As a business owner, you’ll probably attend a few business events occasionally. If you haven’t attended any business events yet, please make arrangements to start now. Business events can be a very productive way to boost your business and bring it to the next level. You won’t be sorry if you locate and find business events that are full of potential clients.
One thing is for sure, once you start going to live business events you’ll end up hooked on them. However, before going to a business event it’s important to understand your goals and motivations for attending and plan how you’re going to make the most of it. And remember, the event itself is not the end – it’s just the beginning.
Here are seven tips for making the most of a business event.
1. Take Business Cards – You want to take business cards, mostly to give you an excuse to get theirs. But, someone might follow up with you based off your card, so make sure your business card truly represents what you do.
2. Nix the Hard Sell – At the event you’re not trying to sell anyone anything. Instead you want to be a resource to everyone you meet so that you can help them with their needs. In business, people help those who help others.
3. Work on Your 30-Second Elevator Speech – You want to be able to describe what you do to people without sounding like a robot or confusing them. Practice answering questions that people might ask about your business.
4. Don’t Be a Social Butterfly – Yes, you want to meet people, but it is better to focus on meeting just a few very interesting people each event. If you meet more than five people at each event, you probably won’t be able to remember them. Of course it depends on how long the event is, but for an hour-long event, meeting three to five people is a good night.
5. Ask Questions – Since you’re not going to try to meet everyone, spend time talking to each person you meet, but mostly spend time listening. To listen more, ask open-ended questions about each person that you meet. Believe it or not, they’re going to remember you more, the more they get to talk about themselves.
6. Get Their Cards – Once you’re done taking to someone, find time either during the event or just after to write memorable notes on the back of their business card. In this way, you can use it to follow up later. The follow-up is where the business is.
7. Follow Up – After the event is over, within 24 to 48 hours you want to follow up with each person that you personally spoke to and that you obtained a card from. The follow-up is the most important aspect of attending business events.
Another factor that can make a huge difference in the success of going to business events is to make sure that you stand out in some way. Many people have trouble remembering names at events and matching them with faces. If you can wear something or say something that keeps your image in their mind, so much the better. Differentiating yourself from the other business owners at the event is essential to your success.