Since I returned from my holiday I’ve probably worked on the preparation of our attendance at BDTA Showcase at least part of every day (that’s the whole of September then!). And this is what I’ve been involved in and responsible for: • The stand re-design, install and de-rig • The lighting and power • The furniture – beech effect or plastic? • The flooring – cord, vinyl or rib? • Health and safety • The method for data capture – more on that later • What we were to show on our TV screen • The book cases • The invoices and payments • The enquiry forms • The appointments with suppliers, existing clients and those all important new clients • The passes for our team and our guests • The taxis and private drivers • The guest lists for supper • Menu choices • The hotel rooms (24 bed nights) • The travel plans • The accessories – apples, water, vases, pens, wet wipes, spare bulbs, remote controls … you’ve got the gist • Keeping the whole team in the right place at the right time for all their appointments throughout the three days Don’t get me wrong I love, love, love all of it and please don’t take this responsibility away from me! However, the point of attending a dental trade show which represents manufacturers, services, suppliers and its members is • to engage • to network • to converse • to convince • to encourage • to source • to bond • to build • to convert BUT more importantly the purpose of attending and engaging is to do something about and to do something with the data which you have (hopefully) carefully collected during the event. We did reserve a teeny gadget (scanner) for this purpose and, as promised, on Monday morning at 11:15 in came an email containing the data we had captured. We also had a back up in the form of forms to fill in and write copious notes on. There really isn’t any point in investing so much time, cost and energy if you don’t do anything with the leads that you have gathered as a company. The BDTA will tell you that they had 20,000 registrations for their show. Every trade show is important to your trade so if you are going to attend make it worthwhile. We feel we had a very successful show so forgive me if I stop writing now and go back to my follow-ups!