Tradeshows are a great way for us to build and nurture relationships. We benefit from meeting new people and connecting with people we already know well. But they are also a large investment. The cost of hotels, airfare and time off of the daily routine adds up – tradeshows can get expensive.
We thought we’d share 5 tips we’ve learned that help us get the most out of tradeshows. Hope they help you to do the same.
- Create 3 clear objectives for ourselves and our team.
We’ve found 3 objectives is the golden number. We think of it a little like Goldilocks. Too many objectives and our focus gets scattered. Too few and the conference isn’t worth attending. Each objective can be broken down further, but when setting them for ourselves, we like to keep it simple.
#1 – Attend X Sessions/Seminars
#2 – Generate X number of leads for the company
#3 – Meet with X number of existing clients
- Confirm and attend all meetings on our agenda
There are few things as damaging to a company’s reputation as being unreliable. Things at
tradeshows can get messy and we may find our schedule packed from one moment to another. Keeping our commitment to a meeting is important. Often it’s the first impression that people have of us. It tells them a lot about who they will be working with. Balancing our schedule is an essential skill to make sure we are meeting all our commitments. We use a shared calendar for each trade show. However, there are other tools you can try like, youcanbook.me, cirrusinsight.com or acuityscheduling.com.
- Take Advantage of Seminars and Panels
Most trade shows allow more than enough free time to walk around and network. When there is a seminar or panel presentation that’s interesting to us we try to join in and learn something new. We’re often surprised at what we take away by listening in on a topic only slightly related to our business. Tradeshows are typically targeted to a certain industry or interest so all the panels and seminars discuss a topic that can be enlightening.
- Socialize with everyone
After our first few trade shows we started seeing some of the same people over and over again. This is not a bad thing. We try to meet as many of these people as we can. It’s important to build a large tradeshow network and let our network know our objectives. These are the people who will be our connectors and for whom we can provide connections. Socializing is the main objective of all tradeshows so we take advantage of the time we have with industry experts and insiders.
- Be a Connecter
Robert Ingersoll once said, “We rise by lifting others.” My mom said, “It’s not all about you.” We try to learn about the needs of people in our industry and network. We keep an ear open for them and connect them with people that may help them to achieve their goals. There is a great deal of satisfaction in connecting people with the products and services that they need and that will help their business succeed.
These are just a few tips we have learned. They help us get the most out of trade shows.. We hope they will helpful to your team.
What tips would you suggest from your experiences at trade shows? Share them on the comments section below.