Cranmore Park Blog
Cranmore Park Blog
The beginner's guide to networking
Making your first approach is often the part of networking that people find most nervewracking. It can help to practice introducing yourself with a friend. “Hi, I’m [name], [position] at [company]!” and a firm (but not crushing) handshake is a good start.
On the day, a few deep breaths while you remind yourself of your opening can work wonders. If you garble or misspeak, take the opportunity to laugh at yourself. Laughter is infectious, so it becomes an instant icebreaker.
Surprising things you may need at your next trade show
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.
Business meetings: Presentations vs. conversations
One of the keys to staging successful meetings which offer maximum value to your organisation can be knowing which approach to adopt.
According to Nancy Duarte, author of the HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, different meetings require a different strategy from the outset.
What promotional giveaways should you bring to your next trade show?
One of the most time-tested tactics at a trade show is to bring along a slew of promotional items to give out to the attendees. While this won't necessarily attract all that many more people to your stall, it is a good way to spread awareness of your brand and to solidify your message in the minds of those you talk to.
Use press releases to promote your trade show attendance
Businesses can use press releases to "create a buzz" at trade shows and raise awareness of their brands, it has been claimed.
Erienne Muldoon, a customer content specialist for Virtual Press Office, told Beyond PR that if an organisation has a presence at industry events, it has a story to tell.
Making your conference interactive
To fix this, it is a good idea to make your conference more interactive. Having your attendees participate in a number of activities will not only more enjoyable, it will also make them feel like they have got more out of the experience. Here are a few different ways you can spice up your next conference with a bit of interactivity:
How to choose a venue for a conference
Planning a conference is not usually an easy task. There are a lot of things you will have to consider, which can be intimidating if it is the first time you've organised such an event. When it comes to choosing a venue, there are a number of things you should be thinking about, many of which are easy to miss.
Here are some of the things you need to make sure you take into consideration when it comes to choosing a venue for a conference:
What should you look for in a training room?
When the time comes to conduct a training session, you need to make sure you have a room ready that will be suitable for everyone. You can prepare a fantastic, comprehensive training session that goes over everything in plenty of detail, but it is all too easy for your preparation to be ruined by a venue that does not have everything you need.
So, what should you be looking for in a training room? Here are some of the most important features your venue should have:
Technology 'benefits trade show exhibitors and attendees'
The use of technology can make a real difference to both exhibitors and attendees at trade shows, it has been claimed. Writing for Business 2 Community, Denise Graziano, chief executive at Graziano Associates, said IT can be used to improve lead generation, sales and the customer experience.
"Technology has elevated the capabilities and levelled the playing field for event planners, exhibitors and attendees," she claimed. However, Ms Graziano said it is not just about lead capturing - it is about the attendee experience before, during and post-show.
A call to action: What to remember after a conference
Have you ever looked over your conference notes? Every time you attend a panel or seminar, you will almost certainly be covering page after page with text, trying to sum up what each speaker is saying. However, these are no good if you don't go over them afterwards.
You will struggle to retain much information if you do not use your notes to jog your memory. However, the main problem many people have at this stage is time. In a busy week, can you spare an hour or two to go over your notes and revise what you learnt at your last conference?
Optimising your trade show interactions
In all the frantic organisation that leads up to a trade show, it’s easy to overlook how you plan to engage with customers once your meticulously planned booth is up and running.
At the most basic level, everyone intends to be friendly and enthusiastic, but there are a few techniques that can help leave potential customers with the best possible impression of you and your brand.
Will you bring a tablet to your next conference?
Technology has grown at an astronomical pace in the last few years, which has surely affected your life in some way. Your business will work largely over the internet, your car will have the latest sat nav system and your phone will be capable of far more than you would have expected just two or three years ago.
However, it is often still difficult to understand how this new technology can specifically help you and your business. One of the clearest signs of this is the fact that every conference is not a sea of people using tablet PCs like the Apple iPad. Tablets are incredibly useful for conference-goers, yet surprisingly underused.
Flexible approach needed to engage with consumers
If you're advertising at a trade show or exhibition, you may come across many different types of customer - or potential customer - over the course of the day.
What works for one individual may not for another, meaning your organisation needs to adopt a flexible approach to consumer engagement.
How to secure your favoured booth at a trade show
At any trade show or exhibition, there are good booths for advertising your products and services, and there are great ones.
Ideally, you want to tie down one of the latter - some prime 'real estate' at the event where you are prominently-placed and guaranteed footfall.
Training can help keep employees onboard
Delivering employee training not only helps upskill workers, enabling them to do their jobs properly, but it also assists organisations with talent retention.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that employees stay longer with their employers when they feel like they are developing professionally and their goals are being supported.
'Farming' your contacts at a conference
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.