How To Navigate The Trade Floor And Make The Most Of FSTEC 2017

FSTECNavigating any trade show can be a daunting task, and when the show offers as much as FSTEC 2017 does, it becomes even more of a struggle. How are you supposed to meet with all the vendors you want to see, explore a little, and still listen to some of the speakers each day? It’s not impossible, but it does take a game plan. Here are some tips for navigating the trade floor quickly and effectively.

Know Your Goals Before The Show

It’s essential that you set some goals for your time at the show. Ask yourself why you’re attending in the first place. What are the challenges that your business is facing? Who can help you with those challenges? Researching vendors and speakers beforehand will help you answer those questions and set your goals for the show.

Setting goals helps you stay on track while you’re walking the floor. Looking at what different vendors are offering, or speaking with them briefly, will be enough to tell you if you’d benefit from a longer stop.

Create A List Of Your Priorities

There are likely going to be booths and speakers that you’ve researched that you know you want to see. So create a list of priorities that you have for the show. Things at the top are non-negotiable, while those farther down can potentially be swapped out. That way if you see a speaker or seminar that looks interesting, you can decide quickly whether or not it’s worth skipping something on your list.

You don’t have to rigidly stick to everything on your list, but it’s easy to start feeling lost without prioritizing your stops.


You have your goals in mind and your priorities set. Now comes the hard part—executing your plan. Here are a couple ways to ensure that you follow through.

  • Each day, pick three items from your list and do them right away. Whether it’s visiting vendors that you’re interested in or getting a front row seat for a speaker that you really want to hear, knock a few things off your list as quickly as you can. If you can do this, no matter what else happens, you’ll be able to say that going to FSTEC was a productive trip for you and your business.
  • Stay agile, because people at trade shows want to talk. Networking and looking for new customers is the whole point. It’s easy to get bogged down at just a few booths and realize you’ve spent an hour going absolutely nowhere—which is is why it’s important to know your goals. Once you know a vendor isn’t a fit for your current needs, politely move on. There will be thousands of people at the show, and you’re not obligated to spend time at a booth that isn’t relevant to your needs.

Have Fun And Explore

Navigating the trade show floor does sound like a job when you start to describe it, but remember not to get too hung up on seeing as much as possible. Leave some time in your schedule for wandering. This is when you may find some hidden gems that you’ve never heard of, or missed while you were researching the show. If you don’t leave a little time to explore, you’ll never know what you’re missing out on.

FSTEC 2017 is going to be a great time, even if it can be a little overwhelming when you first arrive. We’re certainly looking forward to it! Here at Marketing Vitals, we’re all about restaurant tech, and that’s why we’re silver sponsors of FSTEC. So while you’re there, be sure to come check out our booth, #314 in the Marquis Ballroom, to discuss the latest trends in customer interception and employee engagement with us, and learn how Marketing Vitals can give you valuable insights into your restaurant you never realized before.


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