Having just returned from Sin City, where I was for The PPAI Expo last week, I’m feeling like a bit of a rule breaker. So – just this one time – I’m not going to let what happened in Vegas stay in Vegas. Here are four free things I bring back from every tradeshow (and you should, too!).
1. Feedback. Keep your ears and mind open during tradeshows and you might be surprised by how much others’ two cents is worth. We all tend to be biased toward our own ideas, but you can’t make a living off selling to yourself (if you’ve figured out a way to do this, please contact me.) Outsiders give excellent advice, so don’t be resistant to their constructive criticism, it will only help you improve.
At The PPAI Expo, I was overwhelmed by the number of people who stopped by the SAGE booth simply to say hello or rave about SAGE. Who wouldn’t love hearing that? But the people we love just as much are the ones who took the time to let us know what features we should add to make our products better. They’re the reason we continue to grow and improve.
2. Knowledge. It seemed around every corner was another opportunity to learn. All of the education at these tradeshows is geared toward helping companies in the promotional products industry flourish, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of it. And the best part? They’re all FREE! Take it from someone with student loan debt, free education is something you cannot afford to pass up!
The education available at The PPAI Expo was kicked off with SAGE Conference on Monday, where we had record-breaking attendance. If you missed this exciting day of free knowledge, videos from the sessions are available on the SAGE Conference website. SAGE also provided one-on-one training as well as education sessions during the expo. We will be providing these opportunities again at Expo East in March.
3. Connections. One of the most beneficial aspects of tradeshows is the opportunity to meet with people face to face. With actual human interaction becoming less common as technology evolves, it’s important that we’re still making these vital personal connections we need to succeed. However, it’s not merely about meeting people. It’s about forming relationships, which requires staying in touch. To keep in touch most effectively, I recommend using a mobile CRM tool, such as the one available in SAGE Mobile.
4. Freebies! It’s what we do. Besides, who doesn’t love coming home with all of the latest and greatest promotional products?