Expos can be overwhelming. You’re away from the comfort of your office surrounded by strangers. You have to network with people who may or may not have ever heard of your company. There’s a mass of humanity on the showroom floor trying to swarm to the latest product on display. The frustration increases tenfold when you’re a tech company trying to explain your products at a non-tech industry expo. So to help you survive this experience, here are my Expo Survival Tips.
Have Your Business Cards Ready
I feel like I shouldn’t have to remind professionals to bring business cards to events like these, but you’d be surprised. Too often, people come unprepared to properly network at big expos. Yes, you could just give someone your number, but just because your number is programmed into their phone doesn’t mean they’ll call you. In fact, they may completely forget who you are, what you do, and what company you represent. That’s why business cards are so important. They don’t just offer brand recognition, they act as physical reminders to call person X from business Y.
2. Share Your Experience on Social Media
Hey, you’re out of the office. You’re at a big convention. Brag about it! Sure, there are probably better things you can be doing, like enjoying some fresh air, or perhaps donating your time to a local charity. Or, you know, doing actual work. But hey, you’re out of the office! Enjoy it! Explore these uncharted showrooms like Magellan, and report your finding to your followers on Facebook and Twitter.
3. Be Patient
Chances are, you’ll be dealing with business owners who don’t share your competency for tech. You may have to do a lot of explaining. Just be patient and remember that this all in hopes that they will become a valued customer in the near future. A little patience can make a lot of money.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Leave Your Booth
Unless you’re going solo, you should take the opportunity to actually leave the booth. For example, if your team is comprised of only two people, you can take turns between manning the booth and mingling with the expo crowd. If you are going solo and your stuck at your booth, I’m…I’m so sorry. It’s going to be a long day.
5. Enjoy Your Free Swag
In my opinion, the best part of any expo is all the free stuff you can take home. These types of events almost always offer free food, mugs, shirts, glasses, and other random knick-knacks. The stuff you get won’t complete your early Christmas shopping, but hey, free is free. There’s nothing better than free stuff.