By Emily Moorhead
America’s Largest Invention Show is only a little more than 2 months away. The 32nd annual show will be held on June 13-15, 2017. It’s time to get down to the nitty gritty details of planning your trip to Pittsburgh. Whether you’re an exhibiting inventor or business attendee, we have a checklist to help you plan the logistics of your trip.
- Book your flight – Pittsburgh International Airport is just 20 minutes away from the city, making it easy to get to and from the show. Make sure to book your tickets early so the good flights aren’t sold out!
- Reserve your hotel – There are many hotels near the David L Lawrence Convention Center and INPEX even has discounted room blocks at two nearby hotels! Both Drury Plaza Hotel (walking distance, $169-$189 per night + tax) and Hampton Inn Greentree/Pittsburgh (5 miles away, $99 per night + tax) are offering exclusive rates for INPEX guests, plus some awesome freebies. Click here for more detailed travel information.
- Plan local transportation – How are you going to get around when you’re in Pittsburgh? You can take a SuperShuttle or ExecuCar to and from the Pittsburgh Airport. If you choose this method, be sure to use discount code TBQGX. Lyft and Uber are also available and Lyft has a promo code for first time riders: INPEX2017. You may also want to consider getting a rental car, many of which are available at the airport and in downtown Pittsburgh.
Exhibiting Inventors Checklist:
- Plan to ship materials – Can you take all of your materials with you on the plane or in your car? Many inventors cannot. Have a plan for how you’re going to ship your booth materials and product. Be sure to schedule for your shipment to arrive at the Convention Center on Monday, June 12th to avoid paying drayage fees. Call your INPEX representative for assistance.
- Submit exhibitor forms if you haven’t already! These forms are essential for INPEX staff to prepare for the show. Please submit them as soon as possible.
- Submit approvals for hometown publicity and product description if you haven’t already. To ensure we’ve got all your details right for your local media and the show program, make sure to get those approvals submitted.
- Design and order marketing materials to help your booth stand out and make your branding relevant to your product.
- Submit forms for electricity, plumbing, or additional booth furnishings and keep in mind that the discounted advance order rate only applies until May 26th.
- Product pitch – Make sure your product pitch is ready and you are comfortable talking with others about your invention.
- Announce on social media – Announce your INPEX involvement on your personal and professional social media pages to let your followers know you’ll be coming to our show.
- Examine your budget – Pay off your balance and set aside money for marketing and emergency expenses.
Business Attendees Checklist:
- Make sure you are registered – Registration to attend INPEX is free to qualified business attendees, but you have to register before June 12th! Be sure to also register any colleagues who will be attending with you. If you haven’t registered yet, click here to do so.
- Get additional business cards – You will probably give out a lot of business cards during INPEX. Be sure to place an order through your company so you’re sure to have enough!
- Memorize company description and information – Similar to how inventors plan their elevator/product pitch, you need to know how to succinctly explain the business you represent and your role within that business. It can be difficult to do this on the fly, so make sure you practice it a few times and ensure that it doesn’t contain any industry jargon.
- Product search strategy – What kinds of products are you looking for at INPEX? Enter the show floor with a strategy so you can have a clear direction during the exposition. Tip: The INPEX Show Program lists all exhibitors alphabetically, but also again by product category. Be sure to check out all the inventions in your category(ies) of interest.
- Fill out forms with your employer, if applicable – Does your employer require you to fill out forms for travel or budgeting? Make sure to complete these while planning your INPEX trip.
- Don’t miss the after-hours events – Be sure to plan your travel accordingly so that you can take advantage of not only trade show floor hours, but also the evening networking events, on both Tuesday, June 13 and Wednesday, June 14 from 5pm – 7pm.