A survival’s guide to networking events

With the Leicester Business Event coming up next week, we thought it would be a good idea to give you all a little crash course in large networking events such as these. For first timers, the experience can be daunting, slightly overwhelming and for those not used to business networking, out right scary.

Here are a few tips for those of you wanting to get the most out of your day at Walkers Stadium. Some of the points we make might sound a little obvious but at the same time so easy to forget on the day.

  1. When you enter the exhibition area you should get an info pack. We are going to suggest something crazy here… read it! So many people will walk in and become so distracted with everything going, looking through all the information handed to you by the very nice person at the registration desk may just completely slip your mind. This info pack will contain all the exhibitors for the day and where you can find them. It will also let you know when and where to be for the important seminars or speed networking. Just spend the first 10 minutes looking through all this info and plan out a route around the floor.  There might be a company or potential client there and you had no idea they were exhibiting. Wouldn’t this be the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself personally? It can be infuriating at the end of a tiring day, you are leaving to discover you missed a VIP all because you forgot to check a flyer in your goodie bag.
  2. Allow your self enough time. Book out 2 hours of your day to this event and by looking through the info pack you have a good idea if you want to stay longer or not. Two hours is a good amount of time at least to visit every stand and introduce your self. If there are any talks that you want to attend, factor this into what time you arrive and how long you wish to be there for. Rushing round the exhibition as you have a previous engagement is never a good idea.
  3. Business cards! Again, another obvious one but make sure you bring more than you usually would. With the combination of 80 stands and over 750 attendees, that’s a lot of business cards. We are not suggesting that you take hundreds of cards with you on the off chance that you will talk to that many people. BUT there will be times when leaving a business card at a stand will save you so much more and effort. One of the staples of these events is that there will be many competitions, handing over card instead of writing your info 10 times in row is saves writers cramp.
  4. Be open minded! LBE is particularly known for it’s 60 second speed networking sessions. To many the idea of talking non-stop and selling your self is a total nightmare, but its always worth a go. You might find that it is an excellent way to sell your company’s product and meet that all important lead. On the other hand you could find that it really doesn’t suit you or your business style, which is fine. But you won’t know unless you try it.
  5. Don’t put too much pressure on your self. Definitely get as much as you can out of the day, but do not feel let down if it doesn’t generate the leads you had hoped. Try and see all the positives from the day such as;

You got your brand name out

Perhaps you have a few new contacts

Learnt more about your market

Got some excellent feedback on your services/products.

All of these things are a learning experience and will help in the long run. Hopfully with these points in mind you will be ready to go and prepared for any networking event that is thrown your way!

See you on Thursday!

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