January means the kick-off for conferences and trade shows, and as anyone who has attended or exhibited at one will likely tell you, they can be a major undertaking. Whether you enjoy large events or more intimate gatherings, there’s no denying that participating in them can be a great way to positively impact your business. Below are five ways to ensure you’re making the most out of your time and any financial investments you’re making at any upcoming conferences or trade shows.
Not all shows are created equal, and with the rising cost of attendee passes, it’s important to be discerning when choosing how you show up at most shows. Simply walking the floor of a show can be a great way to build important business connections, but only if the audience is in line with who you’re looking to target. Make sure to do your due diligence before deciding which shows to have a presence at.
Establish your budget and get creative
You’ve bought the exhibitor pass and plane ticket, but now what? You don’t need a massive budget to maximize your time at a show. Once you’ve determined your spend, think about how you can best utilize your time. Whether that means stacking your schedule with one-on-one coffee dates or potentially hosting some sort of larger-scale happy hour or dinner, there are countless ways to get in front of your desired audience.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Once you’ve committed, make sure to reach out to conference organizers to determine who else is attending. Oftentimes conferences will create a participant portal as a way to be able to establish connections and schedule meetings ahead of time. Be sure to take advantage of whatever form of connection the conference has in place!
Be social while on the ground
Based on the information you gathered before arriving at the conference, create a schedule and
make sure you’re as active as possible across LinkedIn. Make your presence visible by using the
designated conference hashtag and push out as much content while on the ground as possible.
Multiple days on the ground can feel like a blur of handshakes and first names, so make sure to solidify all connections by connecting on LinkedIn, sending a personalized message over email in order to truly nurture the connections you’ve made within 48 hours of the conference. This will help to make sure you remain top of mind.
Attending any upcoming conferences or trade shows or looking for guidance on which can have a positive impact on your business? We would love to discuss how we can help you maximize your presence. Please reach out to John Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.