How to Efficiently Network at a Trade Show

Networking at a trade show is one of the best ways to find new prospects and potential customers. It’s cheap. It is personal. And can have a longer lasting effect with your prospect if done correctly. However, networking is often overlooked in the rush and excitement of a trade show. It can also be difficult to network at a trade show when you only have a limited time between exchanges.

Before you head out to your next trade show, make sure you are prepared to bring your networking A-game by following some of the suggestions we share here:

Set Networking Goals

Take some time to write down some of your goals when it comes to networking with new potential clients at your upcoming trade shows. It could be that you set a goal to talk to a certain amount of people or end each day of the show with a certain number of business cards. What setting goals will force you to do is to consider who will be at the event and who you should focus on. Setting goals will also help you hold yourself and your team accountable.

Have Open-Ended Questions Prepared

You moment to network with a prospect can come and go in an instant. Do not waste your precious time stammering for questions that are not going to get you answers you need. Come up with key questions that you can ask instantly without having to think too hard. Make sure these questions are effective in getting you the answers that will do you the most good.

Build Relationships

All business and no play could make for a very dull trade show. Make sure you know how to ask questions along the way that help you form a bond with your new contact. This could include staying sharp for details that slip out in conversation or even sharing something personal about yourself at the appropriate time. One way to instantly form a bond is to find a way to introduce your new contact to someone else. It shows that you are paying attention to detail and value your new friendship.

Leave Something Behind

This is most important! If you do not have a business card, flyer or brochure to trade with others you come in contact with at a trade show, you might question why you went in the first place. It is imperative that you leave your contact with something that will leave an impression and remind them how they met you. Do not leave for your next trade show until you have your marketing material strategy in place!

Related: Planning for Trade Shows in 2015

Should you need marketing material now, be sure to call Printing Solutions at 480-596-6300. Let’s talk about your options and set you up to be a pro networker!

Andrew Pinch

Andrew Pinch

Andrew has been working in the print industry since 2003, working in prepress, management, and ultimately owner of print shops, including Printing Solutions of Tempe, Arizona. See Andrew's LinkedIn Profile here.