Blog Post

8 Common Mistakes to Avoid at IBS 2024 Vegas

By: Eric FortenberryResidential builders at IBS Vegas

Strategically preparing for the largest gathering of residential building professionals, the NAHB International Builders’ Show, is vital – and it’s easy to see why.

IBS Vegas 2024 unlocks the potential for top-notch networking, learning, and business growth. Don't let the challenges of navigating these bustling events hold you back.

In this blog, we'll uncover common mistakes attendees make and provide practical solutions. From pre-show prep to post-event follow-ups, we'll ensure your experience is rewarding. Join us to explore key strategies and insider tips to maximize your presence, seize opportunities, and excel in the residential building industry. Get set to make a lasting impression at IBS 2024!

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Here are eight common mistakes to avoid at IBS Vegas 2024:


Missing the Last Day

Attending the final day of IBS has many benefits, including:

  • Last-minute Deals: Exhibitors may offer special discounts or promotions to clear inventory.
  • Reduced Crowds: With fewer attendees, it's easier to navigate and engage with exhibitors.
  • Increased Face-to-face Time: Exhibitors can address specific questions, provide demonstrations, and offer tailored solutions to attendees' needs, enhancing understanding and satisfaction.
  • Exclusive Insights: Exhibitors may unveil new products or innovations on the final day.
  • Networking Opportunities: Attendees can connect with exhibitors and peers in a more relaxed atmosphere.
  • Follow-ups: It's a chance to follow up on leads and connections made earlier in the show.
  • Access to Resources: Attendees can gather valuable resources, literature, and contacts before the show ends.

Overall, the final day offers unique opportunities to maximize the trade show experience and capitalize on valuable insights and connections.


Not Having an Expo Strategy

If you’re not doing some pre-expo preparation, you aren’t equipped to thrive at IBS 2024. Know the category of vendors you want to see each day and the route to get to them efficiently. Consider focusing on one category of vendors each day. If you have more than one team member attending IBS, perhaps each of you can tackle different categories or target specific vendors each day.

Tips for a successful expo strategy:

  • Research Exhibitors: Explore the list of exhibitors and their offerings before the expo. Prioritize which booths align with your interests, needs, and business objectives. Consider the products, services, and innovations each exhibitor offers, and identify those most relevant to your industry or areas of interest.
  • Review Keynote Speakers and Seminar Schedules: Take note of keynote speakers and seminar topics scheduled during the expo. Identify sessions that address current trends, challenges, or opportunities in your industry. Consider how attending these sessions can contribute to your professional development and knowledge enhancement.
  • Plan Your Schedule: Create a tentative schedule outlining which exhibitor booths to visit, which seminars to attend, and when to engage in networking opportunities. Be mindful of time constraints and prioritize activities based on their importance and relevance to your objectives.
  • Utilize Digital Tools: Take advantage of expo apps, event websites, and social media platforms to stay informed about updates, announcements, and networking opportunities. Many expos provide digital platforms that allow attendees to schedule appointments, access event maps, and connect with other participants, enhancing the overall expo experience.

Inefficient Time Management

Don’t let precious time slip away in those long cafeteria lines or browsing exhibitors that don’t support your business goals. To maximize your investment in attending the event, prioritize efficiency and capitalize on every moment. Remember, it's not just about attending - it's about making the most of every opportunity to build trust, credibility, and success in the construction industry.

Tips for efficient time management at IBS:

  • Develop a Schedule: To prevent overcommitting and feeling rushed, develop a detailed and realistic schedule that outlines time for planned activities, visiting specific booths, seminars, networking, and breaks.
  • Prioritize: Prioritize exhibitor booths, seminars, and networking events based on their relevance to your objectives and goals.
  • Plan Extra Time: Factor in buffer time between tasks to allow for delays, spontaneous conversations, or last-minute changes to your schedule.
  • Download the Mobile App: Leverage expo resources including event maps, schedules, and mobile apps to efficiently navigate the venue, harnessing digital tools for real-time updates and staying informed during the event.
  • Take Breaks: To prevent burnout, sustain energy, and optimize productivity, strategically schedule breaks for rest, note review, and networking.
  • Don’t Forget to Eat: Some time-saving food tips include eating a balanced breakfast, packing sufficient snacks, delegating food runs, eating a late lunch, or using delivery apps.

