- Prepare WELL in advance: In fact, Indium's B2B Marcom team has literally been preparing for this show more than one year in advance. We always make a list of the things that went well (to retain) and things that could be better-done next time (to fix). We use these lists for each and every show - and we refer to them frequently. They are the basis for our ongoing improvements. We review each show floor looking for next year's locations, vendors we can partner with, really effective exhibit designs, and anything else we can find that will help us get our message out in a better way. _x000D_
- Set goals: I'll give you one specific example - Indium Corporation wants to leverage the great experience, knowledge, and networks created by our blogging teams. Rather than sitting in our exhibit and waiting for customers and industry partners to show up, we are staging a MEET THE BLOGGERS event in our exhibit. We will issue invitations to this informal info swap and try to make something special happen. We've held brainstorming sessions, written down quantitative goals, and worked to make these goals come true. Special bonus note: It isn't a goal if it isn't in writing. _x000D_
- Meet with industry movers & shakers: It's important to meet and greet visitors to your exhibit, but there is a treasure trove of expertise in a small group of VIPs. Make a list, ideally set up meetings before the show starts, and get face to face. _x000D_
- Hold critical media meetings: the media is a critical part of any B2B Marcom team. Set an agenda, a time, and a place a month before the show opens. I have. _x000D_
- Plan to do something you've never done before: We don't get paid to be average. If we, as B2B Marcom professionals, think we're simply going to "do what we did last year" we're on the wrong plan. Yes, we've got to understand and respect what we did, but we've also got to build on it. I recommend mixing and matching ideas and concepts until you create a winner. I just may have a winner in the above-mentioned MEET THE BLOGGERS idea. We'll know next week. _x000D_
- Walk all over San Francisco: this city is perfect for walking. The sites are captivating (for an East Coaster) and the hills make for some good exercise. Try to NOT take a taxi to lunches, dinners, shows, etc. _x000D_
- Have dinner at Il Fornaio: I love the perfect (for me) combination of formality and warmth. The food is tremendous and the ambiance is perfect for relaxing. The service makes for either a great friendly business dinner or a purely personal night out. _x000D_
- Mel's Diner for A Chocolate Shake: I gotta' agree with Jim on this one. Dropping by Mel's during Semicon West is TRADITION (and tasty). As you can see in the image at the top of this posting, I downed TWO chocolate shakes back in 2005 (not happening this year). It's one of the coolest places on Mission Street. _x000D_
- Visit someplace special: There are things that can only be done in San Francisco: sightseeing, music, architecture, and so much more. Make the effort to do at least one special thing while at the show. _x000D_
- Travel safely: It's getting wild out there. Reduced flights, delayed flights, cancelled flights, reduced airplanes, reduced airline staff, extra charges for baggage, cramped seats, no meals (and we haven't even arrived yet). Taxis, hotels, security, lack of security, the show floor, etc. add to the potential trouble a traveler may experience. There is a lot to watch out for while on the road. Plan ahead, think, be smart (don't open your hotel room door for any unexpected person - ever).
Enjoy the show, enjoy ALL shows. Make your own Top 10 list that suits your particular needs and goals - then go for it.