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Do you have a big business event coming up? Whether it is an exhibition, tradeshow, conference or convention, these events are the ideal situation to increase your brand awareness and build valuable relationships.

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Simply showing up to the event without any preparation will not give you a great chance of success. Instead, think of the time leading up to the event as equally important as the time spend at the event itself.  Once you’ve signed up and booked your ticket, start your preparation by following these simple steps:

Reflect on your previous experiences

The first step of preparation is to reflect on the previous events you have recently attended. How would you rate the overall success? What do you think went wrong (if anything)? Monitoring and evaluating the various aspects of your previous experience will let you identify where you can improve especially in terms of saving time and money, increasing networking and gaining valuable knowledge.

Reduce any potential stressors

Any stressful situations that may arise during the planning or duration of the event can distract you from the tasks at hand. Therefore, it is vital to remove all potential stressors as early as possible. This includes booking your hotel near the event, planning transportation to the event as well as if you need to rent a car. You can choose to handle these yourself or perhaps consider hiring an outside professional agency to handle this for you.

Do your research

Find out as much information as possible about the event including who will be there such as competitors or potential clients. You can search through blogs or videos or previous years of the event as well as current social media updates. Knowing how the event works will let you feel comfortable and relaxed so that you can focus your energies on making the most of your event.

Clearly identify your goals

What is your intention? Do you want to learn more about the industry or network with potential clients? Are you looking to spread the news about a new product or service your company has launched? In an ideal situation you can accomplish all of these, however, it is best to stick to one main intention, so that you maintain your focus and don’t feel spread too thin. If you are unsure of which goal would give the most benefits for your company, try to figure out if there is something your business is missing.

Perfect your introduction

A bad first impression will be difficult to erase. Therefore, you want to ensure that you have perfected how you will introduce yourself to new people that will give them the best impression possible. This will take some research and practice, but it absolutely possible with the help of some a few helpful tips to consider.

Learn the right questions to ask

If networking is a big part of your event, you want to be able to easily and smoothly hold a brief conversation. Write down some important questions that can get open up the flow of communication. Some ideas include:

  1. What is the most enjoyable part of your work?
  2. What are your goals or objectives?
  3. What kind of difficulties to you face in your work?
  4. What are the trends you see now in the industry?
  5. What kind of benefits can this event provide for your company in the future?

Practice writing these questions down and record yourself so that you can hear how you sound to others.

Distinguish what sets you apart

Leave your humbleness at the door. Know what sets you apart from your competitors and don’t be afraid to let potential contacts know. If you can get even one new customer from this event, your time has definitely not been wasted. Before you even get your foot in the door, identify what you do better than anyone else.