Until I’d read Jay Conrad Levinson’s (founder of Guerilla Marketing) tips to the Guerilla approach to getting value out of trade shows, I’d realized that like the majority of trade show attendees I didn’t have a strategy in place.
Here’s some tips which will help you up your trade show game:
Why go to a trade show or convention like Affiliate Summit West?
Most would go to:
- Find out what’s new
- See and find out about their competitiors (whether fellow affiliate marketers or affiliate managers) and compare prices
- Collect literature from the various exhibitors, evalute their content
- Massive time leverage: events provide the opportunity to collect a vast amount of information in a short time
- Meet contacts
- Get media exposure
- Casual business networking
If you’d like to bump up your networking game however, you’d also work to:
- Establish rapport, build trust, especially with vital contacts
- Meet hard to find people, ask to meet the boss of the organization, have some face recognition, especially if you’re planning to establish yourself
- Sell your services to the exhibitors too (It’s a 2 way street)
- Establish your personal branding, as you’re working the halls, develop “face recognition” type branding. Give people you meet a taste of your personality. You could be shortlisted for evaluating new products or services. If you make a deep impression, you might even be fasttracked on some programs.
- Headhunt: Whether you’re out to look for joint venture partner or possibly new employees, you could have opportunities which would otherwise be difficult to achieve over the Internet
Face-to-face meetings at conventions tend to be tightly focused, short and you can get down to business within 30 seconds of meeting. With more than 1,700 participants, you’d be pressed for time.
To build your million dollar opportunities, the following steps will give you an unfair advantage:
- Plan your goals beforehand: Before you arrive at ASW, plan your goals for the show: How many people do you want to meet? How many leads do you want to achieve? Who do you want to make contact with?
- Daily evaluation: Look over your goals every day. Do you need to set the bar higher? Do you need to focus more on contact building? Should you talk more to an earlier contact? Do you need to propose a followup to an earlier conversation?
- Plan your time now: Your time is limited. What can you do in that span of time which will give you the biggest benefit?
- Update your plans at the show: No plan is set in stone. Look at the situation and make your adjustments accordingly.
If you’re headed to ASW, be sure to say hi when you see me.