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Exhibitions: PLEASE don’t be boring!

Networking hat

Wearing my networking hat!

I’ve just returned from a business exhibition, with bags full of bumph that’s going straight into the recycling box.

As expected, almost every stand displayed a bowl of sweets. What is the objective of giving away sweets? To tempt people to come to your stand and talk to you. But if everyone gives away sweets, they are not a differentiator. Boring!

Many exhibitors offered me a branded pen. I tried to refuse, telling them I already have plenty of pens, thank you. But they’d say things like: “Ah, but this pen has a light on it!” (A light? I don’t think I’ve ever needed a pen with a light.) Boring!

I also came away with a range of branded pads and Post-it notes – which might be useful. But boring!

However, I am not likely to use any of the businesses that pressed their promotional products upon me. I’m only going to use a business that sells something that I want, at a price I want to pay. All the usual giveaways are a waste of money.

3 steps to exhibition heaven


The sad truth about your one-minute pitch


Going up?

At many networking meetings, you are given the opportunity to give a 60-second ‘elevator pitch’ where you imagine you are in a lift with Bill Gates (or your ideal client) and only have one minute to tell them about your business. It’s like a walking, talking advert.

People often ask me to help with their one-minute speeches. There are endless permutations for things to say, but the objective is always to trigger more referrals.

Read this article for 11 ideas to inspire you, or scroll down to the end and discover the sad truth.


When is LinkedIn like face-to-face networking?

LinkedInYou may know LinkedIn as the biggest and best B2B* social network. Like most business-people, you’ve probably created a LinkedIn profile. It may appear on page 1 of Google for a search of your name. But does it work for you?

Most people throw up a profile but then do nothing with it and complain that LinkedIn doesn’t work.

The best way to use LinkedIn is to post articles, get active in the groups, and to arrange introductions via intelligent searching. Let’s look at each of these in turn.


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