Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders
goal of education is the advancement of knowledge
and the dissemination of truth."
John F. Kennedy
Barry Siskind's Articles
The Untapped Potential of your Trade Show Network
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it comes to networking opportunities, trade shows provide one of the best
venues. Here is the one place where everyone in your industry congregates
for a few short days and is focused
on one thing – business.
the last few years we have seen a significant drop in the number of people
who attend shows while the quality of those who do come has risen. This is
important news for an exhibitor or a
visitor who wants to meet and greet
those often inaccessible industry people.
are the same people you have left countless unanswered telephone and
e-mail messages for. These may be the same people who will ultimately
decide on the purchase of your product
or service. There will be the
movers and shakers - people who have their finger on the pulse of your
industry. All you need to do is be prepared.
are a few tips on preparing your networking activities for your next trade
Define your objective. Be really clear about what you want to accomplish
whether it is meeting decision makers, product experts, industry gurus,
forecasters, or people who work for your
competitors. Ask yourself, “What
do I want to accomplish with these people?” If you want to learn more
about your industry for example, take this statement a step further and
a list of the people you want to meet and the most likely place to meet
them. This will include such places as receptions, on the show floor, at
participating hotels, during industry events
such as meetings, banquets, sporting events, or at a lecture.
Attempt to reach these people ahead of time to set up a pre-arranged
meeting. This is a great idea because the people that you want to meet,
just like you, are busy and have full schedules.
Develop a list of questions. Rather than leaving the meeting to chance,
it is always better to spend a bit of time preparing the questions ahead of
time. Questions like the one in Step 1 –
Recording information. Bring a notebook to record the information that you are
Bring your business cards. It is simply good business etiquette to exchange
business cards during a business meeting. Having their cards also
gives you their vital statistics so you can get in
touch with them after
the show in case you have additional questions or need some clarification
on the information they gave you.
Thank them. Not only after the meeting is over but immediately after the
show. It is good business practice to send an e-mail or letter thanking
them for the time they spent with you and the
value their information had.
for opportunities to add information of your own. During your face to face
meetings you may stumble across bits of information the person you are
meeting with may be looking for.
Here is a great chance to give something
back to the conversation. But, be careful and avoid gossip. Keep the
information you are sharing factual and positive.
Sometimes we get so focused on setting up an exhibit or planning a trip
neglect the power we can cultivate with a strong network. Put these eight
simple steps to work at your next
show and reap the rewards that come from
adding networking to your show schedule.