Get the show on the road

As the warm months have wound down, the industry’s focus has shifted again to gatherings like the Irrigation Show and Education Week.
Kyle Brown, Irrigation & Lighting editor-in-chief
(Photo: Nikki Avramovich)

It’s been another busy season for irrigation professionals, but as the warm months have wound down, the industry’s focus has shifted again to gatherings like the Irrigation Show and Education Week in Las Vegas. Some of us still haven’t been to a show since before the pandemic and might’ve forgotten a few of the best practices for attending an industry event. This issue, I’d like to share a few quick tips to get the most out of going to a show.

First, make it a point to get involved. Whether you’re a business owner or a crew member, an event like the Irrigation Show is a prime place to pick up education. Look into the education and certification events that are available and do what you can to pick up some new tips and some CEUs. Most of the experts who are leading the sessions make time after to take additional questions and share knowledge. Take time to talk with the people in the seats near you before or after a session. You never know how hearing about someone else’s experience can broaden your understanding of your own work.


Whether you’re a business owner or a crew member, an event like the Irrigation Show is a prime place to pick up education.


Second, take the time to plan what you need to do. Whether that means some scribbled notes on the back of your boarding pass or a fully completed calendar of entries in your favorite app, look ahead to see what’s available and plan accordingly. Make sure you’ve got your favorite networking and education sessions handled, but don’t stop there. See if there’s an event you’ve never been to before, and try to work that into your schedule. Browse the exhibitor list and determine which companies you need to stop by. Getting those necessary visits handled will make sure you have the time to walk the show floor and look for new technologies and products without worrying about accidentally forgetting an important deal.

Finally, take notes and follow up. Don’t assume that you’re going to remember why you have that business card the week after the show. A tried-and-true method is to write a quick note on a business card while it’s still fresh in your mind about why networking with that person was important to you. In the same way, make sure you don’t just collect notes during education sessions. Review them when you get back to your office and see how you can put them into practice to make a change. If you’re traveling by air, I’ve always heard that the flight home is a good distraction-free time to sit with those thoughts and find a way to adapt them to something your team can immediately put into play.

The Irrigation Show is a huge opportunity for you and your crew to improve your skills and find new products. Make sure you’re getting the most out of it.

As a final note, keep an eye out for news about Irrigation & Lighting’s Watch Us Grow: 2023 Industry Standout program. We’re moving the request for entries earlier into the year, so get ready to share your success stories for a chance to be featured. Keep an eye on irrigationandlighting.org for details.

As a quick reminder, make sure you’re registered for the upcoming Irrigation Show and Education Week, running Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas. Find out more about the show at irrigationshow.org.

Kyle Brown is editor-in-chief of Irrigation & Lighting magazine and can be reached via email.

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