Networking at a trade event can be a great idea. It gives you the tools to build your audience, to connect with like-minded people and projects, and to generally help raise your profile. People at trade shows are there for one purpose and one purpose only, to see what’s on offer. So offer something. Networking at trade events can seem quite scary upon first consideration. Not only do you have to be in your best ‘presentation mode’ for a number of hours or days, but there’s a very real chance of you being shown up by a business similar to yours, effectively ruining your investment in being there.
Don’t let this happen. Learn how to network. Of course, if you have this goal in mind, there’s no need to traipse around the internet trying to figure out how to make our initial advice a reality. We’ve condensed some of the best information for you below:
We’re not talking about physical appearance. Your stand needs to exhibit something that catches the eye, out of hundreds of other booths trying to do the same. You might go for a particular size, such as a 10x10 trade show booth, or perhaps custom design the fringes with neon lighting. You might make it mysterious, such as crafting a booth with a curtain that by presence alone asks people to come and find out what’s within.
It might be that you dress those members of your staff presenting inappropriate cool uniforms, or even those with novel and humorous appeal. For example, if the product you’re trying to sell is some variant on Wild West rum, dressing as cowboys can certainly turn heads.
Think about how to brand this particular square footing dedicated to you, and you’ll no doubt begin to spawn ideas from that point. Why is this important? Because when you take care of this, people will come to you. Networking will be easier when people want to meet you and understand what your operation is all about.
Business cards are important to craft. They help you spread the word to people who might not be able to absorb the full offering of your trade presence. Think of ingenious methods of transferring them. You might give out goody bags to those who take part in your offering, and give them three or four business cards in there. They will likely make their way somewhere.
You might decide to place carefully crafted ‘gotcha’ cards in the pockets of those attending the audience, but remember this might be worthwhile at a humorous event, perhaps not a highly executive business show.
Offer Something New
Offering something new is worthwhile to trade show networking. Everyone knows the usual pace of networking. Greeting, smiling, exchanging information could be relatively boring. It might be worth walking around offering free samples to other businesses, or having a VIP section even more beautifully decorated than your main frontal showing. Giving people something to think about, and a unique platform of interest will ensure they feel more connected to you than others, because you will be the one offering something worth remembering.
With these simple efforts, networking at a trade event will be more than worthwhile.