TRADE SECRETS BLOG
Tech Q & A: Connecting With Trade Show Attendees Before The Event
Social networking sites are a great way to meet attendees before a trade show.
Once you arrive at a trade show event, your main objective is to connect with attendees, separate the mildly interested from the qualified leads, then exchange helpful resources and contact information so that you can form meetings after the event. Unfortunately, connecting with an attendee that is actually a qualified lead is not as simple as it sounds.
In order to reach a consumer at a trade show event that may actually turn out to be a customer in the future, you must first weed through a lot of uninterested attendees. Unfortunately, this is quite a long process that could end up in a lot wasted time and effort throughout an entire event.
If only there was a way to identify attendees that were potential leads versus ones who simply want free giveaways and merchandise before you head to the event; That way, you would spend a lot more time connecting with qualified consumers rather than pitching to those who were uninterested in your products and services.
Luckily, there are several ways in which you can connect with trade show attendees and start conversations with them before you even hit the trade show floor―social networking sites. Certain websites such as LinkedIn and Twitter are great resources for forming business to business connections before a trade show event. Here are just a few ways in which you can utilize both of these resources:
While LinkedIn is a great tool for forming business relationships and connecting with those in your professional network, it also has several helpful features for any company who is presenting at a trade show event.
One of the most useful of these features is the Events tool. Located under the “More” drop down menu on your main LinkedIn page, this feature allows you to search through trade shows events based on location or industry. Once you have selected a trade show, you then are able to see all of the people who plan on attending and the various companies and industries they represent.
From that page, you are able to connect with those RSVP’d in order to form relationships before the show, set up face-to-face meetings, and send over any pre-show material that may be helpful to securing a potential lead. This can help you to form a business connection before the trade show itself and may lead to ongoing business relationships in the future.
Many popular trade shows have created hashtags for Twitter that are related to their event (#2011GlobalMarketing Show or #ABCIndustryEvent2011). These hashtags are a way to “tag” all Tweets that have to do with a certain trade show and can be used by anyone who is related to the event. Therefore, searching these tags on Twitter is a great way to indentify people who are planning on attending an event or even presenting at them.
Once you have identified those who use the hashtag and are attending your trade show, you can start to follow them for a better insight into their interests and company. You can also send them direct messages asking to connect once you are at the event.
Social networking is a great way to connect with consumers and trade show attendees before the actual event. Forming these connections and leads beforehand will not only help to give you an edge above your competition, but they will also ensure that you spend your quality time forming connections with qualified leads rather than those who may not be interested in your products. Be sure to utilize these tips mentioned above in order to make solid connections that will last long after the trade show has ended.
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