Man in front of crowd giving a talk at a conference
Heading to Shoptalk this year? Whether you're a trade show veteran or a first-timer, here are some preparation tips we've gathered from our previous visits:

Proper preparation and planning....

With so much to see, three days at Shoptalk isn't nearly enough! With hundreds of stands and a multitude of different talks, it's likely your head will be spinning trying to fit them all in. Taking the time to plan out your route beforehand is essential to make sure you don't miss out on any must-sees. 

Check out the small guys

Let's face it - who isn't attracted by the bright lights, free coffee and amazing merchandise of the larger stands at Shoptalk? But don't forget, these big establishments were also once humble beginnings. That's why it's important to remember to visit some of the smaller stands too - you'll be surprised at the incredible new technology you may find! Sure, it may not come with a complimentary cappuccino, but they can still offer something incredible. Small stands have something that's truly priceless: innovation. The payoff could be huge if you take the time to stop in, so don't forget those smarter-than-average small guys - they're here to add their own distinct flair and make your Shoptalk experience even better!

Choose your freebies

Ah, the free swag of Day 1! That moment often feels like hitting the jackpot. But before you go throwing back packs full of goodies and rushing wildly to collect everything in sight, take a few breaths! It's likely you will love all the things given away at this event right now, but remember that same excitement won't last when you find yourself paying for excess bags at the airport on your way home. So be smart, don't spend carelessly; pick only what you know with confidence will still have some novelty after coming home.

Don't forget essential items

If you're attending a trade show like ShopTalk, the last thing you want is to be caught short without the essentials. One of my top recommendations is to keep some lip balm handy - after a day of non stop talking and networking, your lips will be as dry as the Vegas desert! Moisturiser is also an essential, particularly as you'll likely be shaking a lot of hands along the way. Comfort is key when it comes to footwear - no matter how much walking around you're doing! Last but not least, bring along a portable charger if possible; although even if you forget one there will be plenty available from the stands.

Book your meals in advance

During the day you can enjoy a delicious, free buffet without ever having to worry about portion control. But if it's a special occasion that calls for some wining and dining in Las Vegas, definitely remember to plan ahead! Reserve your restaurant of choice before arriving so you won't be agonizing over their notoriously long wait times-- trust me, no one wants to start their night off with an hour long queue. Keep an eye out next week for our recommendations on the hottest spots in town so you can make sure you get the "royal treatment" while visiting the gambling capital of the world!

Make sure to party!

While the closing party of any event can feel a bit over the top, the party at Mandalay Bay is something that shouldn't be missed. Even though you may be feeling like networking has taken its toll, you'd be remiss to forget about this particular occasion. Last year's performance from Flo Rida was unlike anything anyone had ever seen and there's no telling what we might experience this year. Whether you're ready to shake your tail feather or just take in the sights and sounds, don't miss out on this unique opportunity!

Stop by and say hi!

The Advanced Commerce team will be heading over to Vegas this March to check out the latest retail technology trends. If you see us, pop over and say hi, we'd love to grab a coffee and catch up!

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