IRCE – a conference and exhibition located in Chicago is only a week away and we at Adeo Web are excited to be a part of it! The event will offer many different vendors and workshops, all connected to eCommerce in one way or another. Since a huge event like this can be a little stressful, here are some tips and must-have items to bring that we compiled for you, all so you can get the full experience of the exhibition.
Pocketful of business cards
With so many exhibitions and small businesses you are bound to find something that will not only benefit you but also the vendors themselves – a two-way exchange is much more beneficial and goes a long way to build better relationships in the future. And if you think business cards are an antiquity of the past, just have your LinkedIn profile neatly printed on a card so you don’t have to stand there and painstakingly make sure the person puts it in right.
Trust us, you’re going to regret putting on your size-too-small-but-they-make-me-look-tall shoes when you have over 600 booths to visit and the restrooms always end up on the other side of the hall. And no, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style for comfort, no need to get your running sneakers, just something that won’t murder your feet within 2 hours after the start of the conference. And if you really, REALLY want to impress someone with a fancy pair of shoes – have some blister relief ready at hand because you’ll need it.
Your best friendly face
And yes, this is necessary. There will be a lot of tired and grumpy people as the day goes on, so there’s no doubt a smile and a kindly tone will do you wonders with the vendors at work all day. They must smile and be polite, so why not return the favor? That way you not only demonstrate your decency as a human being but help your company’s image as well.
Notebook, digital or paper
Or anything that will be the best way to jot down any information, really. Don’t try to be a hero and decide you’ll remember everything you need – unless you literally have a perfect memory (which is virtually non-existent in adults) you will probably have some holes that some written notes would help fill in.
What do you do, what are your goals, what is your unique selling point, aaand wrap it up all in 30 seconds. Ready, set, go! Sounds easy, right? Well, perhaps not so much – but knowing how to present your company in a few sentences is incredibly important in a huge event like this. You probably won’t have time to sit a person down for half an hour and answer all their questions, right? Luckily, there’s still time to practice, so do your best and up your game with a quick intro.
Strategy in mind
Just because IRCE offers so many booths does not mean you have to go through all of them. Have a list of companies you absolutely want to check out and a map with highlighted booths. Once you hit all of your stops, feel free to explore more if you still have time left over!
A pal by your side
This might be a bit cheesy, but believe us, two do a better job than one. You’ll cover more ground, have someone to discuss new information with, and just have a shoulder to lean on if any problems come up.
Extra room for goodies
Okay, maybe this isn’t the most important thing in the world, but hey, free stuff! It is very likely that you’ll snatch several branded things, from pens and notebooks to umbrellas and water bottles. A lot of people surprisingly don’t plan for this and must throw something away. That seems like a real waste, so leave at least a little bit of space in your luggage for some commemorative goodies to take back home. Because we all know – it’s important to get your SWAG (Stuff We All Get) on!
Confidence, confidence, confidence
We said it thrice with italics – that’s how you know it’s important. If you have trouble with crowds or can’t keep a long conversation, it’s important to practice beforehand or find other ways to fake it. Probably the best advice to be aware of is that you don’t owe anyone anything – you’re there to make useful connections and if you don’t want to continue a conversation, you’re not obliged to. Second best advice – don’t overload yourself. Take a break occasionally and refresh yourself at IRCE’s lounges. And the final advice? Ask questions. It turns the attention away from you and helps you find out more things about the company you’re interested in. If you can’t come up with questions on the spot, write some down and have them ready.
That’s about all of the important things you could need that you might not have thought of (mints are optional but highly recommended). IRCE is baffling in its volume and potential, but don’t be intimidated and you’re sure to find something useful or even transformative along the way.