Highlights of the Let’s Do Business Brighton Expo included the new Enterprise Zone which allowed business owners and entrepreneurs to visit a number of business support services from across the region all under one roof. The zone was sponsored by Barclays Eagle Labs and featured a host of businesses including the University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform, Business East Sussex, Locate East Sussex, Keep+ and Sussex Chamber of Commerce.
The event also saw keynote speeches throughout the day discussing everything from using social media for business to the recent GDPR regulations that came in to effect at the end of May. Speakers included the engaging Sam Knowles from Inside Agents, Kerry Watkins from Social Brighton Ltd, Martin Riley from the Jet Engine, and a representative from Creative Bloom.
Special thanks goes to our headline event sponsors Simply Beautiful Print and M-Tech Systems, who spent the day informing exhibitors and exhibition goers about the world of design and print and IT solutions / GDPR for business respectively.
Prior to the show beginning, there was a fantastic opportunity for guests to get the exhibition started the right way by fuelling up for the day ahead at the Juice FM breakfast. Visitors gathered for some tasty food and pre show networking before heading down to the exhibition for a day of generating leads and making new connections.
The post expo networking event also proved popular with visitors in the Sussex Skills Solutions Lounge, where in keeping with the football themed venue, guests were treated to a showing of the first World Cup Game of Russia VS Saudi Arabia for more informal networking opportunities.
With many exhibitors having had a successful day of networking, there will undoubtedly be some leads to follow up post expo, so here our experts have compiled their 7 top tips for following up with exhibition leads:
- Categorise your contacts – Following up with exhibition leads is much easier if you’re time poor if you separate them in to categories. Prioritise those who are most important to your business or may have a time constraint or deadline you can help them meet.
- Decide which method of contact your customers respond best to – Perhaps you work in an industry where many people are out of the office working on sites so you may decide that although a phone call is ideal, you should start with an email to arrange a suitable time to ring. Following up with exhibition leads is more effective if you understand the nature of your prospects’ business – it bodes well for any future relationships
- Don’t be too pushy – Yes there’s a time to close a sale when you’re following up with exhibition leads, but it can be off putting to contacts to aggressively push your products / services after the first meeting. Expressing your pleasure to meet people and arranging a meeting to discuss ways you could help them / mutually benefit from keeping in touch is much more effective
- Follow prospects on social media – Social media is a great tool for following up with exhibition leads when you want to stay in contact but know that right now your businesses may not be able to work together in the immediate future. A friendly ‘follow’ or likes on a few recent posts can help to get you noticed without being overbearing. If you feel it appropriate, a tweet or Facebook / LinkedIn post saying how much you enjoyed meeting a contact is sufficient
- Try and remember personal details – Obviously it goes without saying you don’t want to appear overbearing by reciting every word someone you met told you on the day, but if you remember an anecdote or interesting fact someone told you, including reference to it can help separate you from the crowd. Remember visitors / exhibitors will have met many people on the day, so it shows interest and initiative
- Do some more research if you need to – Sometimes it can be easy to overlook certain contacts or place importance on ones that turn out not to come to fruition – save yourself time and embarrassment when following up with exhibition leads by doing some research. Visit the company’s website and social media channels as well as asking any mutual connections for advice before making contact if you feel unprepared
- Be timely – No one’s saying you should be following up with exhibition leads the same evening as the expo, but ensuring you don’t leave it too long is also important. If you don’t make contact within a reasonable amount of time, you’re likely to not only have been forgotten, but also run the risk of looking like you’re not that interested and have made contact as an afterthought.