1. Sign up for classes. Look at the class schedule and take them because they’re usually taught by the best in the industry. I give people that attend my classes a voucher because an educated client is going to be a successful client.
2. Go there to network. I know that is a little hard to plan, but it’s a mindset. Sometimes we are afraid to talk to the person standing beside us, but there will be many people at the show that are experienced veterans. They might even be from the same area you are. Be a little outward-talking and get to know people that are around you. Often, they can be the best source of advice. A good approach to making a decision on what to purchase is, instead of only talking to the vendor, you should also talk to your neighbor. Talk to people that have already been where you are. They’re further down the road – they know the good, the bad, the ugly. The advice is free. These people standing beside you may be in the same class. Ask them a question, such as, “Do you already own this piece of equipment?” or, “Can you tell me the best place to start?” Another question you can ask another attendee is, “Can you tell me which vendors are going to be the ones I want to work with?”
3. Get the show directory. Circle the people that you want to make sure you go see. With that said, I recommend you start at one end of the show and go to another. Look at every booth. Often you’ll see something you didn’t know you had an interest in, or you didn’t know it would have a fit in your business. I call that stepping out of your comfort zone.
-David Gross, Condé