By Nikki DiBacco
A Vision Expo East Primer For the Trade Show Rookie or Pro
It’s that time again. Thousands of us, from wholesale to retail, consulting to ECPs, and everyone that has anything to do with the business of eyeballs, will descend on New York City this week to see and be seen, find out the latest and greatest, and enjoy time with people who understand the unique geekiness in each of us. To that end, here is a simple guide to getting the most out of your Big Apple experience, with the least amount of frustration and stress.
1. Shoes. Shoes. Shoes. Bring at least 3 pair of shoes with you, regardless of what your role at VEE will be. Traipsing the show floor, or standing in a booth, takes a huge toll on your poor lil feetsies. By switching shoes each day, you have less likelihood of having miserable blisters and soreness at the end of each day. Never wear the same shoes two days in a row, even your most comfortable sneakers. Your feet will thank me for this advice.
2. Hydrate. Lots of water during the day, for a number of reasons. First, you’ve traveled, most likely by air, which dries you out. On top of that, there are myriad receptions, get togethers, and just hanging out that will involve alcohol. If you choose to imbibe, water during the day will help you enjoy the night life more.
3. If you plan on exploring the city, and above mentioned NYC night life, make sure you are with at least one other person. This is just common sense, regardless of where you are at.
4. Buy any incidentals before you head to the show. For instance, if you smoke, I’ve heard cigarettes cost as much as $12 in the city.
5. If you have an agenda, perhaps needing to meet quite a few people or visit a lot of booths, grab the map of the exhibition hall and plan out your route. If you are like me you will end up being sidetracked by old friends you haven’t seen for a while, and having a plan will get you back on track quickly. Also, check out what the vendors are doing at each booth. Many of them will have receptions, meet and greets with celebrities, etc. and if this is of interest, make sure to denote the times of these events so you don’t miss them.
6. There are several kiosks and other places at the Javitz to get coffee, a quick bite, etc. Bring a debit or credit card with you to pay for anything at these establishments; it’s quicker and dragging out cash is always a no-no.
Hopefully this list will help you as you pack and head up to an amazing event. It’s a beautiful city and Vision Expo East is awe-inspiring, seeing so many vendors in one place-the optical geek equivalent to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Enjoy yourself, and if you happen to see me lemme know how your feet are doing.
Nikki DiBacco is a writer, educator, consultant, and optical boutique owner in Panama City, FL. She is also the co-founder of The Visionaries Group. You can find out more about her at visionariesgroup.com