How to get the most from the next expo you visit

How to get the most from the next expo you visit

Expos, trade shows, exhibitions and conferences are a great way to meet new people, discover new businesses and gain new skills, information and knowledge.

The whole reason we started Love Business was to bring businesses together with support organisations, funding and skills bodies and specialist advisers to create a one-stop-shop which celebrates small business and gives people access to the support they need to prosper and grow.

Almost nine years on, the event has grown into a firm fixture in the B2B events calendar, attracting thousands of delegates, hundreds of exhibitors and dozens of high-profile partners and sponsors each year.

There really is no better event in the East Midlands which brings together showcasing, networking and learning opportunities all under one roof. If you’ve not booked your delegate place yet, don’t miss out.

In our last blog, we took a closer look at some of the things you should be doing as an exhibitor to make the most of the events you take a stand at.

This time, we share some hints and tips about how to get the most out of the exhibitions you attend as a delegate…

Research and plan

It’s always a good idea to do a bit of planning and research before you attend an event, to make sure you get the most from the day.

Most events have an exhibitor catalogue on their website – have a look through the list and make a note of any businesses you are interested in having a chat with and where they will be located.

Is there a dedicated networking area or VIP lounge? If so, can you get yourself an invite?

If there are any guest speakers or presentations you are interested in, sign-up for them if you have to and get the times into your diary before you leave, so you have a rough idea of what is going on and when on the day.

Get to the talks early so you can bag a seat. Chances are, your fellow audience members will also be interested in the subject being discussed, so there will be some common ground to strike up a conversation.

Also, make a list of priorities for the day – you may not be able to do everything you want to at the event, so make sure you at least do the things at the top of your list.

Put yourself out there

Networking is a big part of going to an expo, so you’re going to have to put yourself out there and talk to people if you want to get anything from it.

While expos can be a great way of catching up with people you already know, you’ll limit your reach if you don’t speak to new people.

So, have a few icebreakers in mind and practice your elevator pitch. Introduce yourself to people you don’t know and find out more about them – you may be able to help them, so start the conversation.

Don’t be afraid to push yourself as you never know where your next customer or referral might come from.

Plan time with like-minded people

If there are people in your network that are also planning to go to the event, plan some time for a coffee and a catch-up with them. Offer to introduce them to your other contacts and see if they’ll do the same.

Hang out around talks and presentations – the chances are you’ll bump into new people with similar interests that you can strike up a conversation with.

Find out if there are any specific networking sessions or meet-ups and go to them.

Bring business cards

This is a key point, make sure you have lots of business cards so if you do have conversations with new people, you are giving them a way to stay in touch with you afterwards.

Remember, it’s not just about selling. The point of attending expos and exhibitions is to meet new people, make new contacts and start to build relationships with potential customers or referrers that may eventually lead to a sale.

There’s another point to consider – a well-designed and printed business card will say a lot about you as a person and the business you represent, so make sure yours makes the right impression!

Use social media

Send out a tweet or a LinkedIn post letting people know you will be attending the event – it’s a good way of finding out if anyone else is going and potentially arranging a few meetings.

On the day, find out what the event hashtags are and start sharing about your experiences there – again, people may engage with you and start up a conversation.

However, be polite and courteous if you are tweeting during a presentation – it can be really disheartening for the presenter to see you staring at your mobile phone screen or sticking your camera in their face instead of listening to what they are saying, so keep it discreet.

Use your time wisely

Time is precious at expos and the chances are, there will be loads of stuff you want to cram in and not enough time to do it all.

So, use your time wisely.

Don’t get stuck in low-quality conversations or gatherings if you aren’t getting any value from them, simply make your excuses (politely!) and move on.

There are plenty of opportunities on offer at expos and exhibitions, you don’t want to miss out by getting stuck in a conversation that isn’t really going anywhere.

Book your Love Business delegate pass today

We hope you have enjoyed this guide to making the most of the events you attend as a delegate.

If you want to put this advice into practice, and if you haven’t done so already, then make sure you book your delegate pass for Love Business 2020 now.

The event takes place on 27 February, at the Holywell Park Conference Centre, in Loughborough, and is set to be the biggest and best yet.

Register now at

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