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When it comes to running a business, there’s a lot that you need to consider that perhaps you have not thought about beforehand. What a lot of business owners fail to realise is that when it comes to building a successful business, it’s not just a case of working nine until five each day, rallying your team members and ensuring that each task gets completed in a timely and efficient manner, it’s about being proactive in the approach that you take to your business.

The truth is that all of the most successful business owners are the business owners who take a proactive approach to how they run their business, such as being clued up about all of the best industry events to attend. Industry events are, without a doubt, a crucial tool for building your business, because when it comes to business success there are two things that are of vital importance: brand awareness and a strong customer base. These are two things that industry events are extremely useful for.

If you’ve applied to attend an industry event, then you are most probably feeling a little anxious about what this will entail. If it’s the kind of industry event where you have a stand for your business set up, then there’s a lot that you need to think about and carefully consider. Industry events can be highly successful if you know what it takes to make the most of the ‘occasion’.

Bearing that in mind, below are some tips and ideas for the best ways to make the most of your first industry event.

Plan, plan, plan

If you’re going to pay to attend an industry event, then you might as well make the most of it. That’s why planning in advance is so important. If you’ve never been to one of these events as a business owner before then the concept of attending can be quite daunting. However, with effective planning, this doesn’t have to be the case.

By taking the time to plan out how you will make the most of the event, you can ensure that your business really benefits from it. The key factors to think about are your stand, the approach that you will take to meeting people as a business owner, and what you want your stand to include. Your stand will represent your business, so it’s essential that it’s as amazing as possible.  If you’re offering promotional merchandise, where will it be placed and what will it be? Chose something relevant for your business and customers.

Have a clear USP

In an industry event environment, it’s important to realise that you will be surrounded by competitors. Some will be direct competitors and others will be less direct, but even so, each will have their own stand which will be competing directly with your stand. Obviously, the aim of attending these kinds of events is to build up your customer base and boost brand awareness, which is why it’s so important that you ensure that your stand has a USP.

This doesn’t have to be something to do with your business, it can be something that you know will appeal to and attract more people to your stand. Whether it’s free cupcakes branded up with your business’s logo or a fun photo booth where people can get their picture taken, it doesn’t matter, it’s just a case of choosing an incentive that will attract people to come and see what your stand is all about. Some stands will have things like gaming centres built into them to attract people, for instance, so the more creative you can be with your approach to this, the better.

Be clued up on payment

A common issue when it comes to these kinds of events is problems with payment making. Now a mistake that you don’t want to make is not thinking this through carefully enough. The fact is that if you are going to take payments at this kind of event, while cash can be one option, for larger payments it’s not really the ideal option, which is why the majority of business owners are now choosing a mobile POS system to use for these kinds of events.

The last thing that you want is to lose a sale because your business lacks the means to take card payments. While a large number of people will carry cash, not everyone in attendance will have enough cash to cover the cost of their purchases, which could mean that as a result of not having a card payment option, you miss out on a sale. So it makes sense to be prepared and invest in a mobile card payment device, to ensure that your business doesn’t miss out on any custom.

Hone your approach

Lastly, when it comes to how you address the people that you meet at this event, it’s essential that you (and your team members) know what it takes to create a good first impression and make a sale. The key here is simply not to go in with the hard sell, instead you want to take the ‘softly, softly’ approach. Greet potential customers in a friendly manner, ask them how they are and whether they’re enjoying the day. Then, use their response to gauge their interest in what you’re doing, and ask them if they’d like to learn a little more about your business, and then tell them whatever they’d like to know.

The hard sell rarely works in this kind of environment, so it’s better to get people chatting first before you go into talking about what your brand has to offer and why they should choose to purchase from you.

There you have it, everything that you need to know about heading to your first industry event as a business owner.