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Making the Most of a Booth Visit

Getting the most out of each booth visit is a win-win for all involved.

Everyone winks and smiles knowingly when you announce that you’ll be attending a convention in Las Vegas. After all, Las Vegas is the place where things happen and then stay.

The reality is most people really do attend the NAB show to check out gear in the nearly endless number of booths on the exhibition floor. Getting the most out of each booth visit is a win-win for all involved.

It helps bolster you as an employee by proving to your boss that sending you was money well spent. And finding a product that is the right fit for your station or company is the crux of the whole shebang. It’s why we all go and it’s a boost for everyone — employee, boss and exhibitor.

Read on to learn how to make the most of your time on the exhibit floor. Plan right and it may leave you a couple hours to enjoy the Sin City ambiance.


With almost 1500 exhibitors, NAB2007 is huge, to say the least. You will be physically unable to visit every booth, but enough can’t be said for planning ahead.

Before you even step foot in Vegas, outline with your employer the top 10–20 booths to visit. Mark on an exhibit floor map where the booths are and group “nearby” exhibits together in the same general time frame or day.

Once you’re in a booth, have a list of what you want to ask or hope to obtain from meeting with the representatives. Make sure you gather information related to products and services of interest to you and your company.

Look around the booth and take the time to look at products of interest to you. This can be tiring when it’s the 458th booth you’ve visited, but booth denizens respond well to interest in their company. After all, the products in this booth may be just what you need.

At some point, you’ll want to exchange business cards, so bring plenty. If you have never been to an NAB show before, bring twice the quantity of business cards you think you’ll need. Better still, wear clothes with convenient pockets to make the exchange of cards simple. For example, keep your business cards in your left breast pocket and save cards youI receive in your right breast pocket.

Take a moment to look at the card and place it into a pocket — dropping it into a bag of literature is psychologically akin to feeding it into a shredder.


Deals are often made over handshakes. If you want the best treatment in a booth, be prepared to shake hands, smile sincerely and look into the eyes of the person you’re meeting. You’ll do this so often over the four days of the show that it will become second nature.

If you find that a salesperson isn’t really interested in you because your organization is small or little-known, relax. There are 20 other companies that offer similar products and services, and at least a few of them will be very happy for your business.

And while new products may be the main point of your visit to the convention, don’t forget to speak to vendors of products your company currently uses to voice concerns or offer suggestions.

Finally, one oft overlooked but important aspect of walking the NAB exhibit floor is comfort. Think cotton and Dr. Scholl’s, and plan ahead for opportunities to get off your feet a few times during the day.

Smart NAB attendees bring a cloth bag with long shoulder straps to carry the cubic yards of brochures and spec sheets that will be thrust into your hands. Trust me on this one — everyone will be your friend and want to know where you got that practical cloth bag.

Bob Kovacs is a broadcast engineer who has both manned and visited booths at the NAB convention. He’ll be the one with comfortable shoes, lots of pockets and a cloth bag.