We all love a good trade show, but what is it that gives us such a buzz? Yes there’s all the shiny new gear, but personally I find the shows are also an excellent opportunity for learning, networking and generally being social. As a freelance live event tech, life can be quite isolated, especially working at entry-level, when you’re likely to be the only tech working on a particular job. It’s only when you move onto the bigger shows that you have a buddy or several to work with. But until then you spend a lot of time working alone with only your own mistakes to learn from. That’s where trade shows come in. Not only do you get to play with new equipment (and get your hands on some older stuff that you may not have come across in your working life yet) but there is also the seminar content. Some seminars are about plugging specific products, but let’s face it, everything that we use in our daily working lives is a product, so the more you know about everything you can the better. And then a lot of seminars are truly educational from a professional development point of view.
There’s career advice to be had, other people’s experience to learn from and demonstrations of techniques that will open your mind and give you a real leg-up in your career. And there’s always opportunity to ask questions during and after the seminars, and you get to meet the presenters. It’s vital, especially as a newbie, that you learn from more experienced people than yourself – and where better to find those more-experienced people than at a trade show! Everyone who is anyone turns up at these events, and I’ve yet to meet an old roadie who doesn’t like to show off a bit to a young ‘un. A judiciously purchased beer will often open a whole new world of advice, tips, tricks and rock ‘n’ roll stories that will make your ears bleed. Trade shows offer a fantastic opportunity to meet people, get your face known to the bigger players and see people you don’t otherwise see from one end of the year to the next. It’s a good way to maintain relationships, remind people of your existence and see what other people are up to. Freelancing is all about networking – people hire people they know. So make sure people know who you are. Go to trade shows. You can come along and meet us on Stand K50 at PLASA London 4th-6th October 2015, and are running the afternoon seminars in the Audio Theatre on Sunday 4th October. Register for free using this link https://registration.n200.com/survey/1rktpd0ykribk?actioncode=AS6