This Monday was the kick-off for the biggest Magento convention worldwide: Magento Imagine 2019. Attendees have already been met with an abundance of speakers, events, and opportunities, and there will only be more to come as the convention continues.
In light of this incredible conference, we wanted to offer some advice to business leaders who are considering attending a trade show or convention this summer. These major events may seem intimidating at first, but they can provide countless benefits for your company if you know how to make yourself stand out among the competition. To help you ease your worries, here is a list of some effective strategies that are sure to improve your confidence and attract more attendees to your table:
Plan Ahead and Outline Your Goals
You want to go into a convention with a solid game plan; just “winging it” will likely just increase your anxiety once you arrive at the event. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish from the trade show or convention. Some possibilities might include:
- Networking with other business professionals in your industry.
- Taking photos and videos for social media and/or future content.
- Gaining some more exposure by interacting with the media at the event.
- Boosting your social media following.
- Increasing your marketing lists for newsletters, blog updates, etc.
- Pitching possible clients, investors, and business partners.
Once you come up with your main goal for the conference, start to think about what you will need to be successful. For instance, if you want to have high-quality photos captured at the event, setting up a banner near your table can provide a professional-looking backdrop for photos. If you would like to make sure that the media pays notice to you, explore what it takes to land an interview with a reporter.
Clearly Communicate With Your Team
Of course, there’s no use in coming up with a strategized game plan if you don’t communicate it with your employees! You should consult your team about any ideas they have for the convention, answer their questions, and then determine what roles each person will fill at the event. Every individual will bring unique assets to the trade show or convention; one may feel comfortable initiating conversations, whereas another might excel at managing and organizing the vast amounts of information that are collected throughout the conference. If your team members want to switch roles, schedule switches as certain times to ensure that no area is neglected.
Practice Your Engagement Techniques
If you want to form genuine connections and make sure that people will remember your brand, engagement techniques are key. With enough practice, you’ll appear confident and unflustered no matter how nervous you may feel initially. Keep these tips in mind for establishing positive and fruitful interactions with attendees throughout the event:
- Make eye contact with whoever you would like to speak with, and mention a fun fact about your company to engage with them.
- Introduce yourself and ask the person where they’re from.
- Have a list of possible questions to further connect with each individual. You could ask what their own goals are for attending the trade show, what motivated them to visit your stand, or which products of yours caught their attention.
- Even if you suspect that the person isn’t really interested in your company, be sure to leave them with a positive impression. Ask if they would like to give their feedback on various samples or ideas and offer your business card to them. If they decline, then you can simply move on to another possible client.
Post About the Event on Social Media
Make sure to look for relevant Twitter hashtags associated with event and frequently post updates using those tags. You can find the profiles of other people attending the convention, interact with them, and even gain followers! Although you shouldn’t be on your phone for the entire event, sharing photos, highlights, funny moments, or insights can attract other professionals in your industry to your page (and entertain your followers).
Bring an Abundance of Free Items
OK, this one might not necessarily get you more interested clients or business leaders, but it will bring a lot of traffic to your table. Everyone loves free stuff, whether it’s in the form of coffee, cookies, donuts, or even a quick game of some sort, such as a prize wheel. Anything that will make you stand out from the crowd is a worthwhile investment.