Next month’s 2019 HAI HELI-EXPO in Atlanta is sure to be an educational, productive and, hopefully, profitable event.
But with more than 700 exhibitors and 18,000 industry pros in attendance, it could also get overwhelming, too.
How do you know where to focus your efforts? What booths to spend your limited time on? Which exhibitors to explore partnerships or business relationships with?
This is the struggle of any modern trade show-goer — but it’s not one without a solution. Want to make sure you spend your time and resources as wisely as possible at this year’s 2019 HAI HELI-EXPO? These tips can help:
Study the exhibitor list ahead of time.
You don’t have to set aside hours to do this but take 30 or so minutes to browse the list and get familiar with at least the categories of exhibitors who will be at the event. Do it while waiting at the airport, when you’re on the plane or even just on the Uber ride over. If any names or booths stand out, jot them down on a notepad or on your phone. Make sure to include the booth number, if it’s available.
Go in with two or three overarching goals.
Having a few larger goals for the event can help you home in on the best exhibitors to spend your time with. Are you looking to for advanced avionics systems to upgrade your aircraft? Are you hoping to find a new distributor or part manufacturer with lower costs? Do you need consulting, marketing or branding assistance? Pick two to three overall goals for your visit and let those guide both the exhibitors you visit and the questions/concerns you bring up when you do.
Divide and conquer.
Instead of touring the expo in pairs or groups, give each member of team individual assignments — either a full hall or a handful of specific booths. Make sure to keep the assignments in their vein of expertise, though. Send your marketing director toward the advertising agencies you’d like to learn more about and send your CTO down the hall with the avionics manufacturers you’re considering. This divide-and-conquer method will help you make the most of your limited time on site.
Don’t get distracted.
It can be easy to get distracted at trade shows — especially ones like 2019 HAI HELI-EXPO that have mind-boggling (and massive) technological and aircraft displays to look at. Try not to spend too much time at these eye-catching displays (or worse, just waiting in line for them), and grab a brochure or flier instead. You can also snap a picture on your phone, so you can go back and check out the displays later on.
Stay tuned to social media.
Be sure to watch HAI’s social media, as well as the hashtag #haiexpo19 on Twitter. Not only can this keep you up to date on the latest happenings at the show, but it can also clue you into new exhibitors and booths you might not have heard of yet.
At the end of the day, it’s important to attend 2019 HAI HELI-EXPO with a plan. Know your goals for the trip, have a handful of must-see exhibitors and use your team to divide and conquer once you arrive. And remember, once you start talking with an exhibitor or vendor, if they don’t have the answers you want, or it doesn’t feel right, move on quickly. Your time is limited and wasting it on an exhibitor with no promise means less time with one who could actually help grow your business.
Want help with your next trade show? Want to learn more about our aviation marketing and branding services? Let’s connect in Atlanta next month. Contact us today to schedule a time.