When you work as an independent agent – especially when you work from home – trade shows become even more important as an opportunity to network, learn and socialize.
In order to make the most of those important hours, here are a few suggestions:
1) When you arrive, do a preliminary walk around without stopping at any booth. Make a mental note of which are your priorities.
2) When you visit your ‘priority’ booths or tables, make the most of your time with the supplier. Don’t monopolize their time but take a moment to make a positive connection (this isn’t the place for you to launch into a long explanation of a dissatisfied client’s experience). If you have something you’d like to discuss further, such as a group quote, make a little note on your business card and leave it with the supplier.
3) Even the booths where you won’t be spending a lot of time, be sure to get the supplier’s cards. Because you never know.
4) Come prepared with a bag for all those wonderful brochures!
5) If there’s a meal, make a deal with yourself that you won’t sit with your friends or colleagues, but with folks you don’t know. They say there’s no such thing as a stranger, only friends you haven’t met yet. It’s yet another chance for you to make connections and expand your network.
Suppliers go to a lot of effort – and often a ton of expense – to get a little face time with you. Make the most of your time with them and watch your business grow!