Visiting a business expo can be as vital an aid to boosting your business as exhibiting at one. This is the message from Mubarak Chati, of 1 Events Media, hosts of the annual E3 Business Expo in the North West.
But what determines the value of a visit to a business expo? Mubarak stresses the importance of treating your visit strategically, so that you go prepared to get the most out of it.
Face to Face
“One of the most valuable things you can do as a business is to get face to face with people,” Mubarak explains. “In the digital age this important aspect of winning and doing business can get left behind.”
This applies as much to those people visiting an expo as the exhibitors. This is because an expo is an opportunity to experience the concentration of a range of businesses gathered in one place.
“You can meet large numbers of useful people, all under the same roof,” Mubarak observes, “offering the chance to meet new suppliers and potential customers, discover new developments in your industry and, of course, check out the competition.”
“Attendees should be strategic and prepare for their visit in advance,” continues Mubarak. “They should know who is attending and who they especially want to connect with.”
“An expo provides a unique opportunity in terms of choice and convenience but you should also be open to new experiences at the same time, and ready to run with whatever opportunities arise on the day”
The Learning Experience
The events that come with the expo are as vital as the exhibition itself. These can range from talks and seminars to practical workshops and panel discussions.
“As well as networking and relationship-building, the expo gives visitors the chance to hear expert advice and opinion on a range of topics,” Mubarak says.
“Visitors should definitely book for these events because they provide invaluable support and open forums for discussion. You can meet key figures in your own industry, or in supporting sectors, and, by participating, raise your own public profile while gaining useful knowledge.”
Mubarak advises expo visitors to take the initiative, do the research and get involved.
“Set yourself targets so you can measure your success in terms of the contacts you make,” he concludes. Everyone is at the expo to do business so take the opportunity to promote yourself, but remain open to ideas. Remember to listen as well as you talk, to keep names and numbers, and to follow up afterwards.”