Your NRF 2018 Survival Guide – 12 Tips to Surviving the Big Show

January 04, 2018 | Post by Tom Alvey | 0 Comments

NRF is called the BIG Show for a reason. With over 18,000 retailers from more than 95 countries, it’s a huge event. Surviving all three days can be a real grind, but it’s totally worth it when you get back to the office and reflect on how much you were able to accomplish. 

Still, staying sharp over the course of the show can be hard. So to help, we’ve put together this short NRF Survival Guide. Follow these 12 easy tips – from what to pack to how to maintain your energy levels throughout the event, to turn NRF into your Big Win. 



Get Ready for Business

1) Business Cards: Bring more than enough business cards and have them with you everywhere you go. You never know when you’ll bump into someone and strike up a great conversation.

2) Take Notes on a Tablet/Notebook: You’ll take part in a lot of important conversations and activities throughout the day. Take notes so that you have a record when you get home and can share the highlights with your team. 

3) Know Your Elevator Pitch: There’s only so much time you’ll get to meet people and explain what you do. Know your pitch in advance and be prepared to answer some quick questions about your business. 

Pack the Essentials

4) Comfortable Shoes: Seriously. It’s not a fashion show. You’ll be walking as much as 5–9 miles over an 8-hour day. Look professional, but wear something comfortable. Your body will thank you.

5) Advil: It’s pretty easy to find yourself with a headache or joint pain at the end of the day. Be sure to pack a few Advil or Tylenol in your bag and keep them on you in case you need them.

6) Lightweight Bag: Have something that’s easy to carry for all the papers and giveaways you pick up throughout the day. That said, it doesn’t take much room to carry around two great tickets to the NFL’s Biggest Game – Enter Now for your chance to win. 

7) Breath mints or gum: You know, for after lunch.

8) Cash/Small Bills: While it’s easy to pay for most things with credit nowadays, you should still keep some money on you for things like tips, the coat check, or last minute small purchases.

9) Portable Power Packs: It’s a long day, and no one likes to run out of battery. If you forget, swing by the free charging station at either CompuCom booth #759 or #2331 for some quick juice.

Keep Sharp by Day 3

10) Eat Well: Speaking of running out of charge, you need to keep your energy up as well. While it’s tempting to skip breakfast for extra sleep, or miss out on lunch to explore, you’ll pay for it later. Full Conference Pass holders have lunch included on Level 1, including the CompuCom sponsored lunch on Monday. So take full advantage of all meals, and have some snacks on hand to keep your energy high throughout the day.

11) Stay Hydrated: Convention centers are notoriously dry. Bring water and drink it regularly, and try to avoid salty snacks that make you thirsty.

12) Stay Close to the Convention Center: Keep your transit time to a minimum by staying close to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. There’s nothing worse than a long taxi or subway ride at the end of a full day walking the floor. 

Don’t Just Survive – Thrive at NRF BIG

NRF is a big opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, and see the future of retail technology. With these tips in mind, you won’t just make it through the show, you’ll make the most of all three days. 

Download our NRF Preshow Checklist to help turn your NRF experience into a Big Win!

The content and opinions posted on this blog and any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not those of CompuCom.

  • Tom Alvey's picture

    Tom Alvey

    Tom Alvey is the Senior Vice President of the Retail Vertical for CompuCom. He has responsibility for Sales, Strategy and Account Management for all of CompuCom’s retail clients. He has over 25 years of successful executive-level leadership experience in the IT industry. Prior to CompuCom he held several executive-level positions at a major OEM specializing in the retail industry and a global telecommunications giant. He has expertise in sales, business development, and operations.

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