There’s a business exhibition coming up in your area, should you make the time to go?
Here are seven reasons why putting the date in your diary is worth it.
Do your research
Don’t just plan to go to an exhibition just because it’s happening. Have a good look at what the day offers and decide on the best time to attend for you.
· Does the business show provide specific networking events you can attend where you can meet new business contacts?
· Will there be speakers who could be beneficial to your business and meeting them face to face and gaining an introduction could make the follow up call that much easier?
· Will there be 70 or more business exhibitors making it worthwhile? The exhibitors require both customers and suppliers.
· Will there be events to attend, providing information which will be beneficial and useful to your business?
Finding these things out will help you make a valued decision about how much time to allow when attending.
Decide on a goal
Now you’ve decided that the business show is for you decide what you want to gain from attending.
· Do you need new suppliers?
· Are there specific people you want to meet?
· Is there a masterclass which looks useful and interesting to you or your staff?
· Do you want to meet and make new contacts with business people, in general?
· Are the sponsors of the event of specific interest to you and it will be a good place to meet them in a more relaxed setting?
Whatever your reason, walk into the business show with a clear set of goals and use your time efficiently. BUT don’t be blinkered – you could miss an opportunity if you’re only thinking of one set purpose of being there.
Use social media to engage
All trade fairs will have online coverage so make the most of it. Connect on Twitter and Facebook and keep up to date with information and feeds.
· If there are exhibitors you’re interested in meeting, connect with them via LinkedIn
· Retweet Tweets sent by potential customers you follow, who are exhibiting
· Make contact via LinkedIn with people you’d like to meet, ask them if they’re attending the event you have in mind
· When at the trade fair take photographs, and use them to tweet and raise the profile of potential clients, customers and suppliers you’d like to work with in the future
· Engage with event speakers and trainers prior to the event using social media
Business to business networking is a big part of attending a trade fair. Here are some tips:-
· Make the most of all free networking events being held at the trade fair you’re interested in
· Brush up your networking skills before attending, wear a badge with your business name and logo and carry plenty of business cards
· Ask for people’s business cards and let them know you’ll follow up with them after the event
· Introduce yourself, face to face to event speakers and trainers after they’ve presented if you’ve already connected with them via social media.
Approach exhibitors, don’t assume you know everything about their company
Exhibitors are there because they want to talk to people like you. Do go up to stands and ask questions, you may find there is an aspect or side to their services you were unaware of.
Many exhibitors will hold competitions, giving away prizes to attract visitors. Enter as many as possible. Let’s face it, someone has got to win and it might as well be you! You will be added to the exhibitors’ email database and invited to their events and told about their services and products. But is that such a bad thing?
If You Don’t Attend – What might you miss?
Well, you’ll never know, if you’re not there.