Cranmore Park Blog

How far ahead can you plan your business diary? The one thing you should always expect in business is the unexpected - circumstances, scenarios and events which force you to change course at short notice.

While you can never be sure exactly where you'll be at any given point, or which tasks will be your most immediate priority, it is vitally important to plan ahead as far as possible. As a business leader, your year needs a degree of structure - week by week, month by month. This gives you the best possible opportunity of achieving both short and long term goals.

Networking is a key part of most conferences, but it is also the most difficult aspect to pull off successfully. It's simply not something many people are all that good at, unless you have spent a lot of time at a lot of events getting to know strangers.

The main thing that most people get wrong is not a small thing, such as your body language, your small talk or how polite you are. Instead, it is the larger goal that most networkers forget. Essentially, very few people actually understand why they are networking in the first place.

Hosting a Wi-Fi hotspot at your conference or trade show can make for a more successful event for all concerned.

With so many people reliant on their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, people expect to be able to get online wherever they are.

This might not be the ideal solution; however it is much better than not sending anyone at all. Your company will still gain valuable contacts and business expertise, both of which will be incredibly useful. Unfortunately, it does mean a bit more work for you.

If you want to get the most out of the conference you are sending people to, you will need to set up meetings before and afterwards, and perform a solid amount of supplementary work. This can be difficult, but the rewards if you do it well are more than worth it as it can give your business a real boost!

What's the first thing you are going to do when you get to a trade show? Before you start attracting people over to your stand and making sales, you will need to set it up. This is an area in which many companies fall down, as they are simply not prepared for how troublesome getting everything prepared can be!

If you don't get yourself set up in time, you can really lose out at a trade show. The first attendees will see you as disorganised and be put off coming over and seeing what you have to offer. Meanwhile, you will be stressed out and panicked all day, further affecting your overall success!

So you're running training sessions, but your employees don't seem to be taking the information onboard. What can you do to make your learning and development programmes more effective, ensuring employees gain new skills, acquire knowledge and are better prepared to do their job to the best of their ability? Here are eight tips for making the most of employee training:

It's an oft-repeated mantra in business that quality is better than quantity. This is especially true when it comes to a trade show. There is really no point in getting dozens or even hundreds of people to visit your stall if you aren't going to see any return on investment for your time.

You are at a trade show to sell your product, not simply to attract the attention of attendees. In some circumstances the best way to do this is to get as many people to come to your stall as possible in the hope that a decent percentage end up making a purchase. However, it often pays to be a bit more targeted.

If you're running a small business, you'll know all about the importance of having a unique selling proposition (USP). In order to attract customers and keep them out of the clutches of your rivals, you need to offer something a little bit different - a product, service or characteristic that sets you apart from your rivals.

If all you do is sell ordinary goods, at ordinary prices, in a non-descript location, how can you expect to build up a really successful business? In order to kick on, drive revenues and ensure more repeat custom, you need to be unique. Your USP is what grabs people's attention and then encourages them to keep coming back - you've got to have one.

Your company might have a world-class promotional video, which you use to inform people of your business offering at trade shows.

But this isn't a great lot of use if the people visiting your stand can't see the screen, or don't want to watch the clip you have filmed.

When getting ready for a trade show, there are plenty of things you will already have on your packing list. After all, no one would set off without their promotional material, samples or a demonstration model of their product.

However, there are a few useful items that a lot of people seem to forget. As you’re getting ready, here are some of the most common items people wish they had remembered.

If you're interested in marketing your business' products or services at a trade show in the coming year, it might be in your interests to commit at soon as possible.

Registering early can help ensure you get the best possible deal, meaning you've got more financial resources left over to spend on your booth display and promotional materials.

A healthy worker is a happy worker. That is a fairly common maxim, but it is one with a great deal of truth to it. People who are fit and have a good diet are generally happier, which in turn makes them better at their jobs.

In fact, Thomsons Online Benefits managing director Chris Bruce just told HR Magazine: "Employees who regularly exercise are better at dealing with stressful situations and also feel energised. If you do this well customers can feel that energy in their interactions with your staff."

Brand exposure is key to any company's expansion plans. While the initial idea may have been a hit, it is crucial to build on that success.

There are numerous methods in helping to get your brand recognised whether it be through marketing campaigns or harnessing the power of social media. However, one method can be sometimes taken for granted but proves to get results. This is attending trade shows.

So you're thinking about attending a trade show or exhibition, but not sure which one to choose. You've got a few different options, but can only really spare the time to visit one of them. How do ensure you make the right choice, and opt for the show that delivers the best possible experience?

Doing a little basic research, and thinking about what you're looking for from your experience, can make all the difference. Rather than simply jumping in the car and heading to events on a whim, why not check what actually lies in store at your destination?

To many people this might seem like an odd question, but how will people see what you have to offer at your trade show stall if they aren't able to attend the show itself? You might think they have missed their chance, but thanks to the internet they can still be a target market for you.

All you need is a video camera and an internet connection and you can stream your trade show live to an online audience. There are pros and cons to this, of course, but if you prepare well and do everything professionally you might be able to significantly increase your brand exposure.

It costs money for businesses to run training sessions for their employees.

As well as the cost of hiring facilities, paying for specialist instructors and provisioning the required training materials, there are also the lost man-hours to contend with. If employees are in training rather than getting on with their jobs, this can have an impact on productivity in the short term.