offer innovative solutions or competitive advantages.


3. Overbook Meetings


Don’t schedule back-to-back meetings, as it can hinder spontaneous encounters that often lead to valuable connections.


4. Avoid Exhibitors


Engage with exhibitors openly and graciously. A brief chat could lead to unexpected insights or valuable connections.


5. Waste Information


Utilise the information you gather, such as brochures and business cards. Follow up promptly to maximise the value of your contacts and leads.


Mastering the art of attending trade exhibitions as a visitor can significantly benefit your business. By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the exhibition successfully and make the most out of your visit.



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Navigating Networking Events: A First-Timer’s Guide to Maximising Your Visit

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