Knowing your way around the exhibit floor is an art unto itself.

Working the exhibit floor is an art unto itself. The show program includes an extensive floor plan. Highlight the booths that interest you.

With your highlighted program and floor plan in hand, start at one end of the exhibit floor and work your way up and down adjacent aisles until you reach the opposite end. This will save you time and energy, and is preferable to dashing all over the exhibit floor. If on the first day you spend only enough time in each booth to determine if the product deserves a closer look, you can spend the second day following up on the products that caught your attention. Before you return to an exhibit on the second day, talk to other attendees and read the literature on the products or services the vendor offers, and come prepared to ask specific questions.

Following your visit to the exhibit hall, take time to write down notes about the information you have gathered or need to obtain, and highlight the individuals and companies with whom you may want to do business. The best time to do this is before you return to your office and find yourself caught up in day-to-day activities.

As a word of caution, never consummate a deal on the exhibit floor. The purpose of your visit to the exhibit floor should be to narrow your list of possible vendors. Once you have done this, return to your office, review your notes, and at the very least arrange in-depth demonstrations from local representatives.

As seen in POB April-May 1991.