Getting the most out of trade shows26/03/2012
When it comes to playing the buyer role at a trade show the key is balancing the discovery for new business leads with the discovery for the industry's newest trends and innovations. Where will your priorities lie, and will you be prepared when the time comes?
Some companies focus all their trade show related attention from the seller's point of view. The increase of visibility and the addition of new prospective clients to your professional portfolio is attractive, yes, but preparing to take on a trade show from a buyer's point of view can be just as advantageous as attending as a seller.
While you're taking preparations for the trade show itself, how will you choose to attend? There are hundreds of trade shows every year, so remain focused on you and your company's best interests, but also use trade shows as a diving board to enter the business world's most updated innovations and business strategies. Sending your company's director or a larger group of qualified representatives will take different key points from the trade show. Information, also, is in the eye of the beholder, and a young intern may be more attracted by a new innovation while an experienced salesman will focus of establishing business contacts.
Before you arrive, manage your time so as not to get caught up with the rushed atmosphere of a trade show. Lectures, workshops, product presentations and key-note speeches draw your attention to a specific market trend, technological innovation, or simply provide the arena to create a new lead and expand your portfolio. Research the attending companies to give yourself as much of a background on the players as possible and set up appointments appropriately. Study a map of the venue layout and the location of the hosting sellers to better prepare yourself and try your best to allot plenty of time to wander around. While you float around, does a well-planned flashy booth catch your eye? It probably merits your attention. Marketing and sales teams who invest their time in making their booths flawless represent a company who puts advanced preparation and professionalism high on it's to do list.
The life of a trade show attendee can be a full time job. What with the opportunities for attending business meetings, the various presentations offered at multi-vendor trade conventions, and then following up after the trade show has finally shut its doors, getting ready for the trade show madness is worth the pertinent info obtained. Studies show that most attendees use trade shows to stay informed on the latest trends, above printed catalogues, websites, and even salesmen, so advanced preparation will allow you to maximize the time spent absorbing such an onslaught of information provided by a trade show. Taking time away from the office should be as profitable as possible, so set up your priorities before you attend your next trade show.
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