Top tips for a first time IMEX attendee

By Monica Compton

3 mins

How to make the most of your first trade show experience

Attending an event for the first time can be overwhelming. There are thousands of event planners, exhibitors and attendees on the trade show floor. Follow our top tips to ensure you have the best possible IMEX experience as a first time attendee. 

Plan your schedule before you land

This seems like a given, especially for those who organize events for a living. IMEX is different. There are many educational sessions and hundreds of stand activities occurring each day.

If you are a hosted buyer, plan your appointments around education sessions. IMEX makes sure there is enough time to meet your buyer obligations and still benefit from education and networking. That’s why there are so many activities and opportunities at the same time.

The bustling entrance to Hall 8 at IMEX Frankfurt

Attendees enjoy some Las Vegas sunshine outside IMEX America

Map your day using the floor plan

Before the show begins each day, find the location of your appointments and top activity choices on the show floor map. While rushing for a meeting, I’ve turned in circles trying to find the correct aisle on the show floor.

The amount of activity creates a vortex that can suck you in. From stands offering complimentary champagne and canapés, to country representatives dancing around in native dress, a hubbub ensues that is really exhilarating. By making sure you know the location of meetings in advance, you can still enjoy the festivities along the way (and no one cares if you carry your champagne around the show floor).

Eat, hydrate, rest, repeat

IMEX is a four-day marathon. You have to schedule a lunch break likes it’s a required appointment. Although the main show floor can be chaotic, there are areas that offer a quiet getaway to sit, eat, drink and think.

About the author

Monica Compton, CMP, is a global meeting planner and travel writer who has worked in over 30 countries and five continents. With three years’ worth of IMEX experience, she’s got plenty of tips and tricks to help your first time at the show go smoothly.

Monica Compton