Business to business exhibitions are one of the best ways to make valuable networking contacts. Discover how to make the most of them in our post below.
Before the exhibition
When it comes to successful networking, before you even get to the show, there is some serious work to be done. The good news is that such events tend to be incredibly well organised, which means through planning before you even arrive on site is entirely possible.
In particular, consider your aims of attending the exhibition area. We're not talking vague goals either, but specific SMART goals that you can demonstrate you have met after the event is over. For example, you may want to network 50 contacts.
Additionally, be sure to plan your time before you arrive at the business exhibition as well. This is because it can actually be pretty overwhelming and distracting once you arrive. After all, everyone will be going out of their way to attract your attention.
You stand may be the most crucial factor for networking success at a business exhibition. In fact, there are a range of issues you need to consider here.
The first is that your stand needs to be eye-catching and impressive. It needs to represent your brand in the best light and demonstrate your professionalism. What that means is DIY sugar paper displays are out and professionally designed, and printed assets are in.
It's not just the way that your stand looks that is important though. You also need a hook to get people to come to visit you. After all, it is those folks that will leave their contact information and become the network connections you are looking for.
With that in mind, consider running competitions, offering specific experiences and even providing attendees with valuable information relevant to their field. Then you can be sure to exchange these for contact information and useful fulfil your goals.
Also, do not forget that the whole point of getting contacts is so you can leverage these for sales later on. However, it is now standard practice to take a small stock of items and sell these at a reduced rate at the exhibition. In fact, this strategy can be very successful!
However, because you will only have your stall to sell from and not a properly set up store, you will need to consider how you will take payments. Some businesses choosing to only accept cash in this case. However, investing in a VPOS so you can take credit card payments easily online during the exhibition is a brilliant idea. After all, you don't want to end up alienating a vast swathe of customers that have the potential to purchase from you again!
Send staff around the exhibition
Finally, remember that while your stand is essential, you can also effectively meet your networking goals by moving around the exhibition.
It is a wise idea to pick your most lively and gregorius staff to do this and equip them with freebies to hand out. Then they will have a fantastic ice breaker and will be able to promote your brand and collect contacts as the exhibition progresses.