I was at The Business Show in Olympia, London, Thursday and Friday last week. This is probably about the tenth TBS I've been to now and it's always really worthwhile. People often don't get as much out of business shows as they could do, and I could write a HUGE article about all the ways to improve this. However, I thought I would write a really simple 3 step plan to maximise your results with the minimum amount of work.
So here goes...
1. Block at least 2 hours of your diary out on Monday for following up.
Do this NOW! If you don't schedule this, it will be very easy for you to get to the end of next week having not followed up, and you'll have wasted lots of opportunities.
2. When you speak to people and take cards etc, add a note reminding you of the conversation you had and any actions you promised.
I recommend you use Evernote for this as I do. This gives you the ability to scan the card and add some notes. If you don't make any notes, then come Monday, you'll be staring blankly at a load of business cards with no idea of who some of these people are.
3. Follow Up With People on Monday.
When you do follow up with them on Monday, don't just send a generic email to them all, or worse, add them to your email marketing list without their permission. Maybe call them on the phone (shock, horror!) or if you do email them, make it unique and personal, and remind them of your conversation. You could even really differentiate by sending them a personalised video, as seeing you, will certainly help jog their memory of who you are, rather than just being a name and an email address.
No matter how you contact them, don't just launch into a sales pitch on that first contact. Give them something of value such as some free consultancy, a free trial of your product, or similar. The aim of this contact is to start building a relationship that they'll genuinely benefit from, not to try and sell them something!
All the above is really simple stuff but I guarantee it will massively improve the results you get from attending a business show. Do let me know how you get on if you try this. And please do share this post with your friends and colleagues, if you think it will help.