Think about it… for two or three days, an entire industry is going to be hearing the same speakers, seeing the same booths and drinking at the same happy hour. It’s an opportune time for any vendor.

Whether you’re looking to learn about the newest technologies and pick up selling tips from other vendors, or you want to connect with business owners that need your services, making the most of events like conferences and tradeshows requires a little bit of planning. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get started:

  1. Find the Right Tradeshow to Attend

Which tradeshows target the audience you want to partner with? Are the events local, or do you need to travel? Are there happy hours you can sponsor? What about speaking opportunities? Find the tradeshows that work best for your goals and budget, and sign up for them. We suggest attending events like DattoCon, IT Nation, ChannelCon and the 4u2grow Annual Conference.

  1. Plan Everything in Advance

The biggest mistake you could make when it comes to tradeshows is failing to do your research beforehand. What is the schedule for the event? How much time is available to connect with prospects and network? Create an itinerary from the moment you wake up to the moment your head hits the pillow. Include time for networking, but give yourself ample opportunity to veer off course if it means talking longer with interested prospects.

  1. Stock Up on Business Cards

Calculate how many business cards you’re going to need for the tradeshow or conference. How many people are attending the event? Figure out how many people you want to talk to – then double that number. It’s better to have too many business cards than to speak with a qualified lead the last second of the conference and not have anything to give them.

  1. Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

Think about what you want your prospects to know. What are their pain points? How can you solve them? What is the most important thing they need to know? Start with a surprising statistic that captures their attention and then address their concerns – quickly. You can’t read off a script, so practice your talking points and be prepared to adjust your pitch on the fly.

Attending tradeshows, conferences and other events can be stressful, but by following this guide you’ll be prepared for almost all the curveballs they throw at you. Look for your opportunity, be diligent following up with prospects and don’t be afraid to connect with the competition.

For more information on what tradeshows you should attend, how to prepare for them and how Marketopia can help you succeed at these events, contact us today.

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