Attending events and trade shows can be a great way to network, learn about new products and trends, and even get some much-needed inspiration. However, they can also be expensive and time-consuming, so it’s important to make sure they’re worth the investment. When done correctly, you can make a major impact on the future of your business and ensure the trip was worth your time and money.
From pre-event goal setting to post-event strategies, here are some of our top tips to help you make the most of your next event or trade show:
Set clear goals
Before you even start looking at event options, it’s important to know what you want to get out of the experience. Are you looking to meet new clients? Or is it more important for you and your team to learn about a specific industry trend and get inspired for your next project? Having clear goals about why you need to go will help you choose the right trade shows to attend and make sure you’re focusing on the right things once you’re there.
By going to an event that won’t help you meet your goals, you could be wasting precious time and resources that could be better dedicated to your company’s success.
Research the event and its attendees
Before you commit to attending a trade show or convention, do your homework. Look at the event website and see what kind of sessions and speakers are planned. Are they relevant to your goals? Who else will be attending? Are there any specific companies or individuals you want to connect with? Knowing this information beforehand can help you plan your schedule and make the most of your time at the event.
If your dream client is going to have a big presentation, or have several of their team members at the show, it could be a worthwhile trip for you. When emails and phone calls can’t get you to the right person — these events can help you get in front of your ideal audience.
Invest in the right print collateral for a trade show
Having the right print marketing collateral, such as brochures, catalogs, branded postcards, or banners, can make a big difference in how you’re perceived at a trade show. These materials should be professional and visually appealing, and they should clearly convey the message you want to get across. Consider using online document printing services and investing in high-quality materials from Mimeo that will make a lasting impression on attendees.
Network, network, network
Networking is one of the main reasons people attend conventions, trade shows, and other events, so make sure you take advantage of the opportunity. Don’t be shy about introducing yourself to new people and striking up conversations. It’s also a good idea to bring business cards (Mimeo can help you make beautiful ones, even if you need them tomorrow) and a list of talking points to help you make a good impression.
Follow up after the event or trade show
Just because the event is over doesn’t mean the networking has to stop. Make sure to follow up with the people you met and any leads you generated. This could be as simple as sending a quick email to say it was nice to meet them, or setting up a call to discuss potential business opportunities.
In conclusion, attending events and trade shows can be a valuable investment of your time and resources, as long as you approach them with clear goals and a plan in place. By doing your research, investing in the right print collateral, networking effectively, and following up after the event, you can make sure you’re getting the most out of every opportunity.
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