Problem Solver - August 2009
Find a printable version here

Expanding Your Knowledge at Trade Shows

Now might not be the easiest time to travel to trade shows and conferences, but despite the budget crunching, there's still plenty of value to be gained by visiting with suppliers and manufacturers, by learning from industry experts and by networking with peers whose experience might benefit you as you try to reach your own goals with your facility.

If you want to shake things up, why not check out a European conference for a change of pace?

Q: What's the value in going to Europe for a conference and trade show?

A: If you travel to Europe, you'll not only get to enjoy seeing new things, people and places, you can also learn something new. With a multicultural audience, this type of conference might give you a chance to be exposed to ideas you'd never have considered or even heard about in the United States.

Every two years in Cologne, Germany, a conference takes place that is perfect for municipal leaders, facility managers, architects and engineers, operators of sports, pool and leisure facilities, landscapers and operators of hotels, gyms and campgrounds. You'll find an exhibit hall full of products aimed for use in sports facilities, public pools, playgrounds and urban design as well as service providers like project planners.

Q: What should I do to prepare before heading out to such a conference?

A: Take some time to search the exhibitor listing on the Web site and draw a plan of who you want to visit prior to the show. Contact the companies and set up appointments. European exhibitors are used to scheduling appointments and take time for sit-down meetings in their booth and offer refreshments.

Be sure to leave space in your schedule, though. You may learn something new or find an exhibitor worth talking to who is not part of your original plan.

Also, check out the additional programs and sessions taking place during your visit. You'll get a chance to get information from experts from around the world who might just give you an outstanding new idea to bring back home to your own facility.

Koelnmesse: 49-221-821-2319