All throughout the year there are many tradeshows and expos across the country for the Fire & EMS service industry. From small, regional shows with a few hundred attendees to large, national shows with thousands of participants, there’s always a lot to gain from these shows. These shows provide excellent training and demonstrations, insight into the latest industry tools and products and a great networking environment, but they can also seem a little daunting.
Whether you’ve been going to tradeshows for 20 years, or you are getting ready for your first one, these 5 tips will help you get the most out of your time there.
- PREPARE – Write down questions you want answered, and a list of goals you have for what you hope to accomplish and learn at the event. Interview your chief, fellow firefighters, EMS personnel, and any inspectors you work with to find out what they would be interested in learning more about.
- SCHEDULE – It’s a good idea to keep some wiggle room in your agenda so that you can be spontaneous and go with the flow of the exhibit hall or strike up unplanned conversations, but make sure you plan to attend at least a few scheduled trainings or events. If there are vendors you know you want to visit, look at where they are on the event map in relation to each other, and plan which booths to visit on which day so that you aren’t roaming from one end of the hall to the other needlessly.
- USE TECHNOLOGY – Use your smartphone or tablet to take pictures of information you want to remember. It’s a lot faster than writing things down, and is easily shared with others through a text message or email. You can also take pictures of business cards to avoid packing them around and possibly misplacing them later. We also recommend taking pictures of all of your receipts to make expense reports a breeze when you get home.
- WIN PRIZES – Freebies, giveaways and contests are part of what make these events so much fun. Bring a bag with you to tote brochures and free stuff. If you visit Emergency Reporting’s booth, we often give our visitors fun gifts (like t-shirts or firefighter stress balls) and host drawings where you can win prizes like Amazon gift cards or even iPads. It’s so easy to enter – plus, you have nothing to lose, and all sorts of free swag to gain!
- TAKE NEW KNOWLEDGE BACK TO YOUR STATION – So you did your research, visited all of the vendors you wanted to visit, checked out some training seminars, watched a demo of the new InspectER app for Inspectors and Fire Marshalls at Emergency Reporting’s booth, and are now ready to share the new things you learned with key people back at the station. Don’t go to all the work of writing a long report. Instead, post a piece of collateral (a “sell sheet”) from a vendor you liked on your main bulletin board with a note inviting co-workers to join you for an online phone demo on X date. At each booth, you can easily find out who the correct sales rep is for your territory. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy being the hero.
Click here to see the list of tradeshows Emergency Reporting will be attending in 2017 – if you see one you’re attending, please be sure to stop by our booth and say “hi”!
Headed to FDIC in Indianapolis next week? Our team from Emergency Reporting will be there from April 27-29th, at booth #5339. We hope to see you there!