The four-day event can be both exhilarating and exhausting, and everyone involved needs to pace themselves if they are going to avoid Big Show Burnout. By concentrating on "The One," Expo attendees can focus their efforts on what is most important to them and best utilize their time without suffering tradeshow exhaustion.
Before ever setting foot inside the Jacob Javits Convention Center on January 11, retailers need a solid pre-show plan in place centered on a primary objective. Large-scale industry events like The Big Show can often be daunting. Without establishing a focus prior to arrival, attendees can get pulled in a million different directions and end up gaining very little from the experience.
Big Show attendance is a significant allocation of both time and money and to maximize ROI attendees need to prioritize their time. Whether it is product evaluation, education, or networking a single goal should be established and all time commitments at the show aligned with a singular focus.
For example, if you have earmarked location-based marketing efforts as a key initiative for 2015 build your Expo schedule with that theme in mind. Make a list of "must-see" and "nice-to-see" vendors in the space and be sure to hit all of the "must-sees" booths. When reviewing the vast educational opportunities available onsite, highlight the sessions that are focused on location awareness and block out time in your schedule to attend. RIS' NRF preview guide is a great place to find the sessions most relevant to you.
Your personal Expo theme should even be carried out after hours as well. Retail execs are inevitably invited to countless receptions, dinners and special events outside the show floor and should make their decisions on which to attend based on its alignment with their singular goal.
The NRF Big Show is the industry's premier event for a reason — everything retail tech is under one roof for four action-packed days. But no attendee can see it all. Establish a pre-show focus and stick to it and you will have a meaningful experience and return to the office with your One Thing in tow.