Attending an exhibition is much like attending a job interview or networking event where preparation is key to maximising the benefits.
The Highland Spotlight Business to Business Exhibition on Tuesday 27th September serves as an ideal opportunity to network and make new business contacts. There is a varied programme of seminars throughout the day giving you an opportunity to expand your knowledge, as well as the opportunity to meet business men and woman, and find suppliers who can offer you a great local service. To ensure you make the most of your attendance at Highland Spotlight you can do just a few key things to walk away with more than a bag full of pens.
Before the event
Your preparation for attending an exhibition begins when you pre-register your attendance, this means that on the day you can simply pick up your name badge and walk straight in.
You can pre-register for Highland Spotlight here.
Now is the time to tell your own network that you’ll be attending – make sure you use #HighlandBizWk and tag the organisers @InvernessChambr as this will ensure it is retweeted and seen by anybody exhibiting or visiting that’s not already in your network.
Take a look at the published list of exhibitors, this will help you to identify key targets at the event, research the companies and identify who you’d like to connect with – even if a company doesn’t appear to be a potential supplier, or buyer, consider whether your respective network of contacts could be mutually beneficial.
In the lead up to the event keep an eye out for event updates. As well as helping you to understand the best time of day to attend (for example, the lunchtime rush may not be the optimum time for any in depth conversations) you can decide if any seminars interest you and book in advance. Make sure you interact with other visitors, exhibitors and the event organisers on social media.
Come armed with plenty of business cards that you may wish to exchange with any contacts made on the day – Highland Spotlight typically has hundreds of people taking part across the whole day, so a handful of business cards will soon disappear. A flyer or leaflet outlining details of the products or services you provide may also be useful for those who wish to know more about what you have to offer.
Check out photos from the previous events here.
On the day
Some people spend the whole day dipping in and out, attending seminars or arranging meetings on site. If the venue offers WIFI treat it as a satellite office and get some work done. Once you’ve identified when you will attend, figure out how to get there.
Is car parking likely to be limited at the venue? Can you walk from the city centre or park nearby? At the Kingsmills Hotel where Highland Spotlight is taking place, you can park in the nearby golf course car park and take a shuttle bus to the Kingsmills Hotel.
At the registration desk, you will be offered a physical or digital show guide which includes the full list of exhibitors and a map. Get your bearings and do a walk around, take your time speaking to every stand, listen to the businesses and get an understanding of what they do. Take part in any games or prize draws – it can be daunting to approach a stand, but making the first move can result in a great interaction. The person managing the stand might be just as nervous as you and dying to speak to somebody. They paid to be there so that they could fully promote their offering.
Share regular updates on social media, take pictures and share to get on the tweetwall – make sure to include #HighlandBizWk
Network, not just with the exhibitors but if you see visitors milling about why not introduce yourself.
After the event
Follow up! It’s so important to ensure that a contact made is not wasted. Technology makes it easy – add them on LinkedIn, follow their company on facebook or twitter and if a contact seemed valuable and you got their business card why not email them to arrange a follow-up meeting.
Found the event beneficial? Please complete the survey – it helps the organisers, and improves the event in future years.