Okay let’s all say it all together, “This year’s IPC Apex Expo will be like no other.” Yes, sure of course! This year is like no other, it’s not even like last year’s which was really like no other. And now it’s time to get over it and make adjustments. Success comes to those who choose to adapt. And adapting like everything else in this life is an option and a viable one at that.
You can sit around bemoaning the fact that IPC is requiring all sorts of Covid protocols. So what, our whole life is now a Covid protocol. You can complain that there won’t be many people from other countries there. You can cry about the fact you won’t get to see many of your friends in San Diego this year. Yes, you can wallow in your own sea of negativity…or you can take the Monty Python approach and “Always look on the bright side of life”.
And there are some things you can do to make your experience at IPC Apex the best you’ve ever had. And here are seven of those:
- Spend time with key people: Because there will be fewer people there, you get to spend more quality time with the people who are there. Maybe there is a potential customer you have been trying to talk to about your wonderful product. I can guarantee that she will have time on her hands this year. Time she will be able to spend with you and to listen carefully to what you have to say.
- Check out that new product: There certainly will not be hoards of people standing in line to get a look at that new piece of equipment you are interested in buying. You’ll be able to get a good long look at it. You’ll be able to get a lot more of the salesperson’s time and attention so you can learn everything you need to know about that equipment.
- Get a better deal: Talking about that equipment, I am sure you’ll be able to negotiate a better deal. Equipment exhibitors hate, just hate, the idea of dragging that floor demo model all the way home. They would much rather sell it to you on the spot and then deliver it to your facility. And here’s another bonus: you’ll get that new piece of equipment sooner. These days when people buy a piece of equipment, they are waiting at least six months before they get to have it in their company. With a floor model you’ll be able to get it next week!
- Find key people: As always, some people come to the show to find a job. And we all need to find people who are looking for jobs right now so make a point of seeking out the job seekers. If you have a booth, have a sign. If you are walking the show look for these signs.
- Learn more about your industry; The most important thing is always information. The more valuable information you can gather the more effective you will be in your business. We have all been isolated for so long that we are all dying to find out what is going on in our industry. Take in all of the information you can. From going to the white paper presentations to talking to the men and women in the booths and in the aisles. Find out what’s new. Look for new innovation. Look for how other people and companies are handling the challenges that the pandemic has brought us. Listen and learn as much as you can. And as always remember that you learn more when you listen than when you talk.
- Promote yourself, your company, and your products: Get interviewed by publications like 007. It’s the best way to tell your story. If they don’t ask you to do an interview with them, then ask them! I am sure the trades will not be doing their customary hundreds of interviews and will be looking for new people to talk to. This is a great time to tell your story. It’s the gift that keeps on giving as you can use it for your own marketing as well.
- Take someone to dinner: This is one year that nobody’s dance card is going to be full. And I suspect that the restaurants won’t be full either. So make a point of setting up business meals with the right people. In many cases – like you – they have been literally and figuratively starved for business meals and conversation with other people in business. They will actually want to know what you have been up to and how your company is faring in these hard times.
And of course, in the ever popular spirit of under promising and over delivering, one more.
- Bring back the facts: Your folks at home will be dying to find out what happened at Apex this year. For the past month all I have heard about on my Zoom calls with people all over the world is: “Are you going to IPC Apex this year? What do you think that’s going to be like? Do you think a lot of people will be there?” And now those same people will want to know. “What was IPC Apex like this year? How many people were there? Who was there?” And take my word for it you’ll be the talk of the town for weeks to come. It’s only common sense.