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by Mark Gale, CEO, Charleston/Orwig

Imagine you're at your industry's top trade show, and it's time for you to take a break and experience the rest of the show for yourself. What should you be on the lookout for? How can you gain knowledge about your industry and business from your fellow exhibitors?

Here are four easy ways you can maximize your trade show experience away from your booth.

1. Have your eyes wide open. Walk the floor like your customer would and see what they see, not what you as an exhibitor sees.

2. What are ancillary industries doing to break into your industry? What non-traditional perspectives and alternate views of your world are they capitalizing on?

3. Always walk down the "New Products" rows. You can learn a lot from what people really believe the world is ready for. Be sure to stop and talk to these folks and ask them why they believe the customers are ready for what they have to offer.

4. Try to put into a headline what you believe the overarching theme of the show is.

Good luck, happy trade showing and remember, act like your customer and seek out what they would find of interest.

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