What an exciting day at the Expo! Not all attendees shared the same sentiment because I got some mixed reviews as to what people thought of the show, but I'm going to sum it up as it's all about perspective. Here's what I learned from the show:
1. Nobody bought anything from me, and that's ok.
I heard a couple of people say that they didn't get any business from the show, or they didn't get any business from a past show, so they didn't exhibit again. Maybe they didn't read How To Get the Most Out of the 2015 CT Business Expo, but if you go to a trade show expecting people to come to a booth with their check books out, you will be disappointed. If you go trying to attract attention to yourself, your business, your clients, then you have every opportunity to make a splash.
2. Talk to people in the aisles.
Rick Roberge noticed that a lady looked lost or at least looking for something. That was enough for him to ask if she needed help finding something. That conversation went down a few paths before ending up with Karen Kakley from WNEC asking us to put on a webinar on The Inbound Way To Use LinkedIn for the Career Development Center. It was a great exchange to witness in person!
3. Don't assume a person or vendor are not a good fit.
A person or vendor may not be a good fit to buy from you, but if you focus the conversation on how you can help them, vs. how you can sell to them, you may get something out of it. For example, we walked up to Westfield Bank's booth. I wouldn't have considered a Westfield Bank in our buyer persona realm, but local banks lend to local businesses that may fall into that realm. If the conversation leans towards how we can help the bank help its business clients, then I would say that's a good fit. And isn't that the Inbound way?
Evidently, Ellie Blanchard is not only the Branch Manager in Granby, CT, but the VP of the Granby Chamber of Commerce as well! As it turns out, she'd be interested in hosting a "Lunch & Learn" on How To Grow Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn.
4. Follow-Up doesn't happen by itself.
I talked to a few dozen vendors and placed my card in a whole bunch of fish bowls, but as of Tuesday at lunchtime, I had only gotten one email and two phone calls following up from the show. I was genuinely interested in a few of the offerings too. Maybe I'm jumping the gun and I will be flooded with really good follow-up later this week but did you know...?
5. Inbound Marketing happens online and in person.
In today's digital landscape, writing blog posts is a necessary part of any marketing strategy to get your message out to the world, but don't just wait for the world to notice. Ben Franklin once said, "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." Write blog posts, then go find people to speak with and share your blog posts with them. It may seem obvious, but sometimes people get stuck behind their computer. Inbound is not 100% online or 100% in person. You need to find the balance that works for you, but I can attest firsthand that our blog readership has increased because I have personally invited people to read my blog.
If you'd like to share what you learned at the Expo, please do so in the comments section.
If you haven't done so already, please submit a review of your CT Business Expo experience on Convention Nation.