How can you prepare for the trade fair visit?
1. Take a look at the exhibitors and companies beforehand
Preparation is half the battle - especially when visiting a trade fair. Therefore, be sure to take a look at the exhibitors and companies beforehand. You can find information about this on the website of the trade fair or in the associated trade fair catalogue.
For example, Internorga divides its exhibitors into different categories and themed halls to provide a better overview of the individual areas. You can find more information about Internorga 2023 here .
Find out about companies in your industry and look at the trade fair plan to see where they are located. The preparation also includes comparing different exhibitors with similar products or services.
If you have several exhibitors in mind with whom you would like to start discussions, then create a running plan that can navigate you to the selected stands. Especially at larger trade fairs, the stands are spread over different halls, which is why it's easy to get lost. If you are well prepared here, you can save both time and nerves, because nothing is more tedious than being in the wrong place.
Our tip: If you are not visiting the fair as a company representative, but are looking for a job, check the company's website for advertised positions. A website often also offers an insight into the corporate culture and values of the company. This allows you to optimally prepare for your first contact with your dream employer.
2. Contact selected companies & make an appointment
If you come across interesting exhibitors and companies during your research, it is a good idea to contact the HR department or to make an appointment directly via the exhibition website. Introduce yourself and state your intention. This could be, for example, an application, a cooperation application or an interview request. Add that you have noticed that the company is also an exhibitor at the trade fair and that you are interested in a personal exchange.
In the best case, an appointment can be made in advance. When you get an appointment, make sure you know the company's core information and have researched the products or services. Our tip : It is also a good idea to have suitable documents such as a cooperation agreement, a portfolio of your company or a draft offer with you on site.
Seeing and being seen is an important part of visiting the trade fair - especially for companies. Through personal discussions and presence, you simultaneously increase the awareness of your company and strengthen your brand. Customer acquisition has a higher success rate at trade shows through face-to-face contact, making it the perfect place to make connections with new customers, suppliers, and potential partners.
3. Set goals for your trade fair visit
People visit a trade fair for a wide variety of reasons: some would like to talk to exhibitors specifically in order to exchange information within the industry. Others want to get in touch with customers or suppliers to talk about further cooperation. Still others are looking for a suitable job, are there as a companion or simply want to be inspired by innovative ideas and new products.
Think about why you want to visit the fair and set goals for your visit. For example, are you on the Internorga en route, the destinations could look like this:
- Talk to customer X, Y, Z about satisfaction and further cooperation
- Visit the Newcomer Area to look for sustainable alternatives like # IAMPLASTICFREE straws watch
- Get new inspiration on the Skywalk board of the Internorga to the table decorations
These goals will help you to make the most of your visit to the fair. At the end of the day you can see whether you were able to meet your own requirements and what new collaborations or contacts were made.
4. Update your resume
If you are going to a job fair, there are a few important preparations you need to make. The first thing you should do is update your resume. Remember that sometimes less is more and often a well structured page looks better than a three page CV. Concentrate on the most important milestones in your professional career and try to accommodate both your soft skills and your hard skills. Soft skills are abilities such as the ability to work in a team, conflict management, solution-oriented thinking, independence and flexibility. Your hard skills describe the skills you have learned and your knowledge or experience in the respective field of activity. This can usually be proven with degrees, certificates or prizes.
Getting your resume in shape helps you keep track of your career so far while also giving you an idea for the future. Think about where you would like to work in the future or which aspects are important for you in a new job. So you are well prepared for interactions with other trade fair visitors as well as for discussions with exhibitors. If it happens that you exchange contact information with a company, you can use your prepared CV to send your application documents quickly.
Our tip: If you visit a trade fair as a company representative, it is also worth updating the company's portfolio and taking new trends and innovations into account.
What do I have to consider when visiting the trade fair?
5. First impressions count
Even before the first "Hello, I'm..." you made the first impression. How? Through your appearance, your body language and facial expressions.
Therefore, a well-groomed appearance is the be-all and end-all for the first good impression. Before the day of the fair, lay out your clothes and check that they are clean and intact. It should be professional clothing, in which you still feel comfortable, after all, trade fair days can be long.
Whether you feel comfortable is crucial for the second factor: charisma and body language. If you feel comfortable in your clothes, you radiate it. The other person perceives this and thus becomes aware of your self-confidence and your satisfaction. Try to have an open posture during the conversation and stay calm. Regardless of whether you are looking for new contacts, sales partners or new employers, just think to yourself: in the end you have nothing to lose, you can only gain new contacts and experiences.
Our tip: Practice your posture and appearance in front of a mirror. So-called "power positions" can also help you shortly before your "performance" to feel more self-confident and to radiate this.
6. Think about what you want to say
After the first impression has been made by the appearance, it is important to convince them with a conversation. Show yourself from your best side and try to approach your conversation partners openly. In order to start a successful conversation, it is therefore useful to think about how you would like to briefly introduce yourself and what your goals are in a conversation. Shows that you have engaged with the company and explains why exactly you are interested in the company. Also feel free to share what opportunities you see in a get-together. Please have your contact details ready to schedule subsequent appointments.
