Dress Appropriately – This event is a meeting of professionals in the industry. No better time to put your best foot forward. My father taught me that when attending professional events “dress for the job you want to have”. So this is the time to minimally put on a blazer and dress shirt to see and be seen by the many influential people at the educational sessions and trade show.
Wear Comfortable Shoes – Walking on concrete with thin carpet is probably not optimal for most feet. In this case sacrifice style for comfort. There are a variety of shoes that are made for walking! It could be a great investment.
Have a Plan – Having a plan is more important than the specific type of plan you have. It can take a good full day to get around the show floor. Some have specific booths they want to target so develop a map to do so. Others want to see it all. My plan that has always worked for me is to spend the first day seeing it all and making notes where I want to return for detailed information. The second day I go back to the dozen or so booths that I want to spend some in depth time at. Traffic is greatest at the open and less at the close of the show.
Bring your Business Cards For less than $25 you can have all the business cards you would use to bring to the GIS. This is the best way to get additional information and develop a connection with individuals and businesses. Make sure your card has contact info such as phone and email. Having business cards is one thing but actually following up on those you receive surely helps you to expand your network. If you really want to stand out from the crowd, order some metal cards to show how serious you are about your business. Potential clients are more likely to buy from you if you hand them a good quality business card so this is something you should consider.
Set goals for the GIS – Develop a set of written goals for the GIS. Those goals may include the number of education hours attended, topics to pursue, networking opportunities, evaluation of equipment for future needs, etc. When the show is over be sure to write a summary of what you accomplished and how that will result in a better golf course and submit or discuss it with your employer so that they will be happy to send you to this and other shows again!