Why Attend A Local Business Event?
Attending business events is an important aspect of boosting your business’s profile and clients. Business events give you the opportunity to meet potential customers, clients, partners and more. It’s important to keep in mind how to get the most out of business events as you choose the events to attend. You might attend the local Chamber of Commerce for a chance to talk to other business owners about things that are changing locally that will affect you. You could attend fund raisers or galas to support causes and meet other important member of the community that will increase the visibility of your shop.
9 Tips For Making Your Next Local Event Better
* Remember Why – It’s important to remember why you are attending business events. Knowing why you are attending will go far in helping you choose the right events to attend. Not all events will be right for your goals. You might want to get the name of your shop out in public and encourage people to visit during your “Grand Opening” or you may want to meet other business owners who can help with your marketing.
* Don’t Be Cheap – Take business cards that accurately reflect your business. It’s not the time to get the free cards or to be cheap or to have cards that don’t reflect who you are (old information, previous phone number, email, etc). Once you leave that event, all the people you make contact with will have to remember you from that card.
* Be Prepared – Practice your 30-second elevator speech so that you can accurately, and on the spot, tell people what you do such that they understand what it is that you do. If you can come up with a memorable way to explain your business, all the better. A great way to tell people what you do in a memorable way is to state what you do in terms that are descriptive, and then say what you do in your title. For example: “I curate products for busy women with limited time who want to look great in their day to day activities. I own The Leopard Spot Boutique.” If you would have said, “I own The Leopard Spot Boutique” you would have them forming an opinion of what that is before you described it, but in this scenario you describe it first and that is what sticks with them.
* Take Control – They say that the person in the power position is the one who is going to put out their hand first and meet people. Not only that, it’s important that you be the one to ask open-ended questions to the people that you meet. The more you let people talk about themselves, the more they will remember you. Don’t be overly aggressive, but remember that everyone is there to make some kind of connection. Relax but be assertive to meet people, don’t wait for them to come to you.
* Make Meetings Purposeful – Meeting fewer people is better than meeting a bunch of people that you won’t remember. Try taking some notes on the back of each business card that you receive so that you can use that later to jog your memory. If you have the opportunity to attend monthly functions for a group like rotary or the Chamber of Commerce, that will give you a smaller group plus the purpose of those groups is to promote each other’s business.
* Dress the Part – Each event has its own style, so it’s important to do a little research to find out how people normally dress. If this is an often-repeated event you can likely find photographs of others who have attended. For the most part, business attire is expected at business events. Dress to make an impression. Unless it’s picking apples in a field or working at the local food pantry, you can feel comfortable at least dressing in business attire.
* Be a Resource – One of the best ways to ingratiate yourself to those that you meet is to become a resource for them. If you can recommend another person to do a job for them, even if you can’t do it yourself, they’ll call you again.
* Follow Up – After each event, always follow up with an email, note or card. Find them on LinkedIn.com, or other business-related social media. Googling people you meet is not stalking; it’s going to help you learn more about them so that you can know how to approach them when it comes to getting business. You could also use some extensions in Gmail like Rapportive that let you know more about people and does the research for you so you can connect with them.
* Evaluate Yourself – After each event, look back on your performance and write down what went right and what could have been better. This is an important component of any business event because it will make you better. You might have stumbled over your elevator speech or spilled a beverage, but those nervous things can be fixed. Review your results as well and see if that meeting is worth attending again.
You cannot understand the value of attending business events unless you can understand the value of networking. You also need to understand the market you are in and the value that the people within that market place on business meetings. Networking always helps, even if it takes a bit of time and effort. You will find tangible results, it just won’t be tomorrow. You will become more respected and known within your circle and that will lead to referrals and people connecting with you as well.
There are so many different business events today to choose from, so be sure to do your homework before attending just any meeting. Find out if your target customer is there, or if there are people there who offer complementary products or services to your same audience before you bother wasting money on attending. If you do all that, you’ll be successful at every business event you attend.
Let me know what events you have attended and what came out of them? Also, feel free to sign up for the email list and be notified of our new posts when they are released.