Last month, I was lucky enough to attend the world’s largest startup event, NY TechDay 2014, at Pier 92 in NYC. This being my first trade show, I was both excited to take in the New York startup culture and anxious about the unknown.

My team and I boarded the ferry bright and early and made our way into the city. We wound up being one of the first people there (go us!) so we had ample time to set up, caffeinate and take a walk around the floor to check out the scene.

Overall, it was a very successful day. We chatted with many startup companies about how a PR and digital marketing agency like lotus823 can help get them the visibility and traction they need to thrive. We also discovered some awesome new companies and took home a lot of cool swag. (Thanks for the bottle opener keychain,!)

I had a great experience that day, so I thought I would share with all of you novice tradeshow attendees out there how to best prepare for your next event.

Do your research:

Start by taking a look at the show’s website. Oftentimes, they’ll have a directory of exhibitors and speakers. Take advantage of this list and utilize it to the best of your ability. It’s easy to get caught up in conversation, so identifying select people or companies as a priority to connect with makes it much easier for you and your team to get the most out of the day.

Not only should you research fellow exhibitors, but you should also develop a list of anticipated questions others may ask of you as well. A list of pre-answered FAQs is a great way to make sure your team is fully prepared to tackle any question that comes their way, whether its from a potential investor or client, a member of the media, or just an intrigued passerby.

Pack accordingly:

A few days in advance, I recommend making a list of items you want to bring along. Referencing this list as you pack the night before can help alleviate the last-minute stresses of getting out the door. A good list could include include:

  • Chargers (phone, tablet, computer, camera)
  • Important Documents
  • FAQs
  • Flyers
  • One-Sheets
  • Business Cards
  • Tabletop accessories (tablecloth, pens, signage)
  • Snacks — we love snacks at lotus823.


Be Personable:

When possible, strike up a conversation with people walking around your table. It could be as simple as “what brings you here today?” or even just a quick “hello!” and a smile. Make it known that you’re there to answer any questions they might have. Engagement is everything, so maintaining eye contact and showing how passionate you are about your company or brand is the best representation. You never know who you’ll meet while walking around the showroom floor.

Be Social!

And by social, I mean social media. The lotus823 crew was active on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook throughout NY TechDay. Interacting with fellow attendees over your social channels is another fantastic networking tactic. Our team was monitoring the #NYTD hashtag and came across an exhibitor with the same wooden hashtag décor we were using. So of course, we instantly became best friends…

Do you have any tips for preparing for a trade show? We’d love to hear them!

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