Trade show season is here! Between the east and west coast, a handful of trade shows are approaching for the fuel oil, propane, and HVAC industries. While the Blue Cow Software team can talk for hours and hours about the Ignite Software Suite and how a holistic back-office software suite for propane, fuel oil, or HVAC companies is beneficial, we know it’s not everyone’s forte and can understand how trade show season might even be a bit intimidating. That’s why we’ve gathered our experiences from the last decade of trade shows, and put together this quick list of how to make the most of trade show season.

  1. Make a Game Plan

It’s easy to get distracted with the hustle and bustle in the convention centers, so have a game plan prior to your arrival. Know which booths you want to attend and mark them on your map before getting to the show, or right when you get there. This way, you won’t be distracted by booths that are completely irrelevant to your propane, fuel oil, or HVAC business, but rather, you can make the most of your time at the show.

Pro-tip: Many trade shows, such as the NPGA Southern Convention & International Propane Expo on April 21-23, now have mobile device apps so you can mark your go-to booths easily and track where you are in relation to the booths you want to stop by.

  1. Network

A major benefit of attending trade shows for the fuel oil and propane industries is the opportunity to network with other professionals and businesses in the field. You can meet handfuls of new people who may have something to offer to your business, whether a partnership, a sale, or advice and experiences. But don’t forget about the professionals and businesses you already know. Trade shows give you an excellent environment to catch up with people you may not have recently connected with, and make sure the rapport is healthy and strong. So, whether your current back-office, delivery, and service software company is at the trade show, or you’re looking to expand your network with fresh faces, try to make time to mingle with both ends of the spectrum.

Here is a brief check-list to make networking pain-free:

  • Bring Business Cards
  • Dress business casual to show that you mean business!
  • Have 2 elevator pitches – one for you as a professional and one for your company – so you can quickly describe what you do to people who may be unfamiliar with your company or who may not know you
  • Limit conversations with existing connections to 15 minutes – that way you don’t take time away from meeting new people
  1. Attend the Extra Events

Many trade shows offer one-off presentations or events based around your interests. Visit each trade show’s website prior to travelling, to see what (if any) extras are being offered. Often, these events are fun, casual opportunities to expand your knowledge and grow your network outside of the trade show/booths environment. If your ticket includes these, or if they come at a small extra price, make sure you check them out!

We’re excited for the many propane and fuel oil industry tradeshows coming up. If you’re heading to any of them, make sure you stop by the Blue Cow Software booths to say hi or to learn more about the Ignite Software Suite. We’re constantly improving our Software products, so come see how your back-office, customer service, and delivery & service operations can also be improved.

You can find Blue Cow Software exhibiting the Ignite Software Suite at the following upcoming shows:

  • NPGA Southern Convention & International Propane Expo – Booth 1139 and 1141
  • Western Propane Trade Show and Convention – Booth 119
  • Eastern Energy Expo – Booth 118 and 120