With a few years of the trade show and event industry under my belt, it was time to embark on another milestone – to attend the EXHIBITOR Show for the first time. In previous years, I’d watch as my coworkers came back from the show with more industry knowledge, new contacts, and interesting stories. So I was really excited to have this opportunity for myself!
Having NO idea of what to expect (despite the stories and advice from my coworkers, it’s just something you need to experience for yourself), I kept my eyes, ears, and mind open. Of course, I met new prospects on the show floor. But surprisingly, it was easier than I imagined to talk to people off the floor – whether it was at an event, in between classes, grabbing coffee, or even in the elevator. Once the show closed, there was never a dull moment between EXHIBITOR events, dinners, or meetings with clients and vendors.
I spent some quality time with current clients, walking the floor and getting new ideas for their booth. It was also great to put some faces to the names of vendors I work with all the time, but had never met in person. It was also an unexpected bonding experience with my own coworkers. I sat in on some meetings with prospects and gained invaluable experience from industry sales veterans. By the time I left Las Vegas, my brain was on overload!
Now that I am back on my grind, I am happily reliving these moments by sorting through the stash of business cards, scribbled notes, pictures and videos. I left EXHIBITOR2014 feeling reenergized about my career. But most of all, it reminded me of how grateful I am to be a part of such a unique industry that’s filled with fascinating people.