Trade show visitors

5 tips for making the most of packaging machinery trade shows

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world visit packaging trade shows to explore the latest innovations and find new ways to reduce their packaging costs and increase production efficiency. While trade shows can open the door to a number of new opportunities, successfully navigating these busy events can sometimes be a challenge.

With so much information available it is important to arrive prepared. To help, we have put together our top five tips for how to get the most out of packaging trade shows:

1. Speak to the experts

Trade shows offer a unique opportunity to speak face to face with some of the world’s leading experts in your industry. On few other occasions will the leading minds in your field be gathered together in the same room, primed and ready to answer all your specific questions.

For both the exhibitors and the attendees the trade show is about more than sales. It is about discovery. Face to face interaction between service provider and client is a fundamental part of understanding the complex and specific needs that exist within the market – and this works both ways.

From our perspective, Mpac’s main goals at trade shows are to educate and to understand. We want to know what we can do to best support your business, whether that be offering additional applications for our machines or adapting our after-care services. On the flip side, we want to help visitors become aware of the many ways in which Mpac can help them.

So, make the most of this free access to industry leading experts who are ready to answer your questions, but most importantly, listen.

2. Make appointments up front

Truth be told, the value of accessing industry experts is no secret to many veteran trade show visitors and popular stalls can get extremely busy. Fighting against a crowd of question-laden professionals may leave time in limited supply. That’s why we advise booking an appointment in advance.

A great place to start is always the trade show website where you can find a list of all the companies that will be exhibiting. If you have a very specific or urgent question, you may already know exactly who you need to speak to. Alternatively, this might be your first show and you might not have any specific companies in mind.

Either way, a top tip for making the most out of your time at the trade show is to do your preparation. Look through the list of exhibitors and book appointments with the companies relevant to your industry. This process might also point you to some new names that you hadn’t already considered. You never know these conversations might just spark something unexpected

3. Share your time, share your ideas

Trade shows are a melting pot for ideas. Sometimes visiting stalls that you hadn’t originally considered can lead to unexpected positive outcomes. It is through the trading of approaches and technologies that the entire industry continues to innovate.

All the major trade shows will have a series of stimulating talks, seminars and workshops hosted by industry leaders. These curated experiences are a great place to meet other attendees, network with potential clients and trigger inspiration.

To make sure you best utilise these opportunities, do your research before you attend. Make a list of the talks that you want to see and explore any supporting resources. Preparing for these sessions will help you get the most value from them.

4. Check out the competition

While browsing exhibitors’ offerings and asking questions in seminars, you will likely be brushing shoulders with a number of your key competitors. Take this opportunity in a collaborative environment to build valuable relationships.

Understanding your competitors will help you gain better insight into the overall landscape of your industry. This knowledge puts you in an ideal position to identify trends and formulate strategies to best capitalise on them.

Of course, staying one step ahead of the competition is important, but a thorough appreciation of the overall landscape will allow for you to approach certain challenges collaboratively. These new relationships might create new synergies that can be further explored when you and your competitors rub shoulders once again at the next trade show.

5. Make sure that you share your details

The trade show is just the beginning. If you are genuinely interested in what exhibitors have to offer, then make sure to leave your details with the team. This way, they can get in contact with you to build a relationship, better understand your business needs and find a way to solve your packaging needs.

The more detailed the information you give the better packaging solutions providers can find. Popular stands can leave a trade show with thousands of leads, so it is important to help the team find your information as easily as possible and not waste a moment in getting back in contact.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself! To be surrounded by a set of knowledgeable and energised professionals from your industry is a rare thing. We know that our team really enjoy every event that we attend and we hope you do as well.

Mpac has already attended several high-profile events around the world this year, including Tissue World Milan, Empack and IBIE 2019. This month we will be attending PACK EXPO 2019 in Las Vegas and FachPack 2019.

Contact us for any information or to book an appointment with us at one of our upcoming events.

Posted by Jenny Millington