Exhibition design is important to really make an impact at a tradeshow, but you can’t get away without networking. In fact, networking is a vital part of any show. Even if you aren’t networking to get new clients, you’ll want to learn how to approach people and pitch, so that you can simply build up your, well, network of colleagues and friends.
There are some people that are considered “power networkers” (and contrary to popular belief, these aren’t the Lions that you’ll see on LinkedIn!), and those people can work a room like nobody else. You don’t have be a power networking, but it doesn’t hurt – and you never know whom you might meet. Here are out best tips on how to network like a pro.
1. Ask questions: most people get nervous at events, and they wind up talking about themselves a lot. Instead of talking about things, ask people things – but do this with sincerity, people can tell when you couldn’t care less.
2. Resort to small talk: I hate small talk. But, it’s a necessary evil. If you’re at a tradeshow, talk about anything other than what you sell – you’ll get there, but it’s not the way to start a conversation. Discuss speakers, events, and your industry. Remember to ask questions.
3. Learn how to listen. This is really a skill that most people haven’t even begun to master. If you can remember the small details about someone, you can bring those details up at a later time during a phone call, and they will be completely impressed by the fact that you took the time to remember and care.
4. Invite someone out for coffee or lunch. If you have a break during the day, try to find someone to hang out with, so that you can network some more. You don’t have to feel like the left out kid in the school cafeteria if you can’t find a lunch buddy, but it’s a good idea to try and spend some time with the person you’re trying to network with.
5. Remember to look approachable. Practice smiling naturally in the mirror, and see how approachable you look. If you find that your mouth hurts from smiling, you need more practice! Sometimes, people won’t approach a person that doesn’t look friendly, so let your guard down a bit.
6. Be confident – but don’t be “that” guy. Everyone likes confidence that’s quiet. Everyone hates confidence that’s really a guise. Be yourself, but be strong and sure of what you do. Confidence is magnetic.
7. Hand out your card at the end of a conversation. This tip is so simple, but so many people forget to do it. Handing out your card might seem strange at first, but it’s really easy to do. When you’re wrapping up a conversation, hand out your card and then leave.
8. Don’t put a card away right away. It can be seen as insulting when you stuff someone’s card directly into your bag as soon as they give it to you. Look at the card for a moment, comment on it, and then put it away with the reassurance that you’ll call that person.
Putting It All Together
If you need help with any aspect of exhibition design, contact Blazer Exhibits. Your exhibition design is a large part of any networking event because it showcases who you are. So make sure that your custom exhibit stands out. For everything else, take a careful look at this blog – we’ve put together some excellent marketing and business tips here for you to enjoy. Call us today for rates and details about a custom exhibit!