My journey starts earlier than most. As a speaker, I am preparing classes and handouts as far back as last summer 2017. I generally work on those up until show time. Most speakers put huge thought into their classes. As far as our company, we start planning about Nov-Dec. I usually ask our management team if they are interested in attending this year. Its a dumb question, because they have always been super excited to go. We dont invite our regular guys unless they have been with us for a while, and show that they will be coming back for years to come. So about Dec we will nail down rooms first. We will look all over at available options, we haven't had luck using the official providers much, and we like to stay in Hilton properties. This year one of the show hotels was the Hilton, so we went for it. Little more pricey, but now we wont have to Uber around. Once I got the rooms booked, I moved on to travel. We unlike most, like to spend some time, that means going early, and staying late. This year we are doing a Tues through Monday. I like the fact that we can enjoy the whole show, but also have a day or so away as a mini-vaca. I just hope it doesn't snow in. We are pretty loyal to United Airlines, and they had some great options in and out of CLE. Last is registering for classes. Ill be honest, it sucked this year. Was super hard to find the information, but fortunately there was a great mix of sessions. I like to have the guys take a mix of management classes, and also a mix of operational stuff. I try and pay attention to the speaker, as some are time tested and well worth the cost. We decided not to do the bootcamp this year. Not because anything to do with Brad the speaker, but more so we have done it the last two years, and just felt it didn't justify the cost this year. Will probably consider it next year. Brad is an excellent speaker, so while we didn't do the bootcamp, we did load up on his sessions. After a few hours, I had a good mix, and was finally able to get their site to work and get registered. I was able to use a promo code for a few bucks off, but its still a decent investment. Now the weight is off, and we can get ready for the show in a few weeks! Stay tuned for the next updates, Ill be sure to post tips for a successful trade show if you've never been! If you have any comments, post below and Ill try to answer with the next post.