With tens of thousands of people attending some trade shows, many clamoring for the attention of trade show exhibitors, industry executives, trade show press and others, the logistics of running a schedule smoothly – or as smoothly as possible – is critical in planning time with the right people, avoiding most conflicts and maximizing the value one can get out of the time and expense of being at the event.
“Depending on the show, we can have a lot of meetings that overlap and with the team needed at various places at different times; not to mention the interruptions that happen when people who weren’t on the schedule stop by the booth to meet impromptu,” said Jon Bacon, vice president of marketing for SureCall.
“Being prepared and organized helps us be smart about adapting on the fly if needed and planning for redundancies at meetings, so if one can’t make it, we’re still covered.”
Physical planning tools had been the norm until the rise of the digital age and the continued evolution of those tools has made planning before and during events much easier for individuals and for teams.
Rather than using hard copies and “game plan books” that could easily be misplaced and were difficult to keep straight once inevitable changes occurred, such as meeting cancellations, unexpected sessions or other changes or interruptions, show attendees and exhibitors now have digital tools that sit on their smartphones or tablets, making them easier to update for the user, the team and to notify others of any scheduling changes, minimizing the chance of “no-shows” for scheduled meetings.
The digital tools also correct for time zone differences between different parties, eliminating confusion when someone from London is going to meet someone from California at a trade show in Orlando, Fla., or any similar scenario involving people from different parts of the country or of the world.
The following are the tools that todays technologists and integrators use to keep their schedules and plans at shows running as smoothly as possible.