The hardest part of networking is turning up!
Horizon HR Solutions attended the 3 Counties Expo in Luton on Tuesday 30th April. I thought I would write a blog on what it’s like to be an exhibitor at one of these events – tips and hints for making it a successful day for you, and how we got on.
Be prepared. From the practical side of things – your stand and setting up a good base is very important when exhibiting. You need your stand to be both pleasing to the eye and practical. You want to stand out and you want people to come over and talk to you. Be different.
Almost every stand you come across will have a freebie and/or competition on it.
I would spend some time thinking about what you want to give away to visitors and other exhibitors. Perhaps you might want to do something that makes you different or you might want something that links directly to what you do as a business. We decided to hand out bath bombs at this expo – offering visitors to take a bath bomb and relax why Horizon HR Solutions takes care of all your HR needs. It raised some laughs and got us all talking!
It is also helpful to prepare a checklist of the items that you need to take with you on the day. This will save you forgetting something that is important to your stand. Not that I did that myself this time as I had my colleague running off to the local shops on hunt for a bowl to place business cards in whilst we were setting up!
Plan your route. You want to arrive with plenty of time to set up, find your bearings, enjoy a cup of tea and mingle with your fellow exhibitors. This will set you up for the day and help you to relax.
So, practically you’re ready! Your stand is good to go, your route is planned, your outfit is ready, and your freebie/offer/competition is all decided and prepared. Now it’s time to have a look through the list of other exhibitors to see if there is anyone you would like to talk to; have a look at their websites and find them on the floorplan.
Why not look them up and connect on LinkedIn beforehand and tell them you are looking forward to seeing them at the Expo – it breaks the ice!
Now’s the time to tell everyone where you are. Most big expos will help you with this by suppling words and hashtags they want you to use on social media. Share this on social media and email clients you may have in the area for them to pop in and say hello, if all attendees do this then there is potential for lots and lots of visitors – that’s the aim right!
Finally, practice what you’re going to say. The most used question I’ve found whilst exhibiting is:
“What do you do?”
You already know what you do – so it’s easy to answer this, so practice your delivery; your tone and your smile!
Do you know exhibiting is not scary at all. It’s full of laughs, information, good giveaways (thank you ClevaGroup for the amazing power bank!!) and loads of networking opportunities…so go get them!
Sounds obvious but you need to talk to people. Get out from behind your stand and mix with everyone. Yes, some people are there looking for certain services, yes, but this is all about the networking opportunity. If you stand out to them, they will remember you so if and when they need your services or products, they know who to call. They will also remember you to hopefully pass your details on to their clients!
The outcome you get from exhibiting or visiting one depends on what you put in on the day! If exhibitors all pull together to promote the event, talk to people, make new contacts and follow up, hopefully you will get some new clients and raise awareness of your business in the area.
I managed to meet a few other businesses that attended the 3 Counties Expo and we had a selfie! Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.
Finally…..if you or you know someone who may need HR services you know where to come… the girl who got you taking selfies.