The best technology trade shows are really great opportunities for you as a salesperson to meet existing and potential customers. Thanks to the new contacts you meet on the show floor and during the drinks, you have a wonderful chance to spot a great sales opportunity early on! At technology fairs you can often get in touch more easily with, for example, a CEO or CTO of a large international company. But how do you make sure you can have a fun and, above all, successful technology fair experience?
Read on and discover the 5 things you should and should not do at technology events to find new sales opportunities.
5 things you should do
1) Do: Register early and get list of current and previous attendees
Are you considering sponsoring a technology fair or buying an entrance pass? Then be sure to register extra early so you have more time to prepare properly. You will also have longer to contact all relevant people on the previous and new participants list. This way you book all important meetings early and you can be sure that you won’t miss an important appointment.
2) Do: Go through the meeting tool in reverse alphabetical order and track new registrations
The vast majority of people start sending meeting invitations based on the alphabetical A-Z order of the attendee list. As a result, many potential attendees of interest are not contacted until a later stage. If you start in reverse alphabetical order, you have a much better chance of booking a great meeting with important participants more quickly. In addition, the participant list is regularly updated with new people. Therefore, follow the updates and then contact new participants immediately, even before your competitors do!
3) Do: Follow social media hashtags, participate in discussions and post open questions
After registering, you can immediately search and subscribe to technology fair hashtags. For example, on Twitter and LinkedIn. Now you know exactly who all is going to the event as soon as they post or comment on a post with that hashtag. Also participate in the discussion on social media about the event. For example, share useful information or an interesting post you read earlier. Also post regularly about the upcoming technology fair and that you are looking forward to it. Ask open-ended questions such as what you hope to learn at the event and who you hope to meet. Share those on LinkedIn and Twitter and also ask others what they are looking for and if you can help them.
4) Do: Register for the get-togethers and look for unique sponsorship opportunities
The best new contacts are made at technology fairs during one of the many drinks and receptions. In the evenings at the bar, you meet the nicest people who can also help you get other new contacts. During the day, schedules are often already full and planning a spontaneous meeting is difficult. In addition, the atmosphere during drinks parties is often a lot more informal (an unnecessary tip, don’t drink (too much) yourself). Thanks to those nice new contact moments you may find new sales opportunities faster. Do not forget to ask the organizer of the technology fair about unique sponsorship opportunities, such as a smoothie bar and a barista coffee corner. Everyone loves good coffee and some extra vitamins after an evening of drinks at the bar. With these sponsorship opportunities, you collect all kinds of new contacts that you can follow up with during or after the technology fair.
5) Do: Delve into LinkedIn profiles and send a unique message
Always take the time to delve into the LinkedIn profile of the person you want to meet with. See something unique about his position, experience, common contacts or interests in the technology fair? Then mention it in the meeting invite you send to him/her. That way you can be sure that your message does get read and there is a better chance that you will actually meet up. You can write something very brief about your company, problems you help solve and if there are any leads to discuss further together.
5 things not to do
Now for 5 tips on what not to do when preparing for and attending technology fairs. The points below are common mistakes made by both novice and experienced salespeople.
1) Copy a standard message into the meeting tool and send it to everyone as a mass message
Stay far away from non-personalized irrelevant messages and invitations through the meeting tool. This is guaranteed not to work! Chances are your message won’t even be read. In addition, you also create a new problem, which is that people will also not want to respond to your messages for future events in the future. Always write a personal message, keep it short but relevant and always include some form of added value. This way your message will be read and you will book the best meetings at technology fairs.
2) Missing the opportunity to address people spontaneously
Why do people go to trade shows? To meet new people, maintain existing relationships and gain knowledge. If you do not address people spontaneously out of false shame and modesty, you are missing a huge opportunity to make great new contacts. The best new contacts and clients are always found thanks to spontaneous moments. Don’t be afraid and just start a nice informal conversation, for example at a standing table during lunch. Everyone wants to make new contacts during the fair. Make sure you become a fun, sociable conversationalist who connects people and you’ll see that everything comes naturally!
3) Skip the last day
Many people choose to skip the last day of a technology fair. Especially if they have already had plenty of meetings the days before. Actually, this is a missed opportunity because on the last day you can still meet interesting contacts. Sometimes you can be surprised by that one prospect who still bumps into you and has a concrete sales opportunity. Going to a technology trade show? Then commit to it to the max and really make the most of it.
4) Being too busy selling, during drinks and lunch
Everyone understands that as a sales expert you have to meet your targets. But try not to sprinkle too much on how great your company is and what great products you have. Limit your conversations to the level of trends, what challenges your prospect has and how they can be solved. For example, talk about other customers with a similar problem and how you solved it. Insist on a follow-up appointment to talk further in peace and quiet. Then you have a much better chance of success, rather than trying to get an offer or contract signed on the trade show floor.
5) Forgetting to chat and get information at every booth
Sometimes at a technology trade show it feels like there are only other salespeople walking around. This makes sense, because the best sales representatives obviously need to stay near their booth in case a prospect asks a question. But what you should especially remember is to have a chat at each booth. In fact, you can ask who you should actually talk to within their company. If you then try to contact that person afterwards, it suddenly goes much easier. You no longer come in completely cold. You can say that you are calling because his/her colleague at the technology fair recommended it.
How do you go about business events and do you recognize these 5 things you should and shouldn’t do especially at technology fairs? Want to know about the best upcoming trade shows and related sponsorship opportunities in your industry? If so, contact Cloudsuppliers.