trade show

5 Trade Show Tips for Decorators

Jeanene Edwards

Jeanene Edwards is the VP of marketing & merchandising for Fruit of the Loom/JERZEES Activewear. She has over 20 years of experience working with global apparel brands.

Attending a decorated apparel trade show this year? Be prepared with these five pro tips for a better trade show experience. Trade shows offer important industry related networking events and educational opportunities. When attending a trade show, there are a few things you want to do to make the most of your experience. 

1. Plan and set goals 

Know what you want to achieve at the show. Are you looking for industry connections? Business advice? New apparel options? Decide ahead of time where you want to put your focus and energy. Review the floor plan to know which exhibitors you want to see and map out who you want to visit. Make a plan based on your goals and visit booths that help you reach your goal. Be sure to take time to seek out new products, new techniques, and new equipment that will help keep you up to date with the latest trends in the industry.

2. Make a schedule

Trade shows can be overwhelming. With thousands of people in the same area, making your way around can feel chaotic. Based on your goal, create a schedule for the event. Schedule meetings with industry influencers in your trade and write down booth numbers. Map out the location of each booth to maximize efficiency.  

3. Attend panels, speaking engagements, and workshops

Trade shows have opportunities for leaders and brands to discuss the industry. Attend a few events that appeal to you and your business to learn new tips, tricks, and network. Keep in mind that some of these events require registration and may have a small fee. Be sure to research and coordinate properly as these events can fill up quickly.

4. Exchange business cards

Networking is one of the main reasons for attending a trade show. A business card exchange gives you the ability to connect with people after the show. You never know who you might meet! 

5. Have fun! 

Trade shows are exciting and energizing. These events bring the brightest, most passionate individuals in the industry together. Use your smartphone to take pictures of booths or products that you’re interested in to serve as a reminder. Take advantage of all it has to offer and don't forget to enjoy yourself along the way!

For more trade show insights, check out these tips from the Pritnwear archives:

7 Ways to Make the Most of a Trade Show

4 Quick Tips for Attending a Trade Show