With our first expo taking place last week, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to give you some free tips and tricks when networking at a business expo.
Remember the first day of your job? When you walk into an office and all these strange faces just turn to look at the newbie and you go over and over in your head how to introduce yourself, it’s normal and completely okay to feel the same when walking into a business expo.
However, the difference being, we want to help avoid that happening by giving you some recommendations for when you head into networking at a business expo.
Here are our top 10 networking tips
1) Know your elevator pitch. It may sound simple and you might even read this and think “yep, I know this” or even “obviously I know it, it’s my business” but just take a minute and think do I really have a good, capturing elevator pitch. Write down your USP and what makes you different and start putting together an elevator pitch from that. Make it fun, different and memorable.
2) Try and attend events by yourself. No, we don’t want you to be lonely but if you go alone, it makes it much easier to spark conversation with people. You look more approachable and it’ll be easier for you to approach others too.
3) Have business cards at hand. Whether this individual business cards or a QR code for people to scan. When you spark up conversations, you want to have your business cards within easy reach. Also, top tip – put business cards you receive in another pocket to your own and it avoids them getting mixed up.
4) Make sure you check any keynote speakers, seminars, or things happening on the day. Have a look beforehand so you know where you need to be and when and schedule it into your day. Set an alarm on your phone if you’re not the best timekeeper.
5) Connect with other attendees on a ‘human’ level. Be yourself and find common ground. It makes it so much easier to chat to someone about business if you find a something you have in common outside of work. Also think about not only you can help their business but how their business may help you.
6) Have a look to see what competition is out there. A business expo is always a good opportunity to have a look at what competition you have. Are there any newbies? Are they doing something you’re not? Or the other way around. We definitely don’t advocate copying but it doesn’t heart to know where you are in the field.
7) Remember to listen. When people are talking to you, make sure you listen and that you look interested. Ask questions about their business and follow up with questions.
8) Use social media to build relationships whilst you’re there. Connect with people on LinkedIn and post a selfie of you together saying you’ve met at the event and you’re looking forward to building on the relationship. People love people who shout about them and their business.
9) Before you go to an event, remind yourself people are going to say no to you. People won’t want or need what you do but remember, that’s okay. It’s normal and it’s business. It’s not because they don’t like you or your product.
10) The last and the cheesiest tip – have fun. Make the most of the event, laugh, chat and enjoy meeting new people, connecting and networking.
If you are looking for new networking events and business expos to attend, check out our B2B Expos running across the UK. These are free to attend and we’d love to see you at one soon.
Head to b2bexpos.co.uk to find out more.