So, you’re in! You’ve registered for the IBSx Virtual Experience by getting either an Expo Pass or upgrading to an All Access Pass to take advantage of 100+ education sessions, and now you’re wondering….what’s next? How do you prepare for a tradeshow that’s entirely online?
While it might be a different experience than the in-person event, many of the opportunities that have made the Builders’ Show the must-attend event for anyone in residential construction, still exist at IBSx and are extremely accessible in this virtual environment. PLUS there are even more takeaways and business benefits. (by the way, if you haven’t yet registered, there’s still time to get your pass or upgrade here ).
First things first, and this is also true for the in-person event, you must outline your targets and set some goals. Whether that’s zeroing in on finding products or services, networking to build your business partnerships or honing your craft and improving your skillset through education sessions and live demos, you’ll want to approach it all with an open and flexible mindset.
Next—check out these tips and add them to your show strategy:
Get comfy with the IBSx virtual platform. The virtual platform is now open. Now is the time to get familiar with your personal dashboard. Your dashboard will help you customize your IBSx experience—here you’ll see daily highlights and announcements along with quick links to help you navigate the platform. Exploring the platform in advance will make sure that you’re able to take advantage of everything you need to best reach your goals when the show opens February 9.
Treat it like you would the in-person show … kind of. In the same way you’d never want to show up to the in-person Builders’ Show without a plan, the same can be said about IBSx. Make a schedule of everything you don’t want to miss—favorite events, demos and education sessions* and don’t forget to register for them in the platform to add them to your calendar. If you have an All Access Pass, you’ll be able to watch education sessions on-demand through March 31.
Go all in, and really invest in your IBSx experience. Spend some time focusing on this investment in yourself and your business. Try to avoid answering emails for a little while, maybe find a quiet place (if you can) and stay dedicated to your experience. You’ll not only get more out of it, but you’ll feel accomplished, and will be happier at the end of the day.
Attend with coworkers, peers or friends within the industry. Whether you make plans in advance to attend education sessions* or demos together and connect over chat within the platform or discover events together, it’s simply more enjoyable to follow along and experience the show this way. PLUS, they’ll help you discover things you might not have notice on your own (like a new product or service that can better your business!), or help you navigate a specific feature on the platform better.
Stretch, take breaks, go for short walks or get some fresh air. Not breaking news here, but taking a moment to refresh is very important. For years medical professionals have preached this, but in doing so, you not only stave off issues like stiffness—neck, shoulder and back pain—but can also boost energy levels and brain activity. Meaning, you’ll get more out of whatever you’re learning, and have more productive conversations!
If you’re simply listening to people talk all day, you’re going to get burned out. It’s true. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the chat features, and request meetings and appointments to speak with exhibitors or connect with other attendees through live video in Shop Talks to keep your experience interesting.
Use IBSx as your competitive advantage. Not everyone is a fan of virtual tradeshows, but if you’re attending IBSx, you can use this opportunity to your advantage. You won’t have to fight crowds to chat with reps from your favorite brands and you’ll easily be able to access new companies to explore, which means your window to connect and build your network, just got bigger.
Have fun! And grab some virtual swag too! Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that “nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.” So, take his advice and enjoy your time at IBSx. Use this time to connect with your community, talk with someone new, get inspired and find new products to add to your business.
If you haven’t registered yet to join us at IBSx happening next week, February 9-12, there’s still time. Rates start FREE for NAHB members and $50 for non-members. Register today and don’t miss out!
*IBSx education sessions are open to All Access Pass registrants—NAHB members $249, non-members $349.