I am preparing to attend the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) show in Amsterdam on February 9th – 12th. Now this is not my first time attending a tradeshow, but it is my first time attending an international tradeshow in another country. So there is slightly more research that is required for preparing for ISE than for a tradeshow in the United States.
The first part of my preparation is knowing where I will be traveling to. As Amsterdam is located in Europe, I will need a passport. Done. Amsterdam is located more north than I currently live, so I need to find out what the weather will be like there. Cold and potentially wet. I next needed to know how the locals dress so that I can pack warm, yet socially acceptable clothing. Fortunately for me, Amsterdam is a rather casual city. Multiple bloggers suggest comfortable shoes as the city is very friendly to walking and most of the streets are made of cobblestones. Yay, no heels!
Now that I know what clothing to pack, I want to know more about Amsterdam, especially for when I have some downtime. There are many museums, the local soccer stadium where the Netherlands National Team plays, the Heineken brewery, and many other places. The city is also very friendly to cyclist and walkers so you can just take in the scenery while walking around.
Now for the actual show… I often recommend to people attending a tradeshow that they come up with a list of manufacturers or products that they want to see at the show. Start with that list and if the items on the list are must-see items, then contact the manufacturer ahead of time to book a booth tour. But don’t overbook yourself with booth tours, as you also want the flexibility to walk the floor to see other products and solutions.
Whether you are male or female, you are going to want to wear comfortable shoes as you will be walking on concrete that has a thin layer of carpet over it for eight hours. Evening activities can vary from client or manufacturer dinners to social get-togethers with colleagues and friends.
If you need continuing education credits such as InfoComm Renewal Units, you may want to consider scheduling a class. Even if you do not need RUs, you may still want to consider taking a class depending upon the topics offered and what you are interested in learning.
Throughout the show days and in the evenings there are many networking events that allow you to interact with other colleagues with the same interests. These events can be enlightening as they allow you to get to know other people in the industry.
So those are my tips and what I’ve used to prepare for my trip to ISE in Amsterdam. If you are attending ISE feel free to contact me so we can connect there!