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Navigating COVERINGS: From Small Fish to Podcaster Extraordinaire

Updated: Apr 28

As I gear up for COVERINGS, the global tile and stone trade show, I can't help but reminisce about my first experience navigating the bustling aisles alone. Comfortable shoes are a must, because my first show I wore stilettos-BABY!!! OH NO!!!! Comfortable shoes are a must, save the heels for the evening parties because there will be plenty!

The overwhelming feeling of being a small fish in a vast sea of industry giants lingered. Years have passed, and with each trade show, I've grown. From making connections to joining organizations, becoming a mentor, and even stepping onto the stage as a speaker, I've gradually become a more integral part of the industry landscape. And now, as a podcaster hosting live from the show alongside esteemed colleagues Michelle Winters and Julee Ireland, I'm reminded that while I may still feel like a small fish, but I'm shoaling with other small fish.

Thank you for joining me as I reflect on my journey from trade show newbie to seasoned pro. I'll share insights into preparing for your first trade show, what to expect, and how to navigate the whirlwind of networking opportunities and industry trends. Whether you're a first-time attendee or a seasoned veteran, there's always something new to discover at COVERINGS. So lace up those comfortable shoes, dive in with me, and let's make waves at the most exciting event in the tile and stone industry Let's dive in.

As a female professional gearing up for your first trade show, the excitement and anticipation may be palpable. However, amidst the buzz of preparing for the event, it's crucial to ensure you're fully equipped to navigate the experience with confidence and ease.

Here's a comprehensive guide to help you prepare and make the most of your debut at the trade show:

1. Comfortable yet Professional Attire: Finding the perfect balance between comfort and professionalism is key. Opt for outfits that allow you to move freely while still making a polished impression. Remember to prioritize comfortable shoes, as you'll likely be traversing the trade show floor for extended periods.

2. Business Cards Are Your Best Friend: Stock up on business cards to exchange with fellow attendees, exhibitors, and potential clients. This simple yet effective networking tool will ensure you leave a lasting impression and facilitate future connections.

3. Pack Your Handbag Essentials: Equip your handbag with must-have items such as hand sanitizer, breath mints, tissues, a portable phone charger, and any necessary medications. These essentials will keep you feeling refreshed and prepared throughout the day.

4. Take Note: Bring along a notebook or tablet to jot down important information, contacts, and key takeaways from presentations or conversations. This habit will help you stay organized and retain valuable insights long after the trade show ends.

5. Strategize Your Networking Approach: Plan your networking strategy in advance by identifying key exhibitors or individuals you'd like to connect with. Prepare relevant talking points or questions to initiate meaningful conversations and leave a lasting impression.

6. Prioritize Self-Care: Don't forget to prioritize self-care amidst the hustle and bustle of the trade show. Pack items like a small water bottle, healthy snacks, and lip balm to stay hydrated and energized throughout the day. I meal prep every trade show, so make sure if you are a pyscho like me about food, call ahead and make sure your hotel has a refrigerator in the room.

7. Boost Your Confidence: Bring along items that boost your confidence, whether it's your favorite lipstick, a lucky charm, or a motivational quote. Feeling confident will help you make a positive impression and navigate the event with ease.

8. Choose the Right Bag: Select a comfortable yet stylish bag to carry your essentials. Consider options like a crossbody or backpack-style bag to distribute weight evenly and keep your hands free for networking.

9. Consider Backup Shoes: Consider bringing a pair of backup shoes in case your feet need a break from your primary footwear. This simple precaution will ensure you can stay comfortable and focused throughout the event.

10. Embrace the Experience: Approach the trade show with a positive attitude and an open mind. Embrace the opportunities for learning, networking, and growth that the event presents, and seize the chance to make meaningful connections that can propel your career or business forward. With these essential tips in your arsenal, you're well-equipped to embark on your first trade show journey with confidence and poise. Embrace the excitement of the event and seize every opportunity to shine amidst industry peers and professionals. Here's to a successful and unforgettable trade show experience!


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