You’ve registered, you’re getting ready to pack, and maybe super excited to get out of the office and meet some of your sign and graphics colleagues from around the globe. Some of you have had to justify the time away to your boss, and some of you will need to report back after the show. All of you can find value, take home new insights, and create meaningful encounters with potential partners while you’re onsite in Florida during ISA Sign Expo 2016.04242014_ISA_Orlando_0073_GN

Here are a few tips on how to make sure your investment pays off and you walk away with ideas and deals to increase your revenue streams and profits.

Get Oriented

As soon as you arrive at the Orange County Convention Center and register, you can attend the orientation meeting on Thursday morning at 8:30. This is a great way to meet some of your colleagues, get some information about the show and exchange some business cards.

Make sure you know where you want to go and when. The schedule is on display in the foyer outside of the trade show floor on the large video wall donated by Daktronics, and is available on page 4 of the show guide and on the ISA Sign Expo Mobile App (sponsored by Nova Polymers). Remember to pick up a map to help you navigate your way.

Create a tentative schedule and then be flexible in case you meet someone new you want to engage with.

LoungeandLearnweb (10 of 13)Get Smart

Participate in the education opportunities available — register for any education session or a package. There’s still time — just visit the registration desk. Free sessions are also available on the show floor in the Lounge & Learn and the Dynamic Digital Park. Schedules are in the show guide and on the App. This is where you can pick up ideas, learn about the latest trends, and take home some key points you can share with your team.

Try to show up a bit early. Popular sessions and events are going to fill up fast. Getting there early aids your networking and ensures that you’ll get your first choice in seating.

Get Involved

Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, be open to new experiences and people. Networking and engaging with others will help your business and your career and give you openings to new business opportunities as well as lifelong friendships with colleagues who share your interests.

  • Engage with the event through social media. This gives you an insider’s view of what is trending before and during the show.
  • Twitter — Get connected with fellow attendees on Twitter. Use #signexpo. Follow @isasignexpo for the most recent updates about the show.
  • Facebook — Visit the International Sign Association Facebook page to view photos and see information about the show.

Be sure to attend the social events where you can enjoy the week and meet others in a relaxed atmosphere. A full list of networking events can be found on pages 6–8 in the show guide. Make sure to leave some time for Last Hour Happy Hours, the various receptions for all types of sign and graphics professionals and buyers, golf tournaments and more.

Be open to meeting people — listen for comments made by speakers and attendees in sessions and use those comments to begin conversations.HappyHourweb (5 of 25)

Smile; be open and willing to try new things. You never know what you might find on the trade show floor or whom you might meet in the networking events — or even online through the social media channels.

Get the Full Trade Show Floor Experience

After hitting all the booths you want to see make sure you take a leisurely stroll around the entire hall and stop often to speak with exhibitors. You never know when you’ll see something interesting you didn’t expect or didn’t know about. Your biggest discovery could be accidental—so explore!

Hungry? Invite some new friends to lunch. The food court can be found on the trade show floor at the rear of the 500 aisle and both entrances from the main concourse. There is a restaurant on the main concourse.

Get Going!

Don’t forget to have fun. There are new programs to take advantage of such as ISA Rocks! THE Industry Party. Everyone is invited and it’s a great way to engage with other attendees and exhibitors and make your experience memorable. Go back to the office and tell your colleagues to join you in Las Vegas next year.