There are so many events happening in our industry, it’s impossible to get to them all. For myself and our people, it is really important that whatever events or conferences we attend that there is an opportunity to bring value back to our businesses. There are no guarantees but with some planning and goal setting you can stack the deck in your favor. For me, simple is always best. Here are a few things I do ahead of time and at the event/conference:
- If some of your current customers are going to be there this is a perfect time to spend quality time with them. It can be during a session, having a beer or coffee or breaking away at the end of the event for dinner.
- At most conferences or events people are generally relaxed and have time to chat. This is a great opportunity to put your finger on the pulse of your business relationship. Ask how things are going and if there are other opportunities you can explore.
- For new business, plan ahead. Find out who is going to be there. Think about what you want to talk about? These events are prime opportunities for setting future dates for meetings.
- I hear people say that business cards are becoming redundant. Are you kidding me! Business cards are mini notepads. I jot little notes on them about the person and possible opportunities. If you are doing your job, you won’t remember everything especially if you’re like me and having a couple of “pops” as you work through the process.
- Make new acquaintances. It’s great that you hang out with people you know but remember why you are there. Make it a point to meet new people, tell them who you are and what you do. Keep it short, a couple sentences about you and your company. The objective here is to plant a seed about what you do but more importantly you want to learn about them.
- After the conference or event, send a note to let them know you will be calling and when. Remember they might not need your services but they may know someone who does. People do business with people they like and trust! This takes time but this is a great first step in the process.
As I get older, I’m pretty picky about which conferences I attend. One that is marked on my calendar every year is the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada. This years event is being held on June 15 & 16 at the
Crowne Plaza in Niagara Falls. Without a doubt it is a great value for those attending or who sponsor the conference. The networking opportunities are endless, the exhibits are always good, the awards ceremony is first class and the agenda is filled with seminars that are very educational. If you’re looking to increase business the PMTC Annual Conference is the place to be. To learn more go to www.pmtc.ca.
I hope to see you there!