This year, we are so excited that Tradeshows have gotten back to normal. But what happens when you attend a trade show? Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you have too many people to see or sessions to attend? Or do you love the experience? For the extrovert, this can be fun, however, it can be challenging for some. Engaging in building relationships and networking at tradeshows shouldn’t be so difficult.
Here are some tips:
- Study the show: Before attending, make sure you spend time researching the specific show you are attending, pay attention to the companies that are of interest to you, and who you want to speak to, including researching the names of their teams before the event. Check to see if they are speaking or presenting during the sessions and try to attend a few sessions. Not only will you pick up some great ideas and tips, but hopefully network at the same time.
- What products are you looking for? Make a list of products that you are shopping for or those that you would like to have in your center. Need a demo? Perfect time to check these out live! Found some great products? Most tradeshow vendors have show specials. Ask about show specials and the deadline to get your order in. These can be substantial discounts over their regular prices.
- Business cards at hand: This should not have to be mentioned, but I can’t tell you how many times, I have seen people forget their cards or simply not bring enough. Make sure you have them on hand with easy-to-read information about your company. QR codes work great as well! Use your phone to snap pics of the cards so you can easily access them and upload them to your Drop-Box or One Drive.
- Social media focus: During a conversation or shortly after, add your contacts to social media, especially LinkedIn. This is a great way to connect with them immediately while it’s still fresh on your mind.
- Schedule a meeting: When visiting companies, schedule meeting time with them in advance. This way, you can be assured that you will be able to talk to the people who you wanted to see. Also, schedule your demo in advance! Want to schedule some time with us? Click here.
- Set some time aside: Don’t pack the entire day. Leave some time to just relax. Whether picking up a coffee and reviewing some materials or taking a load off after walking or running into the unexpected contact. Give yourself time to talk, mingle and relax.
- Pre-Register: Try to pre-register for the sessions, cocktail parties, and events. These sessions sometimes get full, and you will risk not being able to go to something you really wanted to attend.
- Network: It’s great to reconnect with friendly faces and people that you know. We love seeing our friends, catching up, and having fun. As a matter of fact, check out this slide show of past shows. But catching up is not networking. Be brave, and make connections with people who you have never met. Talk to people in the sessions, in the restroom, while in line getting coffee, or simply stop by and say hi! You are there to meet people and make new connections.
- Pay Attention: Listen to what people say, and take some quick notes. You never know when you can be of help to someone new to the industry or become an expert in your field.
- Wear comfy attire: Face it, you’ll be doing a lot of walking, and won’t have a lot of time to sit. Wear things that you can layer as the mornings may start out feeling cooler and get warmer throughout the day. Make sure you can walk miles in your shoes. Your attire will affect how you feel at the show, and networking and meeting people will go much better if you are in a good mood.
Remember, trade shows require time and effort, but not only during the event days. Make sure you plan the trip if you are flying in, get organized with your flights, and hotels, and set up your schedule. I hope these tips get you organized and, on your way, to have a great time at Bowl Expo 2022!