So, What's Next?
Like everyone, I get all excited and caught up in the moment, so, I tend to grab more than I should and carry it home with me. Lots of brochures I'll never look at, maybe a few too many pens, or candy, or keychains or stress balls, WHATEVER the booth is giving away!
FIRST Thing I do, is to dump all the stuff I collect out, and look it all over! ALL business cards are collected for my desk. I'll review and deal with each as soon as this first once over is finished. Next, at a glance, there are clearly things I'll never look at, and these, Immediately, go into the recycle bin. All the giveaways, pens, keychains, etc, go to another bag, for dealing with later.
This leaves only the paperwork and brochures that truly mean anything to me. Essentials that I really wanted to get out of the show.
BTW, always keep the show guides, these list everyone there, and are good handy references for later use, to find a vendor, or person you talked with.
I like to review all the business cards next, as this gives me a chance to make notes on the back of who they were, and something that will help me remember them, personally.
Anyone I spoke with other than a quick "hi" I'll email that night. I like to include something I spoke with them about. Usually, at trade shows, I mention some particular story, or anecdote, often the same, to all of the sales people or manufacturers reps. I will highlight that in my email, to refresh their memory of who I am and why I am emailing. At the New England Boat Show, I mentioned to each of the 6 or so vendors I was speaking with, about my plan to move from my current center console, to a bigger boat, with a cabin and galley, to allow me to begin learning cruising lifestyles, and weekends away, aboard.
Once each is reminded, I can either drift off, to sleep, or, more likely, spend a few hours online, looking at videos of boats that I was excited about from the show floor. For me, that was the past two weeks!!! A lot of video, and I am only scratching the surface! I also tend to bookmark a bunch of sites in a folder called (boat show name and year). That way, I can easily find them later.
After that first night, I begin to follow up with the other brochures collected. At boat shows, that's anything form accessories, electronics, marine gear, and apparel. Ordering new embroidered hats, or foul weather gear. Looking at and comparing new marine radios. I enjoy spending time now, bookmarking classes for the immediate future, before the new season on the water begins.
Come the time to put the boat in the water, new supplies are already not only ordered but delivered. New Electronics in place. All the little things that will make last minute planning a challenge are taking place now, with snow on the ground and ice in the water. Months of planning are best used, during the winter months and NOT last second, while the spring air is fresh and the sea calls...
Currently, my favorite choice for the next boat!
The Ranger Tug 31 Foot Command Bridge
Sleeps 6, 2 heads, galley, command bridge, diesel inboard, comfortable 1000 mile range, semi displacement hull
To the animals and birds around me
to put more plants in than I take out
And be a good steward for the world around me!
All Photos by Bluefin Studios.