Tech shows in Singapore always draw big crowds. As a result, it's loud, it's congested and it's not anyone's idea of fun.
The IT Show 2017 starts today and will continue filling up with people till it ends at 9pm on 19 March, Sunday. Want to survive the horde of fellow shoppers at the Suntec Convention Centre? Pay heed to these tips.
Additional text by Elissa Loi
Know what you’re buying
Signing up for just a smartphone or broadband plan? Or is it just a portable hard disk drive you’re buying? Trust us, taking public transport is much easier than looking for parking.
But, if you intend to bring big items such as a 65in TV or home entertainment system home, drive. Don’t even think about lugging them onto the bus or train.
If you're heading down on Thursday and Friday, good news - Suntec City’s parking charges start from S$2.20 for the first hour. And once it's after 5pm, S$2.20 per entry. Now if you're feeling a bit crazy and want to do this over the weekend, it's going to cost you S$1.10 per hour.
So plan your time wisely, buy whatever you need and get out ASAP.
Alternatively, more lots are available at nearby shopping mall Marina Square, which is a five-minute walk away. But do this only if you're not buying any bulky items.
Plan your route
Take a good look at the floor plan, identify where you can get that camera, smartphone or tablet and plan your route before heading down.
Always start with the smallest item, and move up to the final big item just before you leave.
Want to stay within your budget? Stay on the path, ignore the countless flyers being handed out and do not deviate from your planned route.
You might also want to check their Facebook page for the latest updates, so you don't get any nasty surprises at the last minute.
You're hardly going to be judged on appearances. Don’t worry about looking good, just go with a comfortable pair of sneakers. Avoid sandals and slippers, unless you want your toes trampled on.
Wearing comfortable clothes is important, but choose those with sizeable pockets too. Thumb drives, microSD cards or even battery packs can be chucked in, leaving your hands free to check out different gadgets along your escape route.
Lastly, bring a sling bag along to dump all the promotional brochures and flyers in. Find a corner, peruse them before you make the decision.
Spare your kids the agony
Don't bring them along for the ride. It’s noisy. It’s crowded. Your kids won't survive the crowd. They’ll fuss, they’ll cry and they won’t last an hour. And neither will you.
Eat before you shop
It’s a jungle out there. Especially when queues at the food outlets become ridiculously long. Our advice - have a heavy brunch, burn those calories shopping, then leave a few hours before closing time to avoid the exiting crowd.
Divide and conquer
Gather like-minded friends and split yourselves across the halls on a quest to find the best bargains. Even the most eagle-eyed person will miss some deals, especially the hourly deals that are being announced at the booths.
Set up a group chat on WhatsApp, WeChat, Line or whatever messaging service you prefer. If you see a not-to-be-missed deal, be considerate and send an alert to the group. Sometimes buying more than one unit can net you a bigger discount as well.
Remember, sharing is caring.