Tradeshow Tips

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Marketing Matters is getting ready for CEDIA EXPO 2013, which is one of the most important tradeshows of the year for those in the residential integration industry.

As we prepare, we thought it might be nice to share a few tips from our years of experience attending shows, for this show or any others you may have on the horizon.

 

All about Building Relationships

Everything you do should revolve around building relationships. Seeing the new product is nice, yet relationship building with those in your industry is paramount. I have the mindset that everyone you meet at a tradeshow is important. Don’t just play someone off because you think they are no value to you. We’ve met competitors that give us business because of conflicts of interest, junior associates that have introduced us to their company decision makers or remembered us when they took a new position, or even people we couldn’t do business with and they referred us to a friend.

 

Elevator Pitch

Your elevator pitch is a great tool to use when asked about what you do. Be sure to modify as necessary to the conversation at hand. After all,  everyone you talk to has one thing in mind: How you can help them.

 

Tailor your pitch for each person you meet. Doing a little research before the show and writing down notes on what issues they may have and how you can solve them can make for some very potent quick pitches. Consider:

1)     Who’s their target

2)     What do they want to accomplish

3)     What issues might they have that you can solve

 

Game Plan

Have a game plan for the show. Knowing who you want to talk to, a little about them, how you can help, who the person you want to talk is, etc., before the show can make the best most effective use of your time. In short, make a plan, map it out, make it work.

 

Attend the Events

Visiting on the show floor is nice, but don’t miss out on the wonderful opportunities after the show. I’ve built some of the longest relationships here. (For a list of events happening at CEDIA EXPO 2013, visit http://expo.cedia.net/attendee-information/special-events).

 

Follow Up

If you don’t follow up after the show, you might as well save your money, not go and do something else. Nearly everyone intends to do this, but not everyone does. I don’t think it’s really ever too late to follow up with someone. I’ve found cards in briefcase several months after a show and followed up which lead to good conversations. And dig up your contacts from last year’s show and follow up before the show. Maybe you can meet with them again and something benefitial will come of it.

 

There are so many more tips, and we’d love to hear what you’re learned from your experience. Please share!