Conferences and trade shows are excellent opportunities to meet people from your industry who can help connect you to your next sale, your next job opportunity or give career advice and industry information. The 2019 WRLA (Western Retail Lumber Association) Buying Show is taking place January 16th – 18th at BMO Centre, Stampede Park in Calgary. Here, retailers in the lumber and home improvement industry from across Canada will meet to take advantage of trade show pricing, view and try new products, hear about upcoming trends, and make industry-wide connections. With over 700 booths and 265 exhibiting companies, it’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity.  Here are some tips for how to make the most of your time there.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Many conference goers avoid eye contact with people at booths, afraid they’ll be sold something they don’t want. Most booth staff just want to share information and are genuinely looking to help you find the solutions or products that work for you. So make sure you smile, say hello, and ask about their company. If it’s not a good fit, say thank you and move on to the next booth – but don’t miss an opportunity to connect.
  2. Arrive early. One tip for being able to have a real conversation with attendees and exhibitors is to get there early. It’s quieter, there are fewer people, and there’s less rush on either the attendee’s or exhibitor’s part. Plus, many trade shows feature an early registration breakfast and coffee meeting where attendees can introduce themselves, chat and exchange business cards.
  3. Practice your pitch. If you’re attending a conference with a specific goal – e.g. to pitch a new product or find new clients for your business – practice your speech. Keep is short and personable.
  4. Don’t head home right away. One of the best places for conference attendees meet industry contacts is at after-conference meetups and networking events. Conferences frequently have sponsors who host post-show meetups where attendees can relax and enjoy a conversation away from the trade show floor.

If you’re looking for your next career move or industry connection, make sure you visit the TalentSphere booth. We’re excited to meet you!