in2itive Business Solutions was not easily missed during the ASCA 2014 Annual Meeting in Nashville last month. We had attendees totally hooked on nostalgia with a few well-placed view-master toys (you remember these, right?) that showed the highlights of our company message, and even special decoder glasses that led participants to their opportunity for a special prize.
Really, you know you’re doing something spot on when representatives from competing organizations stop by your booth with questions like,
“What are you doing different these days? I’m seeing in2itive all over the place.”
It’s true, we rocked it, and it has been a great year for in2itive—we’ve had fantastic opportunities to create new partnerships and help our clients find success, and industry events like the ASCA annual meeting are just one more chance to get the word out, rub a few elbows and learn about what future clients might need from us.
If you’re not one to participate in conferences or trade shows or annual meetings, you should reconsider your position. Here are four simple but honest reasons why:
- Networking, networking, networking. When success is your goal, you really can’t know too many people, especially if they are in any way involved in your field. Trade shows and industry conferences let you become part of a highly targeted audience of peers, which makes them a great place to start conversations, create relationships and swap business cards like mad.
- Engage the people or organizations that you want to work with. These events are a fantastic opportunity to show the world your creativity, and that you want to really engage those you work with, not just serve them at a distance. For example, at ASCA last month, we could have just had standard brand flyers and business cards lying around, while we sat in our booth waiting for people to come to us. Totally not our style. Instead, we stashed view-masters with custom-branded reels around the place, inviting people to come see us, and had spy-like “decoder glasses” (the kind we used to find in cereal boxes) attached to handouts that showed people how to enter for a prize—we had fun and actively opened the door for people to come and engage with us.
- Get personable with your current clients. We always know that one or several of our current clients are going to be at events with us, so we take advantage of the opportunity to buy them dinner or a couple of drinks—it’s a simple way to let them know we genuinely care about them and want to connect on a personal level. The best business is built on relationships, and these events are a great time to reconnect face-to-face with partners and clients, and enjoy some social time away from the office.
- Observe, inquire and take note. Your competition is always lurking about (hopefully in a secluded corner) at industry events, so treat it as an opportunity to learn from them. Are people responding well to the competition? Ask yourself why, and then really observe their tactics and approach. It shouldn’t be your mission to imitate others, but your observation of competitors can almost always spark a new idea for your own business.
So take our lead—get out there! Find industry events like trade shows, conferences, annual meetings, even seminars, and make your own opportunities for a more successful future, rather than waiting for those opportunities to find you.
Contact in2itive or call me at 913-617-5088 to learn more.