5 Simple Ways to Build Your Professional Network at Trade ShowsTrade shows and expos arent just for generating quality leads, but also for growing your professional network. Here are some simple ways to build long-lasting relationships at events.

Trade shows are not just meant for exhibitors who are trying to get leads, but also for those wishing to build their business relationships. Expos are the perfect grounds for networking because tons of industry professionals and vendors will be under the same roof, making it a cost-effective way of not only building your brand awareness and attracting new customers, but also in growing your professional relationships. Whether you are trying to meet marketers, executives, salespeople, or vendors, here are several ways you can help develop those relationships at any event.


It s Not Just About You

Networking at trade show displays isn t just about helping your business, but also reciprocating the favor. Ask questions about their business and what you may be able to help them with. Once you have gotten to know them and understand more about their company, explain what your business does and how they can help you.


Do Your Homework

Before the event, study the list of exhibitors to get an idea of who will be there and who you would like to meet. Create a list of booths you would like to visit while at the show in order to meet these people. Include their company, title, industry, etc. in this list. Also, ask trade show management if you can see the list of attendees to better gauge what kind of audience will be there and whether or not the trade show you are going to is the right one for networking.


Go to Pre-Show Events

Many trade shows hold mixers prior to the show, allowing exhibitors to meet each other during a cocktail hour or meal. If the expo you are going to offers this, take advantage of it because once the show begins, you will have much less time to meet the different industry professionals. These events will also give you the opportunity to get to know these individuals at a more personal level, which is the perfect foundation for building a long-lasting business relationship.


Ask the Right Questions

Once you have gotten to know them a little bit better, don t be afraid to get straight to the point. Ask questions that will help get referrals sent your way. Some questions you may want to ask are:

  • Is there anyone you can refer me to who needs my products/services?
  • I would like to meet someone who provides this service/product. Can you tell me who I should speak with? Can you introduce me to them?
  • I would really like to meet ____. Can you tell me where I can find them?


Keep the Relationship Going After the Trade Show

The relationships you built at the event don t have to stop once the trade show is over. Instead, keep the conversations going with them by adding them on LinkedIn, scheduling lunch dates, or by simply sending them emails or phone calls. They may be able to send plenty of referrals your way by staying in constant contact with them.


These tips should help you build a more long-lasting working relationship with partners, vendors, etc. As you start shopping for booths, take into consideration whether or not you would like to have semi-private or completely private meeting spaces. Some exhibits have meeting rooms built in to its design, such as the Vocela 20 x 20 Trade Show Booth, which has plenty of open space for an informal meeting or presentation. However, if you are looking for a more formal and private setting, a booth like these home show displayscomes with enclosed meeting areas. Call Smash Hit Displays and we would be happy to help you find the right one to fit your needs.