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Get Your ‘Game Face’ On for Trade Show Season

Succeeding in business is all about making connections.” – Richard Branson

A lot of companies view trade shows as a way to defend or improve their position in their perspective industries. Others see them as a way to make connections and build lasting relationships in person instead of on the phone or online. In both cases, a trade show is an investment and provides a myriad of opportunities to tell your story. The following highlights a few thoughts on how you can make your next big show worth your while.

Murphy’s Law – It should go without saying that it takes time to plan effective participation at a major industry event, but it never fails that many believe they can plan a successful presence at an event just 30 days in advance. Logistics for a major industry event are like a labyrinth, which guarantees anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Advance planning provides an opportunity for you to have a backup plan in place so you can focus on important things, like telling your story to potential new clients.

Game On! – In the midst of the hustle and bustle on the floor, sometimes it’s easy to get hung up on the details and forget the real reason you’re there – to increase business for your company. Start thinking about how many new contacts you want to make before you even leave home base. Even better, make it a game with your colleagues to see who can reach their goal first. There’s no rule against having fun at a trade show!

Hashtags – Hashtags are the hot topic of the moment and there are plenty of ‘creative’ ways they are being used, especially at trade shows to make connections and increase business. Each show has a hashtag, so find out what it is and use it whenever talking about or commenting on the event. Monitor tags through your social media accounts to see what attendees are paying attention to and use that to identify contacts of interest so you can make introductions that might not otherwise happen.

Stay Healthy – This seems like a no-brainer, but the constant stress and movement of a show can sometimes make you forget about taking care of yourself. Just like they say on an airplane, save yourself first and then help others. This means making sure you are eating healthy meals, drinking lots of water and taking some time to yourself to simply relax. If your hotel has a spa, get a massage. Oh, and hand sanitizer is your friend so be sure to have some in the booth for your team and your visitors.

It’s Not Over, ‘Til It’s Over – This is when that saying about the fat lady singing, rings true. It’s close to the end of the show, the crowds have thinned and your team is ready to start packing up. But your job’s not over. Those left are usually there because they know they can get quality time when the floor is less busy. Staying energized and engaged until the show officially closes proves you are committed to the show, and more importantly, the business.

There’s no question that trade shows can be a lot of work, but they can also help you score big sales and take your company to the next level. So get out on the floor and have some fun!

 

This article was previously written by Chris Martin and appeared in TEQ Magazine.