10 January 2015
FOODPRO 2011 is fast approaching and I wanted to share with you some of the survival tips my workmates and I have learnt over the years while attending some of the world's largest food industry exhibitions.
1. Where are you staying?
Book your accommodation early and try for one of the recommended locations. Besides being the most convenient places to get to and from the event, you will tend to meet other delegates and suppliers at breakfast, dinner or the bar—some of the best networking occurs outside the exhibition halls.
2. What can you spend?
Get your budget approved in advance. Knowing exactly what you can negotiate on the spot can allow you to take advantage of any show specials the suppliers may be offering.
3. Who do you want to meet?
Book appointments with exhibitors in advance. Avoid the disappointment of arriving at an exhibitor's stand to find the person you need to see is not there or already busy.
4. What does your business need?
Make sure you have in your mind what you are looking for (capacity, features, and budget) and plan time to meet with the relevant suppliers.
5. Who do you already know?
Let your key suppliers know you will be there and where you are staying. This will increase the opportunity of networking both at the event and in the evenings.
6. Don’t burn out.
Wear comfortable shoes—this is not the time to break in those new cowboy boots! A few days on your feet can be tough on the body if you are not used to it, so pace yourself. Take time to rest your feet, do some stretches and drink plenty of water.
7. Make the most of your time.
Plan your schedule to allow time to talk to people and not just walk around. If more than one representative from the company is attending then split up to cover more ground. Meet together for the exhibitor's stands that are important to you.
8. Information network.
Most exhibitions have electronic card readers to record your details for follow-up, but you will still need to hand out business cards. Refrain from accepting too many brochures, the same information will be available via e-mail and on supplier's websites.
9. What can you learn?
There are often a range of valuable, industry specific lectures on offer during the exhibition. Further your understanding of your own area of expertise or take the chance to discover something entirely new. These forums are also great places to forge potential new contacts.
10. Plant seeds for the future.
Collate everything you have gathered at the event and think about how you can best share this new technology, contacts and ideas with others in your company when you return. This will reinforce the value of the visit to your colleagues and ensure support for future events.
Finally and most importantly—remember you’re at FOODPRO! Gathered here are the latest and greatest innovators, technology and equipment representing, not only the future of the Food and Beverage Industry, but the future of food.
So stop, be present, get involved and take advantage of being a part of that future. Enjoy and savour a feast that is so unique it’s only served up once every three years.
About the author
Andrew Newby is the Business Development Director at Wiley and can be contacted on 1300 385 988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in Food & Drink Business Magazine.
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