With spring underway, chances are you have at least one or two trade shows on your schedule. Attending large industry events can be both exciting and overwhelming, as there are so many opportunities to learn and network.
As a leading staffing firm in Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth, Carlton Staffing attends many trade shows and conferences in the area to meet with local businesses and find ways to help them grow their business and make connections that work. In 2019, Carlton’s team is excited to meet with local business at the Gulf Coast Symposium from May 15-17 and the HRSouthwest Conference from October 27-30.
What you might not realize is there are some small, yet effective steps you can take to ensure you have the most productive trade show experience. Here are some tips for how you can make the most of your next industry event.
Do Your Due Diligence
Before attending any trade show or conference, it’s important to do some research, so you understand what types of programming and speakers you can expect at the event. Be sure to review the event’s website and take note of the agenda so you can plan your days accordingly and connect with key individuals. If there are certain seminars or presentations that interest you, write down when and where they’ll taking place, so you don’t miss anything important.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Large trade shows are the ideal time to leverage social media in making new connections. At most industry symposiums, there is usually a trending hashtag you can follow on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Following a hashtag allows you to join the conversation and connect with individuals at the conference virtually. Furthermore, ramping up your social media activity will help other attendees find you online easier, helping you establish yourself as a credible leader in your industry.
Make Plans to Follow Up
While going to a large trade show is a valuable professional development experience itself, it will have little value unless you follow up with your new contacts after the show. The key to doing this effectively is to stay organized and make a plan to strategically connect with every person whom you met. One of the easiest ways to follow up is by reaching out on LinkedIn with a personalized note in which you re-introduce yourself and your company. LinkedIn is a great platform for re-engaging new contacts and learning more about their businesses and professional backgrounds.
With just a little preparation and mindfulness, you can set yourself up for major success both during and after a trade show. By being proactive with the strategies above, networking at trade shows will feel like a breeze!
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