Trade Show 101 for Designers

03/31/2017 20:34:14
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Ever wonder how a designer sifts through the myriad design options and new products to find inspiration? Check out these exclusive tips from Baldwin Design Council Member, Carol Kurth, of Carol Kurth Architecture + Interiors.

Heading out to design trade shows is a great way to see the industry’s latest and greatest in one, jam-packed venue.

Prepare yourself for the pilgrimage!

A couple of tips from a veteran show goer:

A Week / Few Days Prior

  •  Pre-register & print out your ticket ahead of time - this saves a huge amount of time you could be spending in lines
  • Reach out and network with vendors to see if they'll be at the show. Oftentimes, they have VIP passes or events which serve as a great networking opportunity.

 Heading to the Show:

  • Pack a phone charger & backup battery (trade shows somehow drain your battery just when you want that cool photo…)
  • Create a list to keep track of any real pressing client needs you're on the lookout for.
  • Don’t forget your business cards!

  • Hydration is key. Make sure to pack your water!

  • Wear comfy shoes (But then again, is there such a thing?)

  • Bring a large tote to avoid coat check and stow your jacket.

At the Show:

  •  Be strategic about walking the show, otherwise you'll find yourself doubling back and missing booths. I like to think about it as if I'm at the grocery store checking out the goods, right to left, front to back.
  •  Check out special speakers, product demos that you wanted to see live in action and meet the reps who are invaluable as your future resource.
  • Check out the food & beverages at specific booths, usually an hour or so before the end of the show each day. This is a great time to network!
  • Your bag gets heavy collecting all that literature so go paperless whenever you can! 
  • Keep moving or you’ll never see the whole show!

Overall, trade shows prove to be an enriching experience full of good times, amazing networking opportunities and numerous educational experiences. Follow these tips and tricks, and you will be a veteran show-goer in no time: guaranteed!

Carol Kurth, FAIA ASID
Carol Kurth Architecture + Carol Kurth Interiors
| Baldwin Design Council |

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