It’s that time of the year.

Lots of travel, fun cities, and… hotel ballrooms.

Yes, it’s trade show season, and we’ve attended and hosted our fair share of these events. These eight tips are some nuggets of knowledge we’ve picked up along the way, and they can maximize your trade show experience:

  • Location, Location, Location: Consider staying in the same hotel where the trade show is being hosted. Now, the key events are an elevator’s ride away.

  • Get Carded: Bring business cards to swap with vendors and colleagues you meet. (Pro tip: skip the glossy finish and stay matte. The glossy finish makes it more difficult to write quick memos on the card.)

  • Divide and Conquer: Trade shows offer great CE’s and seminars, but with the overlapping courses, you’re bound to miss that one you were looking forward to. Solve this problem by bringing someone with you to divide and conquer. Divvy up the courses between the two of you, and be sure to share notes when the conference is over.

  • Go Mobile: Most trade shows have their own apps you can download from the Apple Store or Google Play, and they’re free! Now those updates and last-minute schedule changes are right at your fingertips.

  • Baby, It’s Cold Inside: Trust us on this one. Every trade show floor is freezing. Layer up.

  • Get on the Floor: A room full of strangers is intimidating, but there is so much opportunity waiting for you on the trade show floor. Who knows? This may be the moment when you find that life-changing piece of innovative technology that changes the whole game for your pharmacy.

  • The Social Network: Attend as many reception events as you can. These are great opportunities to network with other pharmacists.

  • Work Hard, Play Hard: Notice your conferences are usually in large, touristy cities? Take advantage of your time away from the pharmacy and plan something fun to do in the area while you’re attending the conference. Go on, you earned it.

Whether you’re heading to a regional conference or a national convention, make the most of your time there. Be open to new ideas, travel safe, and have a great time!

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