How Do I Best Utilize Local Business Events?

October 17, 2016 - WRITTEN BY GEORGE WANG

Studies have shown that people prefer to work with businesses they have a personal connection with, and local business events are a great way to get yourself in front of potential customers and start making connections.

When you make an emotional connection with your potential customers, that relationship makes them more receptive to marketing and more forgiving of price increases or other issues. Plus it gives your business a face that they can identify with.

Events can also give you a chance to network with other businesses in your area, which will open up a wide range of opportunities for partnership, collaboration, cross-promotion, and marketing.

Here are 7 things you can do to make the most of the opportunities provided by local small business events.

1. Figure out your message beforehand

You’ll be talking to a lot of people, and you’ll need a way to quickly tell them what you’re about and find out if your product or service has value for them. What does your business do? What’s your value proposition? If you haven’t figured out your “elevator pitch,” it’s a good idea to do so now.

2. Prepare qualifying questions

Tying in with figuring out your message, prepare a set of questions you’ll use to qualify whether people you talk to are actually potential clients—as opposed to people who won’t ever become leads. Once you’ve written up your qualifying questions, develop a set of follow-up questions to help you find out what your conversation partners need and exactly what you can do for them.

3. Bring mints and a notepad

The mints will help you keep your breath fresh, but they may also help draw people to your table—people you can then talk to and potentially connect with. A notepad will let you jot down important details or personal info from your conversations, which you can either reference during the conversation or later when preparing to follow up on leads.

4. Dress comfortably, but well

You should sit as little as possible in order to remain mobile and approachable, so make sure your shoes are comfortable enough to stand as long as you need to. That said, it’s important to strike a balance between comfort and a professional appearance, as dressing well creates a powerful first impression—specifically, the impression that you’re successful and must have something worthwhile to offer.

5. Use quality marketing materials

You’ll need high-quality, effective signage to catch people’s eyes and help you stand out from the crowd, and professionally produced pamphlets and brochures will help convey your message to those who stop by even if you don’t get the chance to talk to them. They can also be an excellent source of additional information for those you do speak to. Finally, make sure you have plenty of business cards ready to hand out.

6. Collect contact information

One of the biggest benefits of taking part in a local business event is the ability to collect qualified leads for your business. Make sure to have a sheet where people can put their name and email address to get more information—once you’ve determined that someone is a good lead, ask them to sign up on the spot. If they’re hesitant at all, you can also offer an incentive, such as a discount or (even better) a free gift.

After the event is over, make sure to follow up with everyone who provided their contact information.

7. Have an event-specific landing page

Your website can be a powerful marketing tool in its own right, even when going to business events. Create a page with a special offer or specially-tailored information just for attendees and a strong call-to-action, then guide the people who come by your booth to visit it. As warm leads, they’ll be much more likely to take the next steps provided by the page and become customers.

We’re here to help

Kaidoora can help you maximize the benefits your business gets from participating in local small business events, by creating custom landing pages and helping you track traffic and conversions from the event. Schedule an appointment today to learn more.

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