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5 Tips for Networking at Trade Shows: What you should keep in mind

Networking am Messestand

Building a network of valuable trade fair contacts requires holistic thinking. Preparation and follow-up are just as important as on-site behaviour. Networking at trade fairs basically works the same way as in other areas of life. The only difference is that you have a real supporter behind you at the trade fair: A great booth including convincing booth staff. Enclosed we present you the most important tips for networking at trade fairs.

Tip 1: Prepare conversations carefully

It is extremely important to start the trade fair event fully prepared. Just as it’s important to attend the right trade show format, it’s also important to know the appropriate talking points. Your own products and services are of course the main topic, but classic small talk is also valuable. This is mainly for a pleasant introduction to the presentation talk. For its course should also think about the “how”. An orderly presentation of accomplishments and a common thread throughout the interview will help. A small crash course, either internal or external to the company, can also be useful for this purpose. This means: intensive practice in role-playing games, strengthening soft skills, as well as awareness and mastery of one’s own body language. In addition, the stand personnel should be trained to advise the stand visitors attentively without appearing obtrusive. At such events, one thing counts above all: authenticity.

Tip 2: Communicate openly with results and in a customer-oriented manner

When networking at trade shows, it’s important not to be too cocky on the one hand. Too much restraint, on the other hand, is also problematic. This could quickly become a) uncertainty or as b) possible lack of interest in new prospects.

It is undeniably important in trade fair networking, as in networking in general, to listen actively and with concentration. The aim is to create a feel-good atmosphere, which, however, requires that one’s own offer is only advertised to the extent that the customer can or would like to be “taken along”. This is achieved, for example, by offering assistance, providing tips or personalised adjustments and suggestions for changes.

Getting the interlocutor to “talk” works better when you ask open-ended questions that go beyond simple yes/no answers.

Tip 3: Include social media

The better you “prepare” your target group for the trade fair visit through marketing in your channels before the trade fair, the more effectively you can manage interest and expectations in advance.

At the same time, you have an organic barometer of sentiment: Through comments, likes and views, you get an impression of which of your contents are more in demand and cause reactions. It also makes it possible to respond to any complaints and criticisms at an early stage and to refine subsequent trade fair communication even before the event.

Tip 4: Trade fair stand design and technology as a visitor magnet

Impress trade fair visitors with original style and confidently display your brand values with a suitable trade fair stand design. By cleverly integrating all the senses into the stand concept, you will catch the eye of visitors and remain in their memory. Modern technology and interaction elements are particularly helpful here.

The related equation: the more your booths have to offer in terms of conversation, the more organically successful your networking at trade shows will be.

Tip 5: Don’t forget to follow up!

Through hard work, valuable contacts or leads are created – but sometimes, due to technical, personnel or logistical hurdles, they simply come to nothing. Especially the “follow-up”, i.e. the renewed contact after the trade fair, is immensely important to strengthen the good first impression. The instruments for this are manifold: The new acquaintances can easily be approached again via LinkedIn, Xing, email, business cards, but also via Facebook and Instagram (re-targeting). A friendly and short text is perfectly sufficient here: It is purely about staying in the memory, saying thank you and keeping the door open for further communication and cooperation.

Do you have any questions about your upcoming visit to the trade fair or would you like to find out how our stands with genuine Swiss quality can also support your networking? Our experienced SYMA stand construction experts are looking forward to your personal enquiry.