NAB Tips For Trade-Show Rookies by Bill Davis

How to… Budget your time, Listen and Learn, Concentrate and Shift your Focus.

In the 25 years I’ve been regularly attending NAB, I’ve learned a few tricks.

For instance, when I was starting out, trade shows were about seeing all the shiny things on display, because for decades the big trade show was the only place to get information directly from multiple manufacturers. So most attendees would end up flying home with bags and bags of of brochures and product sheets to study.

But those days are gone.

Today, new product info is on the web 5 minutes after it’s released. So I spend my trade show time much differently than when I was starting out. I try to be more efficient, more focused, … more targeted. Because over time, I’ve learned to separate what’s actually important at a trade show from what just seems important in all the noise and bustle.

If you want to make your own trade show attendance more focused and successful, here are some basic suggestions. Pick and choose what makes sense for you.

Tip 1: Budget your time — ruthlessly.

When you register, find a show floor map and plan a personal “hall priority and route map” in advance. NAB is HUGE and you’ll be on your feet for hours and hours. It’s surprisingly easy to miss not just particular booths, but whole buildings and floors! But don’t be too rigid. Allow for “wandering time” if you can – because sometimes stumbling across the unexpected is where you discover the really cool stuff! read more...

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