28 Oct 2016

It’s another Friday, which means it’s time to continue our exploration of the easiest ways for a successful visit to an exhibition or a trade fair. The Beginner’s Guide to Trade Fairs has taken you through the early stages of preparations to the behaviours you should adopt to make better impressions. This next subject won’t be so much a chronological continuation in the sequence of events, but an overall goal you should work towards apart from selling your product. This is, of course, recording contacts – the most valuable resource at an industry event.

Yes, above all else, industry events are hosted for networking purposes. Knowing all the right people guarantees you easier access to new markets, distribution channels and resources. Not to mention a steady inflow of orders for your product or service.

You should be preparing for your event of choice with the mind that you’ll gather as many contacts as possible.
Contacts are why you invest so much money into going to fairs in the first place: it’s why you compete for the most striking booth in your sector and why you invest in creating an image. A good contact is invaluable; a return on investment that continues being active for years, if you know what you’re doing.

Work out a recording system that’s easy to use by everyone on your team
It might seem like this is unnecessary since all you need is to collect business cards and call it a day, but it’s not so simple. Events run at an incredible pace and it’s easy to misplace business cards. You will also forget people and names won’t ring a bell. This is why you need structure.

Digitalization is your friend
Digitalization makes it possible to gather all relevant data in a single place in real time complete with details to help you remember later on. Trust us. People, like being remembered and referencing one point or another of your talks together, will give you an advantage where networking is concerned. Use mobile devices to your advantage here.

Train your people to record contacts
This has to be the most crucial aspect of managing a booth. Not everyone who engages with you will make a commitment to buy. While they are not a client just yet – there’s potential. Your booth staff should be able to keep on record any single person who’ve come to the booth and inquired about your business.

Prepare a thank-you note
In the immediate aftermath of a trade fair, it might seem easy to just get lost in the sudden need to adapt from convention life to regular office life. This will cost you, clients. Strike while the iron is hot and visitors are still thinking about the event. Be sure to have a polite thank-you note at the ready. As soon as you get into the office, unload all the emails you’ve gathered and sent it out! You might not hear from them immediately or at all, but they will have seen it and remember it.

You have an easier time reconnecting
With the proper system and protocol, you’ll find it effortless to follow up on your contacts and establish further contact during the weeks after the trade fair.

We thank you for reading this article and hope to hear from you. What are some systems for record keeping that have helped you along the way? What hasn’t worked for you? Write to us at [email protected] and tell us.