PackExpo 2016 CMG PlasticsSo, you’re going to PackExpo. So are we (see us in Upper Lakeside Hall, Booth #E-7552booth). Tradeshow experts say you can get more out of two days at a tradeshow than you can out of a month on your computer or you phone – because everyone and everything is all there in one place. But to capture this value as an attendee you have to prepare. Here’s our advice on how to do that – at PackExpo – or any show:

Before the Show

  1. Shows can be overwhelming – and if you just show up without a plan (and too many do), you are going to miss a lot. The first step in building a plan is to know exactly what you want to get out of the show. Are you going to make contacts, see demos, vet suppliers, get pricing, see what’s new, attend seminars or something else?
  2. Then make an hour-by-hour plan to achieve your goals. A great starting point is the show’s website which shows you who’s exhibiting, a map of where they are on the show floor, seminar and event schedules and more.
  3. See if you can make appointments with the companies you want to see most. Some of the savvier exhibitors support this. Look for companies promoting appointment on the show’s website.
  4. Prepare your list of key supplier questions before hand – so you don’t miss something crucial

At the Show

  1. Consider how you want to appear to the people you meet, then dress the part
  2. Save time and get more from your conversations by avoiding the heaviest crowds. Go early, or wait for the second day, or morning of the third day.
  3. Before going into a booth and talking to a rep, scope out what’s happening in the booth first – this can tell you important things about the company and its customers
  4. Monitor the show’s Twitter and Instagram hashtag feeds (e.g., #showname) between stops – they can be a good source of information and entertainment
  5. Watch what you take. Lots of people will try to give you stuff – branded water bottles, literature, tchotchkes, business cards. Only take what you really need (after a show, hotel rooms are full of abandoned stuff)
  6. Work it – it’s really tempting, particularly when you’re tired and your feet hurt, to call it a day, but you paid good money to get there. Make it count.

Post Show

  1. On the plane ride home, make a detailed follow-up plan and timeline – then stick to it.

Bonus Tips

  • Register for the show early – there is often a discount for early registration
  • Stay in the event’s official hotel or hotels – and hang out in the common areas and bars. It’s a great way to make connections.
  • Most critical – bring two pairs of really comfortable shoes. Never wear the same pair two days in a row. If you don’t know why, you’ll find out.

We hope to see you at PackExpo. Safe travels.

CMG Plastics is a custom plastic packaging manufacturer focused on the food, healthcare and packaged goods industries. We offer a range of sophisticated customization capabilities and the ability to produce custom packaging with excellent consistency at high-speed. If you want to learn more, please visit us at PackExpo booth show #E-7552, or contact Jens (pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 ext. 203.

Visit our Online Booth at