How to get the most out of trade shows

Posted by rachel on July 9

In June, one of our expert educators attended Denfair in Melbourne with a few of our students. Denfair is Australia’s leading destination for contemporary design and art for professional designers, architects, interior stylists and design-lovers.

As some of you may have seen, Emily took over iscd’s instagram page in the lead up to the trade show and during her day there. She shared some of her top tips for preparing for a trade show and what to do post trade show to get the most out of the experience. 

Take a look at some photo’s from the day and read Emily’s tips to get the most out of attending trade shows in the future…



Preparing for a trade show..

  1. Scout out the exhibitors list prior to visiting

I even go full geek and get a highlighter out to flag which stands I definitely want to visit because I guarantee once you walk into the exhibition centre you will forget what your name is and why you are there.

  1. Be selective with your collateral

Exhibitors often have a range of collateral ranging from brochures and business cards all the way up to digital specifications and samples. Only take collateral of products you think you will genuinely use as part of your design projects. Not only will this help you streamline your personal library of material but it also respects the suppliers who are often also small businesses. 

  1. Strike up a conversation!

Don’t be afraid to have a chat to the exhibitors there and let them know you are studying and just finding your way in the industry. More often than not they will be happy to chat to you and tell you about their products. 


After the trade show…

After visiting a trade fair I always feel like I have a big bag of “stuff” that often sits in a pile for the months following. Here’s what I have learnt works best for me after a trade show…

  1. Sort, stash and trash

Go through what you have collected and keep the items you need as a reference tool and add them to a folder or magazine file for future reference. Recycle what you don’t want or give it to a fellow student or friend in the industry who may use it.

  1. Contacts, contacts, contacts

Chances are you have met some amazing people and have a wad of business cards. I find it useful to add these contacts into my phone with a notes saying Denfair 2019 as well as categorising what the company does. For example I would put Furniture Melbourne or Bedding Sydney in the notes section so I can search my contacts via these categories. There is no way you will remember everyone’s names after the day so by having a few cheat ways of finding them later you will build yourself a really great working resource for your work.

  1. Get social

Connect with your suppliers after Denfair via instagram to continue to build your working relationship. Think about arranging some showroom visits with some that have a bigger range of products than what was on show at Denfair


Keep up to date with upcoming design events and future instagram takeovers by following us on instagram @iscdeducation


Follow Emily’s Instagram: @bemoremarg

Take a look at Emily’s website:

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