Last week you got free inside secrets on how to make the most from your time at a trade show. If you’re like most attendees, you focus mainly on the time during the show and neglect the before and after. Exhibitors and sponsors tend to pay attention to all three phases, but when they are busy planning for the event and unpacking afterwards, they may not be able to focus as much as they’d like on learning and commerce.
But you already have the solution. The way to ensure you’re spending enough time and energy on the B, D, and A (before, during, and after) is as close as your fingertips – literally. It’s the show app. Because it sits on your phone it’s also a daily reminder of how you can capitalize on a show 24/7/365 to help build your business.
Whether you’re a tech newbie or a power user you’ll find the show app invaluable. Unless you lose your phone or tablet forever, it’s also a timeless tool!
Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensuring that the app builds real-life profits and relationships.
The app helps you:
- make new connections;
- create brand credibility;
- use your time at the show most efficiently;
- jog your memory, and serve as inspiration and information once you return from the show.
Here’s a simple and powerful how-to guide.
- Download the app. You can find it on iTunes or Google Play (depending on what type of device you have). If you plan on taking lots of notes in conference sessions or on the show floor, you may want it on a bigger screen, like a tablet.
- Fill out your profile. Just like a LinkedIn or Facebook profile, you want to be sure your details are complete and your photo is appealing. (The photo is important; you want to be recognized in the real world!)
- See who else is coming. Maybe you recognize a spirits brand you’re interested in sampling. Or you spot a journalist you’ve been trying to track down. Connect and chat just as you would on any other social network.
- Post a few reasons why you’re excited to go to the event. Add photos to your posts to attract attention. Let your community know what you’re hoping to learn. They may have suggestions. If you’re traveling alone and want to find lunch or dinner companions, put it out there.
- Plan your agenda. Check out the sessions and exhibitors and create an itinerary.
- Keep track of your schedule. The app is a great reminder of where you’re supposed to be and when.
- Learn from other attendees. Read updates so you can find out what’s going on in real time! If you see something you like, click that heart icon or comment. Show some digital love to build relationships.
- Get up-to-the-minute updates from show management and exhibitors. The app is your ultimate source of news, changes, show specials, and announcements. It’s better than any loudspeaker system because it’s in your pocket 24/7! (A tip for exhibitors and fellow speakers: Be sure to use the app to get people excited about what’s going on in your conference session or at your booth!)
- Network, network, network! Of course you want to meet and greet in person – that’s the whole point of a show. But you can also use it to arrange meetings with people you don’t run into or forge relationships with people you haven’t met yet.
- Use the app to get busy when you’re too busy! The app begs for you to connect and create community in ways that are sometimes hard to do on a busy show floor, with meetings and great sessions rolling throughout. Can’t find someone or something? Simply use the search function on the app. Online connections often carry over to after the show. Speaking of...
- Keep the app on your device! It’s a great way to remember to follow up. If you did your prep right, you made a goal pre-show of meeting those food and bar partners, vendors, software providers, etc., who address areas you need to improve or grow. And if you worked it right, you met multiple exhibitors and speakers in those areas. Send a quick note to those you do business with, who you spent time with, and those you want to. A personal note after a show experience dries the cement of a great relationship bond! Many people on the app share their LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter contact info, so you have lots of ways to reach them.
- Compile your notes and put them into digital format (like Google Docs), and name the file in such a way that you can find it easily in a few months! It’s all fresh now but you’ll be busy very soon and lots can be forgotten. What you don’t need now you may need soon!
- Finally, publicly thank the show producers! Planning a big event is an often thankless job, but the NCB folks unify the industry for the betterment of all!
See you on the app – and in real life!