The AHR Show is back in-person this year, which is awesome. If you are going to attend, do it with a purpose. The reason to attend AHR, or any show, is to help your business. Here are 11 tips you can use to make AHR profitable.
1. What are Your Objectives?
Why are you going? Is it just an excuse to write-off a trip to Las Vegas or do you have a business reason? For example, you might go to explore field service management software options. You might go to see what’s new in tankless water heater technology. Maybe you are looking for new service tools. It might be easier to complete the sentence, “After leaving AHR, I want to be able to ________.”
It is likely that you will have multiple objectives. If so, prioritize them. Make certain that the primary objective is accomplished.
2. Take Notes and Pictures
Use your mobile phone to take lots of pictures and to record notes about things you see that were interesting. There is too much to see. Do not trust your memory.
3. Bring Business Cards
Contractors often forget to bring business cards to trade shows. Pull them out now and put them with something you know you will take. You will have opportunities to exchange business cards with a number of people. There will also be times when you stop by a booth and the person you want to talk with is on a break or in a meeting. At times like that, it is nice to be able to leave a card.
When you collect a business card, take a picture of it as soon as you get an opportunity. Text the image back to the office for an assistant to load into your contacts.
4. Preset Meetings
One of the advantages of attending a large industry show is almost everyone attends. You can conduct more business in less time than anywhere else. Make a list of people you have been wanting to meet with and reach out to them in advance of the show. See if you can set an appointment to meet at their booths or a hotel lobby.
5. Plan Your Top Ten
Identify the top ten exhibits you want to visit. Using a map of the show floor, plan your route so that you can cover the most ground in the least time. This is a BIG show. It takes time to walk from one side to the other. A little advance planning will increase your efficiency and save your feet.
6. Walk Around
Part of the reason for attending a show like AHR is to learn about new products and service, which can include old products and services you are not familiar with. The way to discover these is to wander around. But you should do it with purpose and a plan. If you are looking for innovative business solutions, the smaller booths are more likely to hold newer companies, which often have smaller budgets.
The best part of attending an in-person show is the networking opportunities. These occur as you walk the floor, but they also occur at night. There will be several hospitality parties at AHR. Some are come one, come all. Others are by invitation. When you are visiting supplier exhibits, ask about hospitality parties. These present much better business opportunities than the casinos.
8. Attend Educational Sessions
AHR features many educational seminars that are free for attendees. Visit the AHRExpo.com website and see what can help you and your business. These also give your feet a welcome break after walking the floor.
9. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Speaking of feet, pick shoes for comfort. You will be only your feet and concrete a lot. Comfortable shoes will enhance your show experience. You will be able to spend more time on the floor and get more done as a result.
10. Bring a Comfortable Mask
Sigh. Las Vegas and AHR have masking requirements. Bring your favorite (or least hated), most comfortable mask. You’ll need it for the plane if flying and for the show. Like comfortable shoes, a comfortable mask will mean more time on the floor and lead to more accomplishments.
11. Debrief Yourself
At the end of each day go over your notes and pictures. Write out an action plan of things to do when you get home. At the end of the show, prioritize your actions based on impact to your business, cost of implementation, and ease of implementation. Then, take action!!!
Be sure to visit the Service Roundtable’s booth in the North Hall at 11620 (N11620). Pick up some great swag and special offers for AHR.