Fall is the time when Tradeshows and Expos are into full swing.
Business Expos can be a great idea for the business community, but all too often they end up being wasted opportunities for exhibitors, attendees and even the hosts. How can we make these events worthwhile?
Same Old – Same Old
Exhibitors and Sponsors want to meet new connections. Plain and simple. What the DON”T want, is to pay for booth space just to end up talking to the same people that show up at every other networking event that they attend. What they need is new opportunities to make solid contacts and relationships, which means that they will need to market themselves outside of their usual every day events.
By paying attention to the specific target market for the event and its reach, it will justify whether or not you think you will be able to meet new prospects and connections.
Do Your Part
Thinking that the success of the event that you will be attending falls to the event host, is just setting yourself up for failure. Yes, the host has a responsibility to ensure that there will be an interesting and alluring mix of opportunities for attendees, exhibitors should be doing their part by sending out their own press releases, talking about their participation on social media, in their newsletters and on their website during the weeks leading up to the event. It’s just common sense.
Invite your client list, promote a contest and post about it often on Social Media. Find out what the event’s hashtag is (special #name for the event) and start using it. Give people a reason to attend and remind them to stop by your booth while they’re checking out all the other exciting opportunities, seminars and exhibits.
Be mindful who will be manning your booth. Are they go-getters? Would they rather sit than stand and engage with prospects? Are they cheerful? Booth attendants will make or break an Expo experience, so you need to select the right people, and make sure that they are aware of initiatives in place to track leads, engage and be successful at the event. Once attendees come through the door, create a reason to go to your booth and to ask questions.
Don’t Be Shy
If you’re an attendee, don’t be afraid to smile back and have a conversation! If exhibitors seem to come on too strong, you can always excuse yourself, but networking with others may lead to new leads, collaboration opportunities and new sales!
Have a list of all of the business expos happening in your area and attend! It will be a great way to expand your network and get your name out there. Make sure you have enough business cards, a solid pair of comfortable shoes, and water, and go and connect – you never know what opportunities will be waiting around the corner!