We all know the importance of networking, especially at a trade show. It may seem like a tedious task, but is also one of the top reasons to attend a trade show. We know how tried you will be after putting your best foot forward all day on the show floor, but it’s crucial to your company and professional career that you go to those cocktail parties, receptions and other special events that happen at most trade shows.
Networking can be intimidating at first, especially when you are talking to a whole lot of people you don’t know. Here are some tips that will help you become a networking pro at your next face-to-face marketing event.
- Be yourself. People tend to run from cheesy sales pitches.
- Scott Ginsberg an expert in networking, says that networking is 90% attitude and 10% tactic. As you plan out who you want to meet only keep three major players in mind, then memorize their names.
- Don’t wear your agenda on your sleeve. We all know you have one, but try to keep in mind that in order to successfully network, anywhere you must have something of value to offer and vice versa.
- Find and use interesting ice breaker questions. Stay away from the boring old, what do you do for a living.
- Always have a writing utensil and paper handy to write down important details about the new connections you are making. The notepad on your smart phone will do the trick as well.
- It’s good to memorize information like, what makes your company stand out from competitor, what you like the most about your industry or profession, why you got started in this particular industry, etc.
- If you see the person you are chatting with start looking around, acting distracted like they want to leave, say your nice to meet your and goodbyes, it’s always better to leave the conversation first.
- Keep the momentum going after the show, keep in touch with the people you met networking. In order to maintain the relationship you must touch base with them often. However, be sure to wait a day after you meet them to connect on social media. Immediate social requests can make you seem desperate.
- Bring plenty of business cards. They are still an important and reliable networking tool.
The ultimate goal of networking is to establish and build relationships, not selling or playing a business card trading game. If you take the time to cultivate these relationships, these people will remember you if they are in need the goods and services your company offers. Networking is a great way to meet new people in your industry, whether they are new vendors, potential clients or just great new contacts to have.