Infocomm First Timers


Next week starts the annual Infocomm show, in ButtSweat Florida. Although I won't be in attendance this year, let this serve as some help for those first timers out there. If you're an exhibitor or an attendee, the show can be overwhelming at times. Let's settle down and dig in.

EXHIBITOR

For the first time exhibitor - if you are also doing the booth build understand that since the dock doors will be open for moving in and out, be prepared for there to be no (or incredibly limited) air conditioning in the hall until the day of the show. It's going to be hot so be sure to bring liquid refreshment while building your booth. If you're not building the booth but you're allowed access, bring something to drink for the people building your booth and thank them.

Even though you'll get badge scans, collect business cards and hand yours out. Take notes on the business cards of the people you need to get back to asap.

Don't worry about lags in attendance to your booth. It's like an ocean; tide (people) comes in, tide goes out.

Have something on hand to drink during the show. With all the talking you are going to do, you're going to need it. Bring a snack too because there's no such thing as a five minute break to get a bite.

If you can swing it, wander around for a bit around the show floor. See what else is out there and clear your mind in the process.

After the day is done, go have a drink or three.

ATTENDEE

Before the show, browse the Infocomm Show's website and get a feel for the layout. What's the most important thing (or things) to check out? Find the companies that you must visit and make note of where they are. The easiest way to find who you're looking for is not by booth number but what large large booth they are near. If someone is close to Cisco, they will be easy to find because Cisco is easy to find.

Carry as little as possible into the show. Anything that's remotely uncomfortable to carry for a few minutes will become horrible after several hours.

Ask before you take photos.

Spend Wednesday and Thursday checking everything out and dedicate Friday to dig in to the companies you need to spend time with. Friday is slower due to most people wanting to get out out of town and you'll find yourself with more time to talk to vendors about their products.

Take a notebook and make liberal use of it. If you're on your way somewhere and some shiny object catches your eye, make note of where it was! Instead of bogging yourself down with literature, write down any pertinent information in your notebook to review when you get home.

Shoes - take a comfortable pair. I forgot to do that once. It was in Vegas a few years ago when I stayed at the Riviera and walked back and forth to the conference hall in addition to walking the show because I am much too cheap to get a cab. By Friday I had big hole in my heel where skin used to be. Plus, to make matters worse I stepped in some melted gum in the parking lot in my fancy shoes. Shit.

Wash your damn hands. Often.

Don't stare too long at the LED digital signage displays!

After the day is done, go have a drink or three.

Good luck and enjoy it. I'll see you next year in Vegas!

Bryan
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