Business conventions are more than just a learning session; they also provide a golden networking opportunity. However, this can be overshadowed by their strong "shark-tank" feel—having so many mavericks and decision-makers under one roof can turn the experience into an intimidating nightmare.
As usual, the best way to fit in with the alpha pack is to be prepared. These five strategies will help you reap the biggest exposure and successfully prepare for business conventions or conference.
1. Fill Up Your ScheduleMost large conventions have several parallel events, each one catering to a different crowd. It is important to study the agenda well in advance and choose exactly what you want to learn and where you want to be seen. Aim for a good balance between the smaller, specialized events (where it will be easier to stand out) and large keynote conferences.
2. Have Your Pitch Ready
If you play your cards well, you will likely meet dozens of interesting people during a business convention. Each one of them is an opportunity for future business, so don't waste it! Practice the best ways to introduce yourself beforehand to make sure nothing will sound nervous or exaggerated.
Keep in mind that the same "elevator pitch" may not work everywhere or with everyone; it's best to identify three or four "key audience types" and have something ready for each. If there are any conferences that fall close to your area of expertise, have an intelligent question ready. This will help you stand out from the crowd.
3. Make Sure You're Picture Perfect
A big part of playing with the champs is to look like one. Even if flashy designer suits or expensive bags are not in your league (yet!), it's important to look neat and professional. However, a business convention is a playground as much as it is a business event, so it's important to balance comfort and elegance. While jeans and tennis shoes may not be appropriate, a comfortable outfit can still help you exude confidence and charm the audience.
4. Show Yourself and Your Creativity
At a large business convention or conference, it can be easy to get lost in the blur of faces and quick introductions. Marketing materials will be your allies here. Updated business cards are non-negotiable, of course, but you should also go the extra mile to ensure yours don't look too much like the other 50 cards that your potential sponsor collected that day.
Try to use your business cards as a way to tell a story; a unique card design, an eye-catching logo, or a luxurious material can all help you make a point.
5. Nail That Second Impression
After the cocktail is done and the exhibition booths are closed, you will still have to cultivate the connections you made during the event. The first week after a business convention is crucial to turn you into a business contact instead of a funny anecdote; a follow up e-mail or quick phone call will make you stand out from the bunch, as well as flatter your new allies.
At 4colorprint.com we have a talented team of designers and craft artists who will be able to help you find a uniquely elegant concept for your business cards. Get ready to make your personal brand into something memorable and contact us now!