Whether you are attending as an exhibitor or delegate, business shows can be highly beneficial.
To ensure however that you get the very best return from your time and investment, the key is planning ahead.
Here are a few things to think about.
1. Plan your outcomes
Have a clear target for what you want to come away with.
This may be a number of agreed sales or a number of diarised follow up meetings.
This may be capturing a number of email addresses to add to your marketing database or even just catching up with two or three specific people that you know will be there.
Setting and achieving a clear event goal will help you see a ROI at the end.
2. Do your homework
Check travel times, parking and access.
This is especially important if you are an exhibitor, so ensure you have enough spare time to get to the venue and set up.
There may also be events taking place within the show that you can get involved in, so ensure you are aware of all the business opportunities.
Sterling business shows for example include both engaging speakers in the BIG Breakfast and interactive roundtable forums.
Speakers are hand-picked, influential business leaders and the roundtable forums are relaxed discussion groups chaired by an industry expert and focusing on a pertinent business issue.
3. Be prepared with the correct materials
Dress right for the occasion and ensure you take all the right materials along.
These are likely to be your business cards, brochures, leaflets or other handouts.
If you have a stand, ensure you have everything you need to create a welcoming, engaging and informative exhibition space where people will want to linger and talk.
Ensure also that you take your diary so that you can book in (there and then) those all-important follow up appointments or, that you have lead sheets where you can staple a business card and write notes.
It’s all about ensuring that when you do get to the event, you have everything you need to do business.
4. Respect the exhibitors
If you are visiting a business exhibition as a delegate, do remember that the exhibitors have paid to attend.
Please be respectful of this and take time to be interested in them and their business offer.
Of course, if they ask you what you do, that is an invitation for you to tell them about your business and how you can help.
5. Talk to the most important people first
Make a point of talking to your most important people first.
Remember, the people you particularly want to speak to may not be free when you first go to find them (unless of course you have booked to meet them in advance).
Your most important 121 conversations may also need plenty of time, so ensure you don’t finally get to meet your key people in the last half hour of the event.
6. Follow up in an appropriate way
It is important, courteous and professional to follow up appropriately after a show, so do put aside some time the next day to reconnect with any contacts you have made.
This process may include follow up phone calls, follow up meeting confirmations and making LinkedIn and other social media connections.
Even if you have not agreed a specific next stage activity, it is always a good idea to confirm a great conversation by email.
Sterling morning business shows
Sterling business shows are vibrant and engaging morning only events which generate a huge amount of business interaction and enable you maximise your professional time.
They start at 6.45am with a BIG Breakfast networking event and following this, the doors open at around 8.30am to the main exhibition area.
Here you’ll be able to continue any conversations you started at breakfast and talk to all the exhibitors and delegates.
Free tea, coffee and water will be available to keep you going and event parking is always free too.
We currently programme three shows each year and in 2018 these take place in Worcester, Swindon and Cheltenham.
Click here to discover Sterling events or call now to book your exhibition stand on 01905 947150. (Worcester business show is Sold out)
Tracey Davis, Sales Director
Sterling Network Groups
OK, let’s go back to basics.
Perhaps you already attend networking events or perhaps you’re a newbie and you’d like to know what they’re all about.
Here at Sterling Networks we have been running professional business networking events for around four years and each fortnight, across nine events (a mixture of breakfast and lunchtime meetings), we bring together over 180 businesses.
What is a business networking event?
Quite simply, a networking event is a one to three hour meeting where businesses meet, get to know each other and work together.
They may be breakfast meetings (Sterling breakfast events for example, kick off at 6.45am and last until 8.30am), lunchtime meetings or evening meetings.
Usually over breakfast or lunch there will be a formal opportunity for each attendee to stand up and talk for one minute about their business and the type of help or referrals they’re looking for.
Attendees will often talk about the businesses they’re best placed to help and therefore, the ones they would most like to be introduced to.
Usually, there will also be space for them to have face to face conversations and swop business cards.
In addition, networking groups often will invite one of their members to stand up for ten minutes and share some useful business information and advice.
Essential follow ups
One of the most important parts of successful business networking is however, what guests do after each meeting, in terms of building working relationships.
At Sterling networking groups for example, we always encourage people to find time in their diaries and book in follow up, one to one meetings.
What do people get out of being a networking group member?
More support and more business!
It is as simple as that.
Networking is all about building trusted relationships so that people can help you move your business forward - and you can help them.
A vibrant and well attended meeting will have lots of collaboration and work shared between those attending including guests taking each other’s business cards (or email details) to pass onto their connections.
Like to know more?
The best way to get started is to book a place and attend a local networking event.
At Sterling Networking you will be guaranteed a friendly and professional welcome and you’ll meet lots of people who will be interested in finding out all about you and your business.
Click here to discover Sterling Networking Groups and locations or call Tracey at Sterling HQ on 01905 947150.
Sterling Network Groups