In addition, you can be remembered by asking questions. The following questions should serve as inspiration:
- How do you imagine a collaboration?
- What is the company's vision?
- What do you value most about your company?
- What would be the conditions for a cooperation?
- Is there a discount for a higher purchase quantity?
- Does sustainability matter?
- Questions about the services and products
- What is the corporate culture of the company like?
- Are there ways to expand your professional knowledge before the interview/start of work?
By asking questions, you not only show your general interest, but also that you have researched the company beforehand and have also prepared extensively for this interview.
In addition, you can discuss current topics that affect the industry or the job market in general in an introductory meeting. For example, you can talk about new forms of work aka Talk about “New Work” and exchange mutual experiences in this area. We have what exactly is behind “New Work” and how to implement “New Work” in the hospitality industry here summarized.
7. Attend events
Whether your purpose is job hunting, forging new partnerships, or just pure inspiration, events bring people together and create conversation. That's why it doesn't hurt to take a look at the themes of the events and current trends beforehand. For example, there are seminars on the subject areas in almost every area digitization , sustainability or foundership . Participating in events makes it easier to talk to other people and is therefore an essential part of networking.
In addition, you educate yourself professionally through lectures, tastings, discussions and workshops and find like-minded people who have similar interests, e.g plastic-free alternatives or smart digital solutions share for everyday use. Especially at events, participants are more open and at the same time more accessible to exchange contact details.
Our tip: Network not only by email or phone, but also through social platforms such as XING or LinkedIn. This keeps you in touch and at the same time you can see what is going on in the company and which topics their employees are dealing with and which new products and services are available.
What is the best way to visit a virtual trade fair?
8. Follow the fair on social media
Participating in a virtual trade fair naturally differs in essential aspects from the trade fairs we have known so far. Due to the Corona crisis, it is unfortunately not possible at the moment to hold trade fairs as part of a larger event framework. However, numerous trade fair organizers have come up with creative concepts to make trade fairs possible on the World Wide Web.
The social channels in particular are used to convey information and to interact with other exhibitors and visitors. Take an active part in these discussions and draw attention to yourself through expertise and new thoughts. To stay up to date, follow the fair on Instagram, Facebook or Linkedin or sign up for a newsletter if the fair offers one.
If you discover exhibitors that interest you during your research, follow them on the social platforms. Companies often publish both basic information and current concerns such as open positions for Food & Beverage Manager , Tips for the green revolution in the hospitality industry or other online events on industry-specific topics.
9. Interacts at online events
Not only events that take place in person, but also online events offer a good opportunity for networking. With comment and chat functions at virtual events, you can exchange ideas with others and find people with common interests.
At the same time, you can become aware of companies that deal with your areas of interest. So keep your eyes open for exciting events and topics and you will be surprised how many different areas there are specializations in.
Through online events such as lectures and discussions, you can expand your knowledge, discover new innovative products and get to know exciting companies (especially start-ups).
10. Take advantage of special offers
In these special times, both the trade fair organizers and the participating exhibitors come up with special promotions and offers to reach their virtual visitors.
For example, the Bar Convention Berlin three different tasting boxes - filled with samples of wine, spirits and small delicacies - put together and sent. Thus, the "true" trade fair experience, which includes tasting, feeling and smelling, can take place in your own four walls. Don't be put off by the prices of additional offers. If you were to visit the fair on site, there would also be costs for travel, food and drink, etc.
Our tip : Especially if the exhibitors and companies you are interested in offer such offers, this is a good starting point for the first contact and a subsequent conversation. You can also let the product quality and communication convince you. Use this unique opportunity to your advantage.
Prepare extensively for trade fairs!
Preparation is the be-all and end-all, especially at trade fairs. A detailed preparation for the trade fair as a visitor helps to keep an overview, to define your own goals and to get in touch with selected companies. At the same time, it contributes to self-confidence, since one has dealt extensively with one's own interests and intentions and is comprehensively informed about the other companies. Appropriate planning opens up further opportunities such as cooperation, new customers, a job, etc. that you would otherwise not have taken advantage of. Despite the ongoing Corona crisis, you don't have to forego your visit to the trade fair, but can take the next step towards the future from the comfort of your own home.
Here are all the items from the “Preparation for the trade fair for visitors” checklist once again:
- Take a look at the exhibitors/companies beforehand
- Contact selected companies and make an appointment
- Set yourself goals for your trade fair visit
- Update your resume/company portfolio
- The first impression counts
- Think about what you want to say
- Participate in events
- Follow the fair on social media
- Interacts with exhibitors and at online events
- Take advantage of special offers
We wish you a lot of success and fun during your visit to the fair. Whether on site or virtually, you are now well equipped for your successful visit to a trade fair. Do you have any other tips for an excellent trade fair visit? Then share them in the comments!