Trade shows are a great avenue to catch up with many manufacturer representatives all at once, but also with your vendors. Not to diminish the role of reps., but it is equally, if not more important to keep a direct relationship with key vendors’ personnel. It is reassuring for both parties to know who they are dealing with in person, know what’s going on and what’s in the pipeline for the next year or so.
When I go to trade shows, I make it a point to meet with the vendors I haven’t seen in a while in person. I typically set up a meeting time way ahead of the trade show so I can get prime time with my vendors, meaning I schedule a business dinner. I am found of dinner time because it is the end of the day, we are all tired and we are quick to share our day’s experience with one another. We also talk about business of course, but also about plans for our companies’ future. The mood is much lighter at night and I find it easier to relate on a personal level. Family is often discussed, laughs are shared and you get to see the human being hidden behind the business person and the title they hold.
You can tell you have had a successful business dinner if the goodbyes are shared with mutual respect, firm handshakes and a smile. I know I nailed a business dinner when I manage to get a hug from a C-level executive or an invite to spend a weekend with their family.
- 10 Trade Show Dos (Part 7 of 10): Build Future Customer Equity (valerieatlarge.com)
- 10 Trade Show Dos (Part 5 of 10): Look Different Than The Rest (valerieatlarge.com)
- 10 Trade Show Dos (Part 4 of 10): Eat Often, Eat Light (valerieatlarge.com)