As a music educator, keeping up with the latest industry trends and technology can be difficult. Sure, you can join music organizations, visit message boards, and communicate with like-minded individuals at monthly meet-ups, but who has the time for all that? What if you want to gain valuable knowledge and be exposed to new products, innovations, and technology all in the same place? Attend a trade show! Trade shows present a unique environment in which a variety of vendors are all competing for your attention. As you walk around the trade show floor, you can easily compare products and prices while discovering new companies, and you can do it all without ever lifting a finger. From gaining valuable knowledge to attending presentations, here are a few benefits of visiting trade show exhibits.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of attending a trade show is being exposed to a variety of new trends, products, and resources. Attending a trade show is a great way to learn about what’s hot in the industry, what’s not, and what you need to be doing right this second. You may go into a trade show knowing very little about certain products or techniques, but you will leave with a wealth of knowledge you can share with others. If the cost of attending a trade show is intimidating, consider setting up a system with a colleague or two where you attend one year, they attend the next, and you share what you’ve learned with each other. Trade shows may be intimidating, but go into them with an open mind and you may be surprised by how much you’ve learned.
Access to Salespeople
If you’ve been curious about a product or a company for quite some time, you’ll have unfettered access to their top salespeople at a trade show. Forget about setting up a meeting over Skype, forget about sitting through unrelated training videos: at a trade show you can get one-on-one access to the individuals who can answer your questions. If you’re nervous about approaching a booth and starting a conversation, wait for them to approach you. Once they do, introduce yourself, ask for a demonstration, or better yet, start asking questions. If you want to be prepared, write down a few questions for the top vendors you plan on visiting. Trade shows can be hectic at times, so knowing what you want to ask ahead of time can help.
In what other environment will you have unlimited access to top names in the industry, all in the exact same place? While attending a trade show, take advantage of the networking opportunities afforded to you. A lot of exhibitors and attendees use business cards to keep track of who they’ve talked to and who they should follow up with. Be sure to take your own business cards, and give them out to people you want to network with further. If you’re concerned that you won’t remember details about the person listed on each business card, take notes directly on the card so you’ll better remember the person when you pick up the phone a few days later to make a call.
Tons of Presentations
Most trade shows will have a list of scheduled presentations throughout the day. It’s usually a good idea to attend at least one or two, but feel free to attend more if you think they’ll be informative. Keep an eye out for presentations from companies you already have an interest in, and find out if you can record the presentations on a voice recorder. These presentations are usually pretty informative, and can provide you with good base-level knowledge about the subject or product. If you have any questions about the presentation or find yourself confused by the subject matter, you can always follow up with the presenter at their booth.
Want to find Music & Arts at a trade show? Check out our Events Schedule!
*photo via IAVM WHQ, CC