Trade fairs and exhibitions are an excellent way to not only find what you need for your small business under one roof but to network and build relationships with the right suppliers and contacts. Sometimes, an exhibition can be an overwhelming experience if you do not know where to start or who to meet, especially as a small business. We have put together some handy tips which will aid you when visiting trade fairs or networking events to conduct business.
Do your homework
As a buyer or a small business owner, you know which products you would like to source when visiting sourcing fairs, but do you know your suppliers? It is advisable to spend some time, prior to the show, investigating the suppliers you would like to meet, the type pf service they provide and the quality of the products they offer. This equips you in achieving success when visiting the actual show. Spend some time on the show’s website, going through their list of exhibitors and pre-schedule meetings to ensure efficiency onsite.
Network with the right suppliers and industry manufacturers
Before attending the show, have a look at the show’s floor plan, know where the right suppliers are for your product needs. Avoid roaming the halls, and make a beeline for the right section. As you have done your homework prior to attending, you will know who to visit.
Bring along your business cards
Do not forget to bring with, an ample amount of business cards to hand out to potential suppliers and other individuals you may engage with at the exhibition. Often many of the suppliers are based in other countries and this is a simple way to ensure that they have the right details.
Be aware of the language barriers
Language barriers can often cause confusion and hinder business negotiations. Be prepared for the inevitable, and ensure that you make use of the complimentary translators who are often onsite and who are there to assist you with your business needs.
Use the tools available to you
Technology and the event organiser are your friends. Make use of the exhibition’s interactive website, find out if you can become part of the hosted buyers programme, organise meetings at the onsite match-making area, arrange meetings with suppliers prior to the exhibition, and chat to the information desk upon arrival.