Visitors to The Print Show 2023 gathered around a finishing machine from Morgana whilst a sales man provides a demo

The Online Print Coach Colin Sinclair McDermott reveals 3 reasons why researching exhibitors and booking appointments when visiting a UK print trade exhibition like The Print Show could be a good idea.

I recently returned from a FESPA this year in Amsterdam and whilst I had a hugely successful trip, I did realise that to make these exhibitions even more impactful, I need to consider booking appointments in future.

Whilst UK-based shows may not seem to warrant booking appointments due to being smaller in scale, we all appreciate the financial cost and time challenges that come into play when taking yourself out of the office for a matter of days.

So, here are three tips I suggest as to why you should consider booking appointments at The Print Show this year to make the most out of your visit.

Tip 1 – Time Efficiency

Arriving at an exhibition and trawling up and down the aisles when you first arrive can be a little overwhelming. Exhibitors try to grab your attention, pass you information, or scan your badges, and rightly so. They’ve likely paid a lot of money to be there and put themselves in front of you, their ideal target audience.

If you have time, I recommend taking a moment to speak to as many of the exhibitors as possible however by planning ahead and scheduling time with the key exhibitors you have identified an interest in. Taking the time to look over the floorplan before your visit is another quick and simple way to ensure you can prioritise your time and be more productive with it during your visit.

Tip 2 – Improved Engagement

If an exhibitor is expecting you, it can often lead to a more structured and meaningful conversation as it gives you both the chance to plan and prepare for it. This can often mean the time is more personalised to your needs. The challenge when turning up on a stand unplanned is, more often than not, details can be overlooked or missed.  

Tip 3 – Better Return on Your Investment

Attending trade shows can be expensive with travel costs and accommodation, not to mention the non-monetary cost of time away from your usual day-to-day tasks so it needs to be worth your while.

Having a clear agenda and planning out your pre-arranged meetings means you can structure your day(s) best to fit in around other aspects of the show like product demos and knowledge-boosting seminars.

My one bit of advice would be to give yourself plenty of time between meetings if you can. If your schedule is too tight, you may fall victim to missing out on unexpected opportunities that arise whilst walking around the exhibition hall. Try and allow some flexibility if you can.

Having been in the print industry since the mid-late 90s, Colin Sinclair McDermott entered the world of self-employment in 2004 and over the years that followed, experienced a number of highs and lows running his own print company, learning what does and doesn’t work.

In 2022, he trained with The Business Coaching Academy to become a fully certified corporate coach with the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches.

Through The Online Print Coach, industry members can access an online training platform, Print Mastermind, as well as private 1-to-1 coaching with Sinclair McDermott.

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