There are numerous ways in which small businesses can successfully maximise opportunities at business events. But just how many of these techniques are continuing to prove to be beneficial in the digital age?
Consider business cards. Let’s face it…the majority of business cards are thrown away, and they act as a prime example of how traditional methods of grabbing opportunities at business events are becoming increasingly cumbersome. The Rolodex is a thing of the past, we must manually transfer data to a more useful source (e.g. digital storage), and there’s a chance of losing details before being able to act upon the opportunity.
So how can small businesses maximise their opportunities at business events?
Do Your Research
Name tags may not mean much, but they do to Google. On-the-spot research identifies who’s who, making it easier to target those that present the greatest potential opportunities for your business. Regardless of whether you’re looking to meet people from specific industries, scope out competitors, or identify possible clients, being able to gain insight into an attendee’s interests, achievements, and area of expertise can be useful. It helps you to tailor your approach to suitably engage with your audience.
Give a Presentation
Booking a speaking slot at an event is one of the best ways to address multiple sources of opportunities efficiently and effectively while also boosting brand exposure and visibility. While standing up and speaking in front of a room full of people isn’t for everyone, it’s possible to calm nerves by being able to support and back up your ideas. Mobile devices and business apps are helpful in ensuring that valuable supporting data from the office is available, wherever you are and whenever you may need it.
If you’re asked specific information about a product or service, are you prepared with the most insightful and informative answers? If you arrange a deal, are you prepared to seal it on the spot? Opportunities may fade with time, so it’s always best to grab them there and then. Mobile apps that enable full catalogue display, quoting and ordering software are essential for capturing on-the-spot opportunities that may arise and will help to boost your reputation while building a robust B2B relationship.
But of course, maximising opportunities at business events isn’t all about going digital. In fact, networking itself can be hugely advantageous but only if it’s done right. In the ‘engagement economy’, B2B prospects don’t want an elevator pitch, and they don’t want a hard sell. Instead, it’s more about the good old-fashioned process of getting to know someone. Research shows that some of the biggest ‘turn offs’ of B2B buyers are businesses being ‘too transactional’, ‘reaching out too early’, and ‘talking about themselves too much’. Maximise opportunities, needs to be more of a two-way street.
Remember that it can be both time-consuming and costly to attend business events, especially where travel is involved. It’s important to derive the most value from these events and make them work for you.