The Independent Retail Show is just over two weeks away and I strongly recommend you attend it. To do so requires you to take a day out of your shop. So how do you ensure that it is a day well spent?

I’ve been speaking to retailers about getting maximum value from trade shows. They say if you wander around aimlessly you may not get much out of it. But create a focus and you are much more likely to get a return on your investment.

We’ve been polling retailers that have registered about their main focus. Meeting big suppliers is top, with 63% wanting to find out about new products and 54% looking for deals on the day. If you’re part of that 63% majority, it will be difficult to have a meaningful conversation with every exhibitor, so pick half a dozen, perhaps on a particular theme, and focus on your most important areas.

And 58% of retailers say they are interested in joining a symbol group, so will want to see the stores in action on Symbol Street. This includes WH Smith, which will be discussing its franchise trial, while I will be discussing best practice with fascia bosses at the Profit Zone.

Meeting like-minded retailers and sourcing ideas to take back to your shop is the third most important reason to attend, according to 45% of registrants. The Profit Zone is a must for these retailers, as well as the Digital Bar, where RN’s web guru Ryan Mulchrone will be helping retailers set up Facebook pages for their stores.

Register today and come and tell me about your business focus at the show.