Most business is done through following leads or bringing customers to you. But there’s another kind of environment that can provide a real boost to how much business you’re doing. That’s the environment created by a great networking event or an exhibition. Only there will you be sure to find that everyone’s either explicitly looking to buy or sell services. But that doesn’t mean success at one such event is going to fall right into your hands. You need to put the work in to get it.
The best thing that you can hope for from attending any networking event or exhibition is that people will remember you. A lot of this can be done by capturing their attention with a great pitch. Great pitches are all about two-way communication. How you learn the needs of your prospective client and fit your pitch to them. But the set-up you bring with you is important as well. For one, catching their attention with your stall or banner. Then there’s the ‘swag’ to consider. A lot of companies offer them for good reason. Be top of the game by offering stuff that’s actually useful to people and not too garish. Browse stores like Dynamic Gift and pick out stuff that you can imagine people having need of.
There’s being memorable, of course, and then there’s being obnoxious. The environment of an exhibition can be hectic, but that’s no reason to drop your standards. Always maintain that whoever you take with you is well trained and equipped to represent the business. Remember that these are customers that you’re talking to. Give them the same attention to detail you would give as if you were meeting with them one-on-one. Similarly, if you make plans or promises to contact anyone, follow them up. Even if they don’t seem particularly likely to become a client. That professionalism is what’s going to build a positive brand image for the business.
You’re not only there to market and sell or find prospective partners. These events also provide a fantastic opportunity to do a bit of fact-finding. First, there’s your competition and the other businesses to consider. You get a first-hand look at what they’re offering and how they do it. If they’re not in direct competition with you, it can even a good place to find some potential allies. Networking events in particular can be a great way to get all the specialists of the industry together. Find out as much as you can about other attendants as possible. Similarly, find out more about prospective customers by asking questions when you’re talking to them. The more you find out about your target market, the more info you have to work with outside of the event, too.
The keys to success at any event are memorability, professionalism and fact-finding. You need to not only catch the attention of the attendants; you need to learn as much about them as possible. Keep these three things in mind and you’ll have a much better shot at success in your next event.