Neglecting Everyday Essentials

Prioritize packing for personal comfort, preparedness, and self-care during IBS to ensure a more pleasant and productive experience. Unfortunately, several factors contribute to the common reasons attendees forget to pack everyday essentials like comfy shoes, chargers, and backpacks when attending IBS:

  • Last-minute Rush: Individuals often overlook packing everyday essentials for trade shows, prioritizing items they perceive as directly related to their professional needs, such as business cards or promotional materials, leading to last-minute packing.
  • Assumption of Availability: Don't make the mistake of assuming that essential items like chargers or comfortable shoes will be readily available at the event venue or nearby stores; ensure you pack them to avoid any inconvenience or discomfort.
  • Overemphasis on Business Materials: While professional items such as samples or promotional merchandise are important, it's essential not to forget the importance of personal comfort and practicality when packing for the event.
  • Limited Packing Space: Prioritizing professional materials and attire can lead to little packing space for personal items like chargers or backpacks, a common issue when traveling with limited luggage capacity.
  • Underestimating of Needs: Underestimating the physical demands and technological requirements of trade show participation can lead attendees to rely on minimal personal items or borrow and share resources, potentially compromising their overall experience.
  • Information Overload: In the midst of the excitement and preparation for the trade show, cognitive overload can cause individuals to overlook everyday essentials amidst a multitude of tasks and considerations.
  • Perceived Inconvenience: Investigating comfy shoe brands or packing additional items like chargers may be seen as bothersome or unnecessary, but attendees might be surprised by the usefulness of everyday essentials.

You'll be spending a lot of time on your feet, navigating the sprawling venue and exploring different booths. Wear comfy shoes that provide ample support and cushioning, pack chargers for all the devices you’ll be using, and use a durable backpack with multiple compartments. By prioritizing everyday essentials, you'll be able to fully engage with exhibitors, absorb valuable information, and make meaningful connections without being hindered by discomfort.

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Skipping Out on Networking

It would be a waste of time and money to miss out on networking. By strategically approaching networking and actively engaging with attendees, exhibitors, and industry professionals, you can expand your professional network, build meaningful relationships, and unlock potential opportunities for growth and collaboration in your industry.

Tips for strategic networking at IBS:

  • Concrete Networking Goals: Set clear and measurable networking goals to achieve such as collecting a certain number of business cards or discussing a topic a specific amount of times.
  • Engage at Events: Actively seek out opportunities such as cocktail receptions, networking breaks, and industry mixers, where you can engage with industry peers, exchange ideas, and forge meaningful connections.
  • Impactful Introductions: Craft a compelling elevator pitch showcasing your background, expertise, and goals at IBS to leave a memorable impression.
  • Forward-thinking Mindset: Adopt a proactive approach when networking by initiating conversations, listening actively, expressing genuine interest, discovering common ground, and asking open-ended questions.
  • Networking Essentials: Exchange contact information and collect business cards, jotting down key details to facilitate effective follow-ups.
  • Meaningful Follow-ups: Maintain sustainable connections post-IBS by sending personalized emails or LinkedIn messages expressing gratitude, reinforcing key discussions, and exploring collaboration opportunities.
  • Embrace Different Perspectives: In addition to connecting with like-minded individuals, embrace the chance to connect with attendees from diverse backgrounds and industries, as they can provide unique insights and collaborative opportunities.

Not Setting Goals

Going into IBS without setting clear goals decreases your chances of success, diminishes your focus and efficiency, and prevents you from making the most out of your time there. Are you looking to explore new technologies, discover potential business partners, or learn about industry trends?

Well-defined goals serve as a guiding compass, shaping your interactions and strategies towards maximized potential for success. If you need help brainstorming and establishing some IBS goals, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What problems or processes could new technologies solve or enhance?
  • What partnerships could yield the most mutually-satisfying results?
  • What industry trends can help you outpace competitors?

Clarifying what you aim to accomplish by attending IBS can help you stay focused and optimize your time and resources.


Accepting Too Many Free Items

While freebies can be enticing, it's essential to consider the downsides of accumulating unnecessary items. The constant influx of freebies can quickly create clutter, leading to disorganization and a sense of chaos. Limited storage restricts usability, leading to inefficiency and waste. Therefore, it's important to strike a balance between accepting freebies that genuinely offer value and avoiding an excessive accumulation that can lead to clutter and wastefulness. Ask yourself the following questions before accepting freebies:

  • Will this item be useful and incorporated into daily life?
  • Will this item remind me to purchase a product or service I’m considering?

If the freebie promotes a greater sense of nostalgia and novelty than functionality, you might be better off declining it.


Not Signing Up or Purchasing

With all the choices and information available at IBS, it’s easy to get stuck in overthinking and analyzing every detail to the point where decisions are delayed or not made at all. It’s like having too many options for a fantasy football player and not knowing which one to pick, so you end up not playing at all.

Purchasing a product or service at IBS can offer immediate advantages over delaying the decision. Firstly, it often includes exclusive discounts or promotions available only during the event, resulting in cost savings. Secondly, securing the product or service ASAP helps it mesh with operations faster, giving faster payoffs. Additionally, getting face-to-face time with reps lets you tailor solutions and get immediate support, making the transition smoother and boosting the customer experience. By signing up or purchasing at IBS, you can seize timely opportunities, gain competitive advantages, and accelerate your path to success.

Leave IBS 2024 Equipped for Success

As you prepare to navigate IBS Vegas 2024, it’s critical to equip yourself with a proactive mindset. By avoiding the common mistakes featured in this blog, you can enhance your experience and achieve impactful results.

At JobTread, we understand the importance of prioritizing efficiency and seizing opportunities. Get your free IBS 2024 expo pass and swing by booth W3859 in the West Hall to learn firsthand how JobTread can take your business to the next level.

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