Part of the point of attending expos is to connect with people interested in what you are selling. But a large part of expos is also calling people in advance of your event debut, so that you can tell those people that you will be at the event. Thus, you may have to pick up the phone and dial some people you’ve never talked to before. Further, you may have to get them to understand who you are, what you want, and why they should think about connecting with you at the upcoming show. Yikes.
Cold calling has never been a lot of fun. The person you’re calling doesn’t want to hear from you, you don’t want to make that call, and it’s uncomfortable for everyone involved. Thankfully, we have social media.
The Warm Call
If cold calling is dead, what’s left? Thanks to sites like LinkedIn, you can connect with lots of people well in advance of calling those people. How? While it’s not advisable to try and spam people by sending out a million LinkedIn connections to random people (and you can get reprimanded by the site for this kind of marketing), you can ask someone you know to connect you with a person that they know.
Here’s a good example: you see that your friend Brian is friends with an influential person in your industry that you want to speak with. You contact Brian and ask him to make those introductions. Hopefully Brian is willing, and you can immediately connect with the person that you want to speak with. Since Brian has introduced you, there’s no awkwardness prior to that first phone call. Further, you may be able to convince the person you want to meet to show up at the expos you plan to attend to speak with you. See how much simpler that is?
Other Social Sites
Not only can you used LinkedIn to generate warm leads, but you can also use sites like Facebook and even Twitter to get a jump on some networking that will take place at an upcoming trade show. If you see someone on Facebook that you are interested in connecting with, why not send them a note? Obviously, the other great thing about Facebook is that you can let everyone that follows you know about the trade show you are going to attend soon.
You can also use Twitter to attach your name and business name with a trade show hashtag. Let’s say, for example, that you plan to attend the TechCrunch show. Just use the #techcrunch hashtag when you talk about the show, and you’ll see that a lot of people will contact you just based on this association. From there, you can make that warm call, so no cold calls are needed.
When Cold Calls Are Still Required
There will be times when nobody you know can make a connection for you, and you can’t meet that person you want to speak with through any social network. Those times will be rare if you do your research and homework, but you may still have to pick up the phone and call someone you want to connect with. In that case, cold calling isn’t dead, and you will have to make those calls – but most of the time, you can meet that influential connection far in advance of a trade show.
Following Through to the Show
When it is time to attend the show, make sure that you have the right booth to impress the people you’ve spent so much time connecting with. Whether you made the connections in advance or you have had to go through that cold calling process, not following through with a booth that really grabs attention and spreads your message is a mistake – we don’t want you to make that mistake.
Blazer Exhibits will work with you to develop a tradeshow display that you can be proud of. Contact us today for estimates and information about our services, and make sure to find us on Facebook – we can’t wait to connect with you.