Has attending trade shows become boring and unproductive for you? It certainly doesn’t have to be…if you do it right. Exhibiting and networking at conventions can be both fun and fruitful.
Networking at Conventions – Tips for Success
1. Plan your Goals and Objectives in Advance
Attending trade shows requires some advance planning. Determine why you want to attend a specific event and what your goals are before you arrive. This will help you ensure that you meet your objectives for the show while you network with others including top professionals from your industry and market sector.
2. Smile and Pay Attention
Networking at conventions is not difficult to do but you must have the right etiquette and mindset. Start with a smile and a firm but brief handshake while introducing yourself. Do not squeeze too hard, and make sure to make eye contact while you are speaking with the individual so they know you are actually listening to them.
If you go to the expense and effort of attending conventions and benefiting from these networking opportunities make sure that everyone who stops by yoru area is greeted with a smile.
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3. Dress Appropriately and Comfortably
Before you plan on attending trade shows remember that you will be standing on your feet or walking around all day long. In addition, you may also pick up items, products, and samples from each booth that you visit. Wear comfortable clothing that is professional, and be careful to choose shoes that are comfortable for extended periods.
4. Strategically Schedule your time at the Trade Show
If you want to take advantage of the benefits that you can get from attending trade shows then you will need to look at the schedule for the event. Check out who will be giving demonstrations, who the guest speakers and topics will be, and which industry players will be attending that specific event.
5. End Conversations Gracefully
One important thing that you should practice before you start networking at conventions is how to gracefully end a conversation with someone new. If the discussion shows that the individual is not a good fit with you, your company, or your products then you need to gracefully and politely end the conversation and move on.
This is a great time to hand off one of those business cards burning a hole in your pocket.
Source: Jessica Taylor at Forbes.com
6. Stay Energized and Positive
Take care of yourself while you are attending trade shows, because this activity can be exhausting. Get plenty of sleep each night and take a rest during the day if this is needed. You will have more energy and be more positive, and both of these factors will help you attract the individuals that you want to meet.
7. Pack some Snacks
Keep quick and healthy snacks on hand for munching in between networking at conventions. Nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, or even some fruit can give you a quick pick me up in the middle of the day and give you the energy to keep going. Pick snacks that do not cause any stains or spots on clothing, and that do not need to be refrigerated.
8. Stay Hydrated
It is very important to stay hydrated when you are attending trade shows, and this means drinking plenty of water and other beverages that do not contain caffeine. Try to sip on a bottle of water all day long, because all of the activity and physical exertion can dehydrate you quickly even if the weather is cooler outside.
9. Bring Extra Business Cards
Always bring more than enough business cards with you when you are attending trade shows, you may run out faster than you think. This is especially true for events that are bigger or more popular because the crowds may be large. If you run out of business cards then you do not have the proper tools to help the individual remember whom you are and what your company does.
10. Take Advantage of Lectures, Demonstrations, and Speakers
When you are attending trade shows make sure that you do more than just walk from one booth to the next. These events can have terrific guest speakers, lectures, demonstrations, and other activities that can help you get excellent results no matter what your goals and objectives are or what you are trying to accomplish at the event.
11. Keep it Clean
Good hygiene is critical when you are networking at conventions. Your appearance and hygiene are the first things that the individual will see and notice. Proper hygiene will help you make a great first impression. A little perfume or cologne goes a long way though, so use these grooming products sparingly and only after showering.
12. Stay Professional
12. Whether you are attending trade shows to find a specific product or service or you want to take advantage of the opportunities for networking at conventions remember to be friendly but professional.
Trade shows are a fantastic place to network, show off your products and services, and become more educated. What other tips have you learned about attending trade shows?