Get All Access for $5/mo

Tips on Attending Chicago Trade Shows and Conventions Take this guide with you to the city with the most conventions and trade shows in the country.

Editor's note: This excerpt was taken from The Business Traveler Guide to Chicago from Entrepreneur Press.

The following tips will help you maximize your time and efficiency when attending a trade show or convention:

  • Pre-register for the event you'll be attending. This will allow you to avoid long registration lines at the start of the event. Don't forget to bring your registration papers and/or ID badge to the event. Make hotel accommodations early to get the best rates and ensure you're able to get the room configuration and hotel you desire.
  • Pre-schedule your meetings and appointments. For each meeting, write down the scheduled time and date, the location, the name of the person you're meeting, their company and the purpose of the meeting. Allow ample time (at least five to 10 minutes) between meetings to walk between exhibit booths or meeting rooms. You can obtain and advance listing of trade show exhibitors by visiting the website operated by the company coordinating or hosting your event.
  • Bring a durable backpack, shoulder bag or wheeled suitcase to store and carry around brochures, catalogs, swag, free-bees and other trade show materials that you collect.
  • Wear comfortable shoes (be prepared for a lot of walking and standing around), plus a comfortable, business casual outfit that's appropriate for the event you'll be attending.
  • Bring a stack of business cards and/or company literature to distribute at the event.
  • Bring a pad of paper and pen to take notes during seminars and meetings.
  • Utilize the coat check at the convention center to store heavy items that you don't want to lug around the convention show floor.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

How to Go Green

Going Green Can Save You Money and Attract Top Talent — 3 Essential Ways to Become More Eco-Friendly

I've always believed sustainability is all about finding solutions with a meaningful long-term impact and how we can work together towards a better tomorrow. Here are three essential ways your SMB can integrate sustainability throughout the business.

Growing a Business

Saying 'Yes' to Everything Leads to Failure — Here's How to Avoid the Trap of Overcommitment

Discussing the dangers of overcommitment and practical strategies to master the art of saying "no."

Business News

How to Start Your Dream Business This Weekend, According to a Tech CEO Worth $36 Million

He started his now 14-year-old company in one weekend for $60 — it made $300,000 the first year, and $3 million the second.

Business News

Why Does Taylor Swift Keep Stopping Her Shows Mid-Song? It's Actually a Great Lesson in Leadership.

Taylor Swift has paused nearly half of her shows while on the European leg of her Eras tour, and the reason is something leaders can learn from.