Events such as trade shows, exhibitions and conferences are designed for the sole purpose of bringing together people with similar interests. Your job? To connect sincerely with as many people as you can to continue developing your campaigns or exposing your brand to a new audience. After all, this is the main reason for your attendance.
So how do you create connections?
- Make sure you prepare how you will introduce yourself and consider how you may answer any obvious questions that may be asked. It’s best not to put yourself on the spot.
- Get in contact with potential clients and pre-existing connections, arrange a time to meet with them during the event, even if only for a brief period. While you are there to meet new people, you can also use the opportunity to sustain current relations or prospects.
- Know who is attending the event. Who do you want to connect with and why? Consider planning your schedule around those who you would like to meet. Think about what you would like to ask them. If there are key prospects specifically, do your research for some background information.
- Register for social activities associated with the event. Take advantage of any activities built into your event that bring people together, after all these are specifically designed for networking.
- Do not forget your business cards!
Present Yourself Well.
- Make sure your attire matches the feel of your brand. Your confidence will show.
- Wear your nametag. This way people will be able to scan, identify and remember you.
- Introduce yourself first. Offer your hand out and firmly shake their hand. Share your name and what brings you to the event.
- Offer something useful and valuable beyond your name and handshake to your contact, whether a story or some suggestions about the location of the event. Establishing an instant connection is what will encourage someone to continue in the conversation.
- Ask questions. Always have key questions prepared, but also allow yourself to show your sincere interest, and break away from your script.
- Ensure you get the contact information of who you’re talking to. A good practice is taking a photo of their business card encase it gets misplaced while traveling.
- Remember to enjoy your time. Don’t overstress about meeting your goals. Yes, you are there to connect with other people and building meaningful relations, but focus on quality over quantity.
- Allow yourself to enjoy your time, and think of the bigger picture of creating relationships. Your ease will project onto others, and before you know it, you’ll be meeting many great people.