Before leaving your office, review the list of show exhibitors. Spend some time looking at the websites of suppliers you’re not familiar with. When you arrive at a show, pick up a directory with a map. Highlight booths you want to visit most.
Wear comfortable footwear. Function is the fashion here. Never carry a briefcase. By toting around a large bag or case, you’re asking for back trouble by the end of the first day. Carry a small notebook. Use it for making notes about suppliers and products that interest you.
When the show floor opens, head to the back of the hall first – it’s the path less traveled. Don’t get derailed by suppliers who just want to scan your badge. Tell friends and colleagues that you meet along the way that you’ll catch up with them later. Resist the urge to pick up fliers and catalogs – both of which can be mailed to you.
Focus your attention on suppliers who offer you reasons to buy from them. If a supplier salesperson seems disinterested, or wants to talk only about price, kindly excuse yourself and move on. Suppliers who talk only about price probably offer products you can get from many other companies.