If you are headed to GBTA 2019 in Chicago, the expo hall floor will offer a chance to meet your choice of over 400 suppliers, vendors and partners in the business travel space. It can also be a maze of opportunity and leave your head spinning and your feet sore.
Maximize your effort, and minimize your step count, with some smart tips before you head to Chicago. Here are our top tips for maximizing your efforts on the expo floor:
1. Make an A-List before you get there.
- Know who you want to meet before you get there! Look through the exhibitors, consider your program goals for the next 12 months and ensure that you are connecting with both current and potential partners to understand the market landscape. Make a list of “must see” and “may see” exhibitors to ensure you don’t miss anyone critical to advancing your program. Check out the 2019 Exhibitor list.
2. Don’t forget about your peer network.
- We know it is all about suppliers, but remember to collaborate with your peer network! Check the buyer company list and take this opportunity to network with thousands of peers from similar industries and facing similar challenges in the upcoming year. If you aren’t sure how to connect, ask CTM, or your current vendor partners, to introduce you to like-minded peers with whom you can create mutually beneficial relationships!
3. Schedule meetings before you get there.
- Don’t try and meet everyone on day one and don’t get stuck visiting everyone on the last day! Set appointments before you get to Chicago with key partners and potential suppliers to maximize your time. Avoid the crunch on the last day to see all your “must see” partners. Use GBTA’s My Convention Planner to schedule your booth visits.
4. Know where your headed on the expo floor.
- Know how to get around. Get up to speed on transportation as well as expo hall floor plans. Make sure you maximize your time by setting appointments that take the size and scale of the expo hall into consideration. Scheduling appointments close in proximity on the expo floor will save you time and energy. Check out the expo hall floor plan.
5. Plan time to wander.
- Don’t limit yourself! Do visit a variety of booths, including current and potential suppliers. While you are scheduling those appointments, maximize the expo floor footprint by leaving time in between to visit the booths that interest you in person. You never know what you might learn or who you might run into! If you can spare some time outside the convention center, get some ideas for things to do in Chicago here.
Be sure to talk with CTM to hear our about recommended educational sessions targeted to help you advance your specific travel program goals in 2019. Don’t miss the CTM booth! Schedule time with CTM in booth #4023 for the latest on CTM technology, service and how we can drive your return on investment. We hope to see you there!
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