I love a good tradeshow. Perhaps that is because I am by nature a people-person, but I also believe that there is something for everyone at such an event. That’s because conferences, when leveraged correctly, can serve as a powerful content marketing vehicle for garnering leads—something that every business leader, regardless of personality type, enjoys. I spent some time yesterday at The Small Business Expo 2014 in New York City where I was reminded of some simple, yet often forgotten, tips and tricks for maximizing leads and making the most out of every tradeshow experience:
Show interest the second you step through the door: Whether you’re an exhibitor or an attendee, show enthusiasm at all times; participate in giveaways, engage in friendly dialogue and ask targeted and relevant questions. Enthusiasm catches on. For instance, yesterday while I was speaking with an exhibitor, two show attendees approached me after overhearing my conversation, wanting to hear more. You never know who is around or listening, so remember to keep a positive and approachable attitude (and that means staying away from your smartphone!) You’re a direct representation of your brand and it’s going to come out in your mannerisms and attitude, whether you realize it or not.
Connect with others during downtime: Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite to eat at the café or are catching up on emails in the Wi-Fi lounge, see who you may be able to connect with and who is a good candidate to hear your company’s unique story. That could mean sharing a table with a stranger or striking up a conversation while in line to place your lunch order. After all, word of mouth still remains the most powerful and authentic form of marketing and networking. In fact, that is how I was able to swap a few business cards during my show yesterday.
Find a connection—leave an impression: Don’t just approach an exhibitor with the same old, “Tell me what you do.” Find a unique talking point and then capitalize on it. For example, what a coincidence it is that one company’s headquarters is located in your hometown and you know the exact area they are referencing. Or perhaps you’ll spark a connection through the company’s family-oriented values. With hundreds—more often, thousands—of people roaming the tradeshow floor, you need to indefinitely make your mark so that contacts remember you with a smile when you follow up.
No matter how big your booth or how flashy your outfit, it’s indisputable that an approachable personality, a relatable conversation and a memorable experience goes a long way when it comes time for striking successful business deals. Leverage these simple yet unconventional tips of the trade (pun intended) during your next trade show and watch the leads roll in.
If you’re looking for an excellent tradeshow to showcase these new-found tricks and tips at, consider TMC’s ITEXPO West 2014, the industry’s leading technology business event, taking place August 11-14 at the Rio in Las Vegas. Sit in on highly anticipated keynotes, educational breakout sessions and stop by and visit the Content Boost team on the exhibition floor!