With this year’s GITEX extravaganza expected to be the biggest yet, it’s important that you prepare yourself for the onslaught.
1. Plan, plan, plan
With so many things to see and do at GITEX, it's easy to become overwhelmed. Planning is key. Before leaving for the event, understand your objectives for the show - are you looking for new suppliers, or trying to fulfil a specific solution requirement, or are you going to learn more about a certain area of technology? Get a schedule of events and an exhibitors list, and plan who you need to see.
2. Book in advance
Save time queuing to get into the show by registering online beforehand at www.gitex.com. Likewise, if you need to book accommodation, you'll find information at the same site.
3. Set a meeting schedule
Arrange key meetings in advance, but be realistic about how many meetings you can make in a day. Leave space in your diary to reschedule if needs be, and don't forget to take into consideration travel timings - both for getting to and from the show, and for moving from one meeting to the next inside the exhibition. (hint - you should allow around 20 minutes to get from one end of Gitex to another at busy times).
4. Travel light
The minute you walk into the exhibition, you'll be offered brochures, goodie bags, giveaways... you name it. Some of what's on offer, like official show catalogues, guides and newspapers can provide essential information on the show, but other giveaways will just weigh you down. Be selective about what you pick up. If you can't resist brochures and giveaways, you may want to take a sturdy bag with wheels to make carrying them easier.
5. Business cards
Be sure to stock up on cards beforehand, and also to take cards from any of your colleagues who can't attend but who need to receive information or follow up leads.
Apart from their obvious use for networking, business cards can also be your ticket to brochure freedom. Give them to exhibitors and ask them to email you the relevant information, rather than loading up with paper. Do show some caution with who you hand them to though, or you'll be receiving unwanted spam from now until to eternity.
6. Wear Comfortable Clothes
Make sure you wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Sure it's a business event and you need to put your best foot forward, but if you're sweating so much you could wring out your shirt, and you can't walk in a straight line because your new shoes are pinching, that's not going to do it either. Comfort inner soles in shoes.
7. Make notes
Carry a note book or maybe a small voice recorder to take important details on things you see that are important to your objectives at the show. If you just pick up an armful of brochures but can't remember which solution was relevant to your business, then your trip will have been wasted.
8. Give yourself a break
As easy as it is to get caught up in a whirlwind of networking events, business meetings and social engagements, it's important to build some down time in to your day. Leave time in your day for meal breaks and coffee. It'll allow you to de-stress, relax and refocus your mind.
9. Looking for a deal?
If you are looking for a deal on a consumer purchase, then Gitex Shopper at the Airport Expo is the place to go. Shopper is set up for retail, so you'll be able to pick up the latest offers from the major vendors. Regular shuttle buses run between Gitex and Gitex Shopper. Or if you don't fancy the crowds, you'll find most of the retailers have the same deals in their stores in Dubai's malls, with air conditioning and easy parking thrown in.
10. Stay connected
Being out of office at Gitex doesn't have to mean being out of touch. Remember to recharge your mobile every evening, but if you forget, look out for mobile recharging pods at the telecoms exhibitors. Most areas of Gitex are covered by public wireless access so you should be able to get online and check email etc. And don't forget to come back to www.itp.net/gitex throughout the week, for updates on all the latest show news.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.