Do you have a big networking event coming up? Or are you headed out to a big business event where you’ll not only learn great tips, but network with like-minded business owners? If so, are you ready? So many aren’t, and that’s a huge marketing mistake. They just show up and hope for the best. The smart ones start planning for these events weeks in advance and during the days immediately prior they double-check to make sure they are well on their way to a successful event.
Now the event may change, but what you need to do remains the same. Here are some tips for rocking your next event:
Announce it Via Your Social Networks – If the business event will enhance your services and skills, make sure you announce it through your social media efforts. Your followers, clients, potential clients and so forth should be made aware that you are out there advancing you and your business. Plus, it’s an opportunity to connect in advance with those who might be in attendance. Besides that, the host of the event will definitely appreciate the added support and most likely recognize you more at the event. It’s a win/win.
Bring Killer Promotional Materials – Think ahead to what you might need. If you don’t do a lot of events, it’s time to wipe the dust off your existing business cards or get new ones. If you’re not the one hosting the event or aren’t a sponsor, don’t plan on handing out a lot of other promotional materials at the event … but definitely have a few things on hand for those “special” people you meet. The key to success here is to make sure your business cards and other material represent your brand today. So many times we have ordered cards (and have 400 left), but have updated our brand, services, skills, etc. since then. Take a look, does the card accurately represent who and where you are today? If not, get cracking. It’s time to order new ones that reflect your brand, your social media efforts, and the real you in business.
Also, depending on the audience, you might consider taking a few business proposals for those that seem interested that would describe more in detail what you offer – just in case. It doesn’t hurt to have some on hand for any hot prospects you might meet. Prepare those in advance and make sure you have easy access to them. You don’t want to leave them in the car and have to dash out there to get them once a potential client shows interest.
Perfect Your Elevator Speech – Oftentimes at these events you are presented with an opportunity to tell people about your business. This can be done in front of the group, or even individually as you mingle away. It helps to be prepared. Once again, tailor this to the audience of each event. What part of your business resonates best with them? Highlight those points. Also, be clear on specific goals and services. Say you offer marketing, but this event will have a lot of authors or speakers there, develop a message that discusses how your marketing can help authors and speakers. It’s all in connecting the dots – the dots between what you offer and the potential clients you seek.
Bring the Best You – Many of us work from home, and although we look great to the cat, to the room of professionals we might encounter at the event, we might need a few touch-ups. Image is important at these events and the well-groomed and well-dressed individual is going to warrant more respect than the thrown together look we might usually pull together. We aren’t saying you need to go out and invest in a $3,000 suit, but you do need to take steps weeks before the event to look your best.
It’s the simple things you do that make a difference including having a professional outfit that fits well, looks great, and is comfortable. Don’t make the mistake of wearing something too tight or too uncomfortable because then your focus is on that and not on the event and making connections. Plus it shows. If the event is business casual, a nice pair of slacks and a nice top or shirt will go a long way.
Also take note of the little things such as having a professional card holder and briefcase or stylish pen that can really set the stage and show your professionalism. Again, the goal you are seeking is that polished professional look.
See how easy it is to master these events. Our last recommendation is to have fun. Relax and enjoy yourself as the hard work is already done. You’re prepared, look amazing, and reaping the rewards of your hard work.