Friday, 18 May 2012

Business Start up 2012 ExCell 7 ways to make the most of selling opportunities at trade shows

As Facebook is launched on Wall Street today, it is an appropriate day to be visiting a show dedicated to the needs of start up businesses.

 I wonder how many future Zuckerberg’s will be visiting and maybe exhibiting at the ExCel Business start up show 2012.

After 12 years of running this focused business show for start-ups and SMEs, Business Start up  have built up an enviable experience in recognising what a fledgling business needs to know before getting started.

With more than 230 exhibitors and over 140 seminars this year – plus a series of live events to participate in what they claim it is  “the biggest show in the UK for start ups.”

 There is so much to see and do at a trade show,  so you need to think carefully about how to manage your visit to make the most of your  time.

Business start up's  advice on planning to visit their exhibition seems common sense but I wonder how many will take such good advice.

I took a look at their checklist on the show website which helps  to make sure a visitor/exhibitor doesn't miss any of the essentials for their visit to the show.

(  minor point -OK for the observant someone forgot to update  the site from the show last year it still says 2011- but  hey keep your eye on the fly, Hugh,  and don’t  get tangled in the web of criticism and negative thinking!!!)

Setting clear objectives for the show.

Work out exactly what you need to know before you arrive. Past visitors to the show have stressed  to Business Start Up that a little preparation goes a long way when faced with the vast amount of information available .

Business startup warn that their exhibition is NOT like the scatter gun of an exhibition like the Ideal Home Show.
Here is their 7 stage preparation with a few additional ideas of my own to make better use of your time at a show.

a.       Plan

Make use of the show website, the updates the organisers send you by email and the show guide

Calculate how much time you think you will need to fit everything in, then double it. There is often so much to see and do that you might need to consider investing your time visiting on a number of days of the show.

b.      Identify

What do you want from this show? What information or advice do you need? Identify which exhibitors you should visit, which speakers you want to hear and the events you would like to participate in to get the most out of Business Startup.

c.       Target

Once you have planned who you want to see, use the floor plan of the show guide.

d.      Relax

When planning your trip to the show, leave time for reflection or for unexpected events - don't be unrealistic about what you can achieve, and don't be surprised who you may meet.

e.      Record

Don't forget to take a pen and notepad - or your laptop or PDA - so that you can make notes at the show. If you have a dictaphone, take that too. Nowadays I guess many will use their smart phone.

f.        Network

Take a good quantity of business cards, and a briefcase or backpack - if you haven't visited before, you'll be surprised just how much information is available such shows. The businesses you meet on the day could become your preferred suppliers, or your best customers.

g.       Follow-up

After the show, don't let your motivation go off the boil or your hot leads cool. Call the people who gave you their cards, keep those lunch dates, and put your networking contacts in your address book.

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