I’ve been to a fair amount of shows, as both an exhibitor for Ta Dah furniture hire and as a guest, so it’s excitement all round as the epic Event Production Show approaches on March 1st and 2nd. Co-located at Olympia London with International Confex, this is the Grand Daddy of event shows, for which Ta Dah is proud to be a show partner.  Visitors will be able to enjoy the luxury inflatable seating experience in our networking area National Hall Gallery in the corner at the top of the stairs – just where the wine glass is on the map.  Which is handy.

Whilst events are invaluable for meeting lots of people in one place and getting the latest industry info, they can be overwhelming and you can find yourself wondering where the time vanished, so this post is dedicated to the Ta Dah top tips for getting the maximum benefit from visiting a show:

  • Do your prep, have your spiel ready

Knowing what you want to get out of the day, personally and for your company is the starting point, brush up on the classic 30 second ‘elevator pitch’ to explain what you do and what you are interested in. Both exhibitors and visitors need to make the most of their time, so as a visitor don’t hesitate to cut to the chase in conversations with suppliers.

  • Catch a seminar and do some networking

Seminars offer a great opportunity to get some fresh insights for free – usually concise from 30 minutes to an hour, they offer food for thought and give some quiet reflection time in a chat-tastic day.  If attending with colleagues it can help to split attendance across a number of seminars and share the notes for maximum learnings.  Another useful thing about seminars is that industry leaders are often mingling afterwards, especially when presenting, so it’s a great time to network too.  And where better to talk shop or gather your notes than with Ta Dahs premium inflatable seating? Visitors are welcome to take time out of the show and make the most of our networking area which is upstairs in the corner of the Gallery area.  You can view the schedule of seminars at the event production show here

NB: As a little aside: we’ll also have freshly baked doughnuts for guests to celebrate the launch of our new, 6 person seating DoNuts with inbuilt tables too.

  • Research key suppliers to target

There can be a lot happening at these dos and you don’t want to end up losing track of time and/ or getting distracted by the many treats along the way. A way to get more focus is to look over the suppliers in advance and identify your ‘must see’ and ‘want to see’ people, which brings us onto the next step:

  • Schedule your time, leaving time to stay open to new innovations

Looking at the floorplan ahead of time helps to make sure you’re not dashing between activities and that you can leave some time to see interesting new stuff as it grabs you along the way.  As the wonderful world of events does absolutely not stand still, last minute changes can, and often do, take place overnight.  So grabbing a copy of the latest map on the day gives the latest info to cross reference against your list and helps you stay open to fresh ideas and suppliers.  Another biggie is to not forget about time for eating! Which brings us on to…

  • Practicalities

The essentials to check you have are business cards, flat shoes, something to take notes on in that killer seminar, as well as some sort of easy access storage for the relevant business cards and information you collect along the way.  Many suppliers and shows provide handy tote bags for this purpose, which brings us onto the subject of freebies.  Whilst not the main focus and in no way will they influence your business decisions whatsoever, you deserve some perks along the way on those moments passing between your key stop offs.  Even better if you can combine a freebie with an interesting new idea, did I mention Ta Dah have fresh doughnuts…?

  • Post show follow up

Organise the useful bits of information gathered, from sharing findings with colleagues to progressing queries, it’s all about powering your projects forward!

And there you have it, the key ingredients for getting the best out of visiting a show.  Do you have any tips to add to the list? Wishing all event experts a great show on March 1st and 2nd, see you upstairs for a comfy seat and a doughnut!

Rachel Smith

Director, Ta Dah Furniture Hire