Tradeshow travel tips
Travelling can be cumbersome. Whether you’re a veteran tradeshow go-er or new to scene, consider these tips for comfortable and efficient travelling, to and from your next big event …

  1. Pack wisely. You’ll probably check the weather forecast before packing. But also remember to check as to whether or not your meetings have a dress code. Keep in mind that you’ll likely pick up a lot of materials and swag to bring back to the office, too—you should account for this when packing by reserving some space or packing an extra bag. If you’re carrying on your laptop, don’t forget to pack it in a check-point friendly case to breeze through security lines.
  2. Give yourself time. It might sound obvious, but avoid taking the last flight out the evening before you’re supposed to be at a tradeshow. Check-in online 24 hours before your flight to avoid being bumped in the event the plane has been overbooked and always spring for travel insurance in case of lost luggage, or if you find yourself amid a slew of cancellations due to weather or other disasters.
  3. Orient yourself early on. Know how far the hotel is from the convention centre or tradeshow site. Get a map of the neighbourhood and utilize online map tools or apps to compile walking or subway directions. Briefly familiarizing yourself beforehand will save time down the road and even money when cab fare is involved. Keep in mind, though, if the map shows your hotel is five blocks away, five blocks in Toronto is different from five blocks in Calgary. Know the distances and check to see if shuttles are available. Bonus tip: Stow maps and other travel and tradeshow documents in a handy case to keep everything together and crumple-free.
  4. Lounge around. Many airlines offer day passes to their travel lounges, which double as a quiet escape from the hectic airport setting. Most boast free wi-fi, complimentary beverages and snacks and quite nooks for getting work done and calls made on the go.
  5. Comfortable footwear is worth its weight in gold. Between running around airports and touring the tradeshow floor, foot fatigue is not an uncommon complaint. Select footwear accordingly—there are some great shoes out there that are made for extended periods of standing that are still professional and stylish—check out Walking on a Cloud for extensive foot-friendly options. Also, be sure to offer ample seating at your booth for staff to take a load off from time to time, too, and you can even go the extra mile and prepare yourself and your team for recharging in the evening after a long day on the floor with spa kits and some aromatherapy foot lotion.
  6. Choose travel-friendly display items. Perhaps the most cumbersome part of travelling to and from tradeshows, displays can make or break a trip and the success of your business’s presence. Shipping displays and supplies ahead of time is convenient, but not always cost-effective. Explore alternative options, like displays such as the presto easel or the oval display hard case that are built to endure being checked as luggage on long flights.
  7. Depart smart. When it comes time to leave the tradeshow, getting a taxi can be frustrating. So leave yourself plenty of time. You might even want to think about buddying up in a taxi with somebody. If need be, consider reserving a car service.

Travelling to and from your next tradeshow doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. With a little thought and planning, it might even be enjoyable. Happy trails!

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