Everybody talks about the importance of networking for small businesses however, not everybody tells you that conferences, seminars and trade shows are useful opportunities to promote your small business only if you do it right. So what should you know before going to this kind of events?
Choose The Right Conference, Seminar Or Trade Show For Your Small Business
This may seem like common sense but truth to be told, small business owners tend to ignore this rule and go to as many events as possible in order to promote their businesses. This can be a waste of money instead of an opportunity to promote the business if the event is not chosen carefully. Before deciding which events are best for your small business, consider these things:
- The reputation of the event or the organizer
If you run a small business, you have to make sure the event you will attend is a successful one and it will allow you to meet the right people and to promote your business. Read reviews, check other events organized by the company who hosts the event and make sure the conference, seminar or trade show will provide you with the opportunities you have in mind.
- Check the speakers list
If you want to attend a conference as a small business owner make sure the speakers are big names in their industries. Big names attract big names and by that we mean big media outlets that can provide you with a great opportunity to promote your business for free. Also, when you attend a conference with great speakers, you have many opportunities to learn from the best in their field.
- Past media coverage
Learn from PR people and check the past events’ media coverage. See who wrote about the event, which media outlets attended the event and if they listed the companies that were present there as well. Choose a trade show, conference or seminar that had significant media coverage prior or after their past events.
- Relevancy and who is going to attend
The conference, seminar or trade show you plan to attend needs to be relevant for your small business. Before paying the ticket, make sure you will get something in return for your small business. If possible, check the list of attendees and make a list of opportunities they can provide for your small business. Will you meet potential investors there? Will you meet potential business partners? Will you meet potential clients? List the names of the attendees under these categories or other categories you have in mind before attending the event. In this way you will have an easier job while attending the event since you already know what to discus with the companies that will be present at the event.
Make A List Of Goals For The Conference, Seminar Or Trade Show
After you established the categories of companies that will attend the event, create a list of goals for your small business. Having well defined goals will help you to be more focused and results oriented during the event and in this way you will make the best out of this opportunity. This is also a great way to see if attending these types of events is a good strategy for your small business or not. Your list of goals can include pitching clients and investors, increasing exposure, growing your social media followers, creating marketing lists and so on.
Preparing For The Conference, Seminar Or Trade Show
After you established your goals, it is time to prepare for the event you plan to attend. Take a look at your competition and what they plan to do or did last year and think of the best way to present yourself during the event. Make sure you have enough branded marketing materials.
If you really want to make the most of these events, ask the organizers for their media list and use it to reach out to these media outlets to talk about your presence at the event and your plans. You can also ask the organizers if they need speakers for the event or for future events. Speaking gigs are great for small business owners so don’t be shy and try to get your name on the speakers list.