Networking Tips for Your Next Trade Show

networkingSuccess doesn’t come easy anywhere – not even at a trade show where thousands of people are looking to buy the products they need. With so many direct and indirect competitors all around you, you have to work hard and work smart. Much of the ‘working smart’ involves networking, which is one of the most essential parts of doing any business.

Here are some networking tips for your next trade show:

1. Be proactive in approaching people:

When visitors come to your booth, don’t wait for them to speak to you. Be the first to connect. Approach them with a friendly and genuine smile and introduce yourself. Ask them what they are looking for and try to hold a conversation with them. Never give any of your visitors any reason to feel uncomfortable or awkward.

2. Be brief when introducing your product:

People do not have the patients for long descriptions; so be brief when introducing your products. In just a few sentences, tell your visitors what your company does and what products you sell. If they are interested and ask for more information, proceed to give the details. Do not take more time than necessary. If they get the feeling that you are trying a force your product on them, they may never return to your booth.

3. Exchange business cards:

Exchanging business cards is an important part of networking. But do not hand out your business card to whoever walks past your booth. Hold a conversation with your visitors first. If possible, get to know them personally and get them to know you personally. Before saying goodbye, give them your business card and ask them for their business card in return.

4. Participate in talk programs:

Every trade show has talk programs where exhibitors can talk about their products. Make it a point to participate in every talk program relevant to your line of business. When discussing your product, avoid technical jargons as much as you can since the audience can become bored easily. Make use of humor as much as you can to keep the audience interested. If you can make them laugh, they will make it a point to visit your booth before going home.

5. Use your off time to network:

All networking doesn’t have to be done at your booth; you can leave your booth and bring
people back to your booth. During your off time, go to the cafeteria or through the rows and try to draw strangers into a conversation. Do not talk about your product; instead, try to get to know them and their purpose of being there at the trade show. Once you get to know what they are looking for, ask them to come to your booth if they re a potential client.

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