Business conferences and exhibitions often feel like a necessary evil, especially if you’re not a natural people person and struggle to interact with potential business leads. And while some conferences are going to be a waste of time, nine times out of ten, they can be great for your personal development and the development of your business. Below, we’ve put together some of the ways you can make the most out of your business event and get the results you need.

Talk to people

If you don’t step out of your comfort zone and talk to people, then you’ll never be able to make it big in business. One of the most important things at business conferences and exhibitions is communication, so get chatting to anyone and everyone about your business. Don’t keep it one-sided, though, as delegates may be able to offer you services that benefit your business, and even if they can’t, making new business contacts is always going to be a good thing.

Take business cards

Make sure that you take printed marketing material such as business cards and flyers to hand out to the people you talk to at business events, otherwise, they might not remember to get in touch once they’re back in the office. Handing out as many cards – and collecting as many in return – can help you make new contacts and give you an opportunity to stay in touch.

Hand out freebies

If you want to stand out from the other businesses and leave a great lasting impression, then consider handing out freebies at your next business event. You can find lots of small corporate gift ideas online, such as confectionery or leather-bound notebooks. Of course, the more you spend on your gifts, the more you’ll impress, but you don’t have to spend a fortune. Try and buy gifts that are a little different and quirky; that way, people will remember your business.

Use social media

Big corporate events might seem boring and stuffy, but they’re a great way to demonstrate that your business is an authority within your niche. Use social networking sites to live blog during the event to share updates with your followers; use an appropriate hashtag and follow back people who interact with you. If you’re the only one talking about the event on social media, you’ll likely attract a lot of attention and people may even embed your content into their blogs.

Follow up leads

There’s no point in going to an event if you’re not going to chase leads and generate more sales – so make that your main aim when you get home from the event. Sending a quick email the day after the event can remind people who you are and what you chatted about, and then following it up a week later will persuade busy delegates to get back to you. Be persistent and be personal.

Even if you’re not the biggest fan of corporate events, you can still have a great time and change the fortunes of your business. Best of luck with your next event; you can do it!

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