As a solo entrepreneur or small business owner, you may have come across business expos and presumed they are only for big businesses.
Or, you may not be sure what you would get out of attending one and thought “I don’t have the time to find out”.
If you fall into one of the categories above, or you just want to find out what the fuss is about then read on.
Why attend a business expo?
- Expos are just another form of networking
- Attending expos is free! Whoop whoop, we like free!
- You get to talk to as many people as you like
- If you don’t like crowds its all 121 direct conversations
Why do I go to Expos?
Because I get to meet more people! And I love people. Why? Because people bring you everything you need! EVERYTHING!
When you have your own business it’s not just about ‘getting clients’, it’s about so much more.
You need your cheerleaders; supporters, referral partners, collaborators, and suppliers. It’s not just what you know, it’s about who you know. (And what and who they know too.)
How it all started
I love exhibiting at expos, but at first, I was so nervous, and massively outside my comfort zone.
At the beginning of 2022, I set a goal. To easily and effortlessly have a stall at expos. So that if I got a phone call last minute to get invited to take up a free stall, I could say yes, grab my kit and go. Without a worry.
At this time, I had no clue where the expos were and had nothing planned in my diary. I didn’t know what I would have on my stall or what I would say. I am a serviced based business; I have no products to show off.
Fast forward to 2023, I have 7 business expos booked – all with speaker slots booked into my diary for the year. And that kit I can just grab and go – I’ve got that too. I Love expos.
I tried 3 options to see what worked for me:
- Go to an expo as an attendee (Free)
- Exhibit with a stall
- Have a stall and a speaker slot.
For me, the last scenario works. I enjoy delivering my talk; the Power of Appreciation and find it draws more people to my stand.
If you want to see me in action, I am at Hashtag events in Wigan, Warrington, Manchester, Chester, Conwy, Glasgow.
Tips On Attending An Expo
Do your research beforehand, what type of expo is for you?
Personally, I prefer a small to medium size. That is because the larger ones are too crowded, noisy, busy and overwhelming for me. Since lockdown and working from home, I find the background hum too distracting
What is your goal for attending the expo?
My goal is to have 3 quality conversations and I keep that in mind whilst I am there.
Attend the Expo with a curious attitude. I wonder who I will meet today. What will I learn?
Talk to the stall holders, find out about them and what they do, and then they will politely ask you what you do.
Tell them what you do, It’s an opportunity to practice your 60-second pitch.
Not everyone is a client or referrer. they could be a supplier or a collaborator. Remain open to conversations with everyone.
Take your business cards – Some stalls have prizes you can win, so pop your business card in there.
Take a notepad and make notes. For every person you meet, you need to record:
- Who they are
- What they do
- How you can help them
Go to the seminars and workshops – you’ll learn something.
In the period of time after the business expo, it’s all about the follow-up!!
Connect with the people who gave you their business cards. They want you to connect with them that’s why they gave you their business card!
If you don’t follow up, then this is just a waste of your time and theirs. And time is your most precious resource. Spend it wisely.
Get connections and build relationships.
When you keep showing up to similar events that interest you, you’ll see the same people. This is a good thing! It helps builds:
I hope you found these tips helpful, and that you now know a bit more about business expos and the benefits of attending and exhibiting at them.
Maybe you might be ready to have a stall yourself? Why not? If you need any help with this next step give me a shout, I am here to support you. You can get in touch here.