How to ensure you and your clients make the most of networking at an exhibition.
March 19th sees International Client’s Day take place, where businesses from around the globe thank their clients. No matter the nature of your business, your client base is crucial to your success, so keeping them happy is imperative.
With our Brighton Expo taking place this summer at the AMEX Stadium, we know that many exhibitors will be inviting their clients to the event for a day of networking and seminars. With that in mind, our business experts have put together their top tips for helping your clients to make the most of networking at an exhibition.
- Preparation is key
Prepare a list of clients you think would mutually benefit from being introduced. Naturally your priority at an exhibition is likely to be ensuring you showcase your own business, but if you think carefully about who you can introduce beforehand, it should leave you with plenty of valuable networking time of your own
If you have a client who is just starting out in business or who has limited contacts in your area / industry, help them make the most of networking at an exhibition by accompanying them to seminars or lunch. It will give them the opportunity to meet people in a more informal environment, and you will be able to also use the time to network for your business
Be mindful of GDPR. The General Data Protection Regulation comes in to effect in May and means if you or your clients are collecting data from people you’ll need to make sure you’re compliant. Many exhibitors use business card drops for competitions as a way to collect data, but this would not be considered a legitimate sign up. Making the most out of networking at an exhibition also means not putting your business at risk of breaking the rules, so be sure to consider this when making introductions
- Social Media
If your client uses social media to promote their services or appearance at an exhibition, a retweet to your followers or a share of a post is a useful way to expand the reach of their business. Equally, if you know you’ll be meeting someone useful to a client, but they can’t make the meeting, take some of their business cards along to pass on
- Exhibition Space
Think about where in an exhibition space people who are of interest to you and your clients are likely to congregate and think about when it’s likely to be busy, as it’s easy to get swept up in wandering around on the day. This includes people who aren’t potential clients – for example, Let’s Do Business Brighton will be launching a business advice section where businesses can go for free support. This is likely to be busy throughout the day, but will offer the opportunity for quieter one to one conversations with business experts
- Help yourself
Remember, making yourself useful to others is the best way to ensure your clients get the best results from an event and that you can also make the most of networking at an exhibition. If you can offer people the chance to make meaningful, lasting connections, chances are they will reciprocate. It may not be straight away if they don’t know someone who could be a potential lead or supplier for example, but broadening your network is never a bad thing
To book your stand at the Brighton Exhibition, please click here.