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Trade Show Networking Can Help Your Business Expand and Grow Market Share

Ashley Andrews

Networking is one of the most important things you can do to build your brand recognition and your customer base. You will meet people who can provide you with needed capital, and even provide supplies and materials to build up your supply chain. There are a number of ways to use networking to give your business a boost, and gain a greater share of the market in which it operates.  

The following information will help you better understand the role networking plays in the creation, maintenance and expansion of your company.

Tradeshows form the basis for many networking plans

If you’re running a niche business, such as an auto manufacturer or juice box company, it’s a great idea to attend trade shows, exhibitions, and niche meetings. These events give you a twofold advantage. First, you’re able to take advantage of opportunities by setting up a table (or booth), which presents your company’s products and services to other attendees. Second, you’ll benefit from walking around, making connections, and connecting with similar niche businesses.

You’ll need someone to man your booth while you’re away. At any networking event, it’s imperative to make the rounds and examine what other tables have to offer. Carry business cards, greet strangers, and make those connections. If you’re understaffed, look for temporary staffing solutions that can connect you with talented marketers or business people, who are registered for short-term or on-going opportunities. Talent agencies staff temporary employees that specialize in running exhibits and demos.

Making Connections

Making introductions can be an awkward and daunting task, but it’s the only way to get what you want from a networking event. Here are some tips to help you build connections through quality introductions:

  • Come up with a one-sentence introduction, or elevator pitch (it’s called an elevator pitch because of its length; it should be over in the length of time it takes to ride an elevator from one floor to another). Development Crossroads recommends taking the time to “craft a one-sentence networking introduction, and try it out at your next networking event.”
  • Use a shared experience to create common ground. If you’re in the same business, this shouldn’t be difficult. If not, put out your feelers and find something to connect about.
  • Focus on your expertise, and don’t deviate from what you do. You’re an industry specialist, so tell people about that. Share client stories, business anecdotes, and experiment with what works.

Gather Identifying Info and Stay Organized

Attempt to acquire the email address, company name, and cell phone number from all contacts. Place this information in a special binder, called your contact binder. These can be pocket-sized or larger.

Lots of people will attempt to make contact with you, as well. They’ll put out feelers, and assess how your business could benefit theirs. Look for situations that are mutually beneficial, and avoid any attempt to oversell you items and services you cannot afford.

By attending trade shows, marketing events, and even job fairs you are meeting new people who are capable of supplying products for your business, offering sourcing of those supplies and raw materials, and/or partnering with you to increase your customer base. All-in-all, these are the benefits of a networking event, and good reasons to attend. 

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Preferred Partners
Consider these Preferred Partners for your events:

A/V
Armodilo Display Solutions
BossTab.com
AMP Audio Visual
SmartSource Rentals

Book Celebrity Talent
Book Celebrity Talent and Speakers

Booth and Exhibit Designers
Infinity Exhibits
BuildASign.com
Octametro
Diper Exhibitions
EZ Backdrops, Inc
ACI Design
The TradeShow Network Marketing Group
Nimlok
3DA Display
Signworld America
Epic Displays
Watson Productions

Catering
Dick's Last Resort San Antonio

Computer & Technology Rentals
SmartSource Rentals

Educational Content Development
Jason Kiesau

Entertainers
Dave Davlin
All Things Speaking
The Not Old Better Show

Event & Meeting Planners
Corporate Dimensions LTD

Event Analytics
Bear Analytics

Event Labor
AF Services, Inc.

Event Management Software
Conferences i/o
ConfPlus
ShowGo Software
Expo Inc.
Poken

Event Media
EMC Events, a division of EMC Outdoor
Conferences i/o
BossTab.com

Event & Meeting Planners
Liz King Events
Plan Ahead Events Nashville South
American Conference Marketing
Origin Event Planning

Event Webcasting
Digitell Inc.
Performedia

Experiential & Event Marketing Agencies
Watson Productions
EMC Events, a division of EMC Outdoor
Headshot Photo Lounge, Event Photography, Hashtag printing NextGenEventCo.com

Furniture Rentals
Diper Exhibitions

Hotels & Conference Facilities
Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel
Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Midtown West
Hilton Minneapolis / St. Paul Airport Mall of America
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront
The Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village
Sugar Land Marriott Town Square
Hilton Boston Back Bay
Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel
Hilton Fort Worth
Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel
Hilton Orange County / Costa Mesa
Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia
Marriott Plaza San Antonio

Independent Sales Representation
RepHunter, Inc

Language Translation Services
International Simultaneous Interpreters

List Building / Data Conversion
Bear Analytics

Marketing Services
Jim Nowakowski

Photography Services
Khaaliq Thomas Photography
Headshot Photo Lounge, Event Photography, Hashtag printing NextGenEventCo.com

Premium Items/Giveaways
Sweet Wrappings

Printing Services
BuildASign.com

Professional and Motivational Speakers
SpeakerMatch - The World's Largest Speakers Bureau
The Not Old Better Show
Book Celebrity Talent and Speakers
Dave Davlin
Jim Nowakowski
Kathy Gruver, PhD
The Productivity Experts
John Mattone-Global, Inc.
All Things Speaking
Enes Smith Presents - The Body Language of Like
Jason Kiesau
David Morey - Speaker/Author/Strategist and Performer

Public Relations Agencies
ThePRFreelancer, Inc.

Security Services
AF Services, Inc.

Seminar Organizers/Producers
John Mattone-Global, Inc.

Technology
Expo Inc.
ConfPlus
Poken

Trade Show Booth Traffic Builders
Corporate Dimensions LTD
Octametro
Sweet Wrappings

Travel Services
Book Your Trip

Venues
Dick's Last Resort San Antonio

Video Production
AMP Audio Visual

Virtual Event Management
Digitell Inc.