When you visit a trade show, you’re either shopping for a service or product or looking for business opportunities (clients, collaborations, new markets and products and more). Coming prepared for your business opportunity goals comes a long way, showing yourself as a professional too.
Be confident and don’t be afraid to approach booth owners. This is what you cleared your time and came here for!
If you see a company that seems like a potential business opportunity, take a direct (but kind) approach, first – ask them about their offering, take their marketing materials/business cards. Have a look at them, ask a relevant question to get to know them.
After listening to their presentation, present yourself and what you do, make your case on the business opportunity that you see between you. Tell them about your experience and see how they react.
If you have samples of your works – have them prepared on your phone so you can show them to persons of interest.
Present and hand out your branded materials: updated business cards, rack cards, brochures – anything that would help you make your case AND provide your contact details. Carry a bag or a folder, whichever works better for you).
When you finish your conversation, remember to be polite, shake their hands and call out an action item – always on your end (“I’ll send you an email and we’ll set up a meeting”).
Make notes of the people you meet, the companies that interest you, or you feel could benefit from your services. Carry a small notebook, write or record your comments on your smartphone.
You now have leads!
After leaving the tradeshow, look at your notes and the collaterals you have collected.
Make a list of action items: who to call/email, in regards to what, etc.
Then - just do what's on your list!
So, are you ready for your next tradeshow?
Ask for feedback!