How Growth-Focused VARs Successfully Tackle RetailNOW (and Other Big Trade Shows)

All SMB leaders wish they had more time, and that’s especially true for VARs and ISVs attending a large trade show. We asked a dozen reseller executives during a recent RSPA VAR Business Growth & Development Community meeting how they plan to successfully navigate RetailNOW 2024 which expects to attract 180+ exhibitors and 1,600+ attendees July 28-30 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

Among the avalanche of advice the VARs shared were these golden nuggets:

  • Begin internal conversations 60-90 days out on what types of vendors/products to target at the show
  • Review the RetailNOW 2024 show floor map (updated as new exhibitors sign on) to determine your top priority vendors
  • Develop a list of vendors you want to see and divide them into separate “top priority” and “want to meet” lists
  • Email the RSPA Member Services Team at asking them to make warm introductions on your behalf to “top priority” vendors so you know who to ask for when you visit their booth
  • Understand the areas where you won’t play in the near future and eliminate those vendors from your “want to meet” list
  • Dedicate most of your time on the show floor to learning about new vendors; schedule meetings with current vendors during meals, networking events, or after hours
  • Leave time open on the show floor for serendipitous moments; meet with someone you don’t know, learn what they offer, and see what happens
  • Don’t permanently write off any vendor; their offering might have changed and you could be a fit for each other now
  • Send multiple team members to the show and make sure they are present at all show activities to learn as much as possible during the event
  • Split up to attend breakout education sessions and be exposed to as many show speakers as possible
  • At the end of each day (or the start of a new day) at the show, have a brief team sync meeting to share what you learned and to understand what’s left on your plan to execute
  • After you return home from the show, have staff members present to each other what they learned from the breakouts they attended
  • Arrive at the show a day early to collaborate with fellow solution provider attendees

Don’t miss the retail IT channel’s #1 trade show, education conference, and networking event July 28-30 in Las Vegas! Visit the RetailNOW 2024 website and register today.