The Connections Convention and Tradeshow opened yesterday, Tuesday, September 4, at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casinos, Las Vegas, NV, and ends on Friday, September 7.

Nearly 200 companies and organizations involved with the professional carpet cleaning and restoration industry will be exhibiting at the show. Educational seminars will be presented almost every day.

According to Mark Baxter, an engineer and product manager for U.S. Products, attendees will find the tradeshow much more valuable if they do a little simple planning ahead of time.

Baxter offers the following suggestions to get the most of this year’s Connections Tradeshow:

· Get a map of exhibitor locations and prioritize your route ahead of time

· At the show, register early to avoid lines

· Have a plan; decide how much time you want to spend at the show and if there are any specific exhibitions or seminars you want to attend before arriving

· Research the different vendors at the show and plan questions to ask them about their products or services

· If comparing equipment from two or more vendors, plan to visit each vendor concurrently; that way, you will remember the features and benefits of each vendor’s machines more easily

· Take plenty of business cards

· Skip overly crowded booths and plan to come back at the end of the day or on another day when traffic might be less heavy

· Carry paper and a pen

· Take literature that interests you and pass on literature that does not

· Introduce yourself to seminar presenters; look for networking opportunities with both presenters and your fellow attendees. Some attendees find that these meetings can be the most rewarding aspect of the show.

“And something that is really important, but which many people fail to do, is to go through all the literature they collected from the show, sort it, prioritize it, and then put it into envelopes,” says Baxter. “This way, the literature is readily available for access months after the show.”