Trade shows provide the perfect platform for meeting new prospects, talking to old companions and industry partners. From the conference sessions to the end of the show, trade shows are a great way to grow your business because they are relationship focused. Events can help you understand the challenges your customers may be facing with your products or brand and help you build the trust required to speed up future transactions.

Below are 5 key factors that will help you build business relationships at any trade show.

1.  Network With the Right People

Your feet may hurt and you might just want to call it a day, but make an effort to go to any networking functions help by the association or organizer. This neutral ground is the perfect environment to meet people. No one expects to be sold to so you’ll find conversations are more natural and as you get to know people you will end up talking about work because it’s a common topic between you both.

2.  Build Trust

Think about situations in your own life, where you have called upon people you know before looking to Google for the answer. Aside from being inherently lazy, it’s the relationship we have built with that person that makes us want their advice or give them the business. Exhibitions are an opportunity for visitors to get to know the people behind the brand.

3.  Target your Key Contacts

These days, most people going to a show will already have a hit list of people they want to see. They do research ahead of time and then quickly scoot through the aisles to see if there’s anything new. You want to be among the MUST SEE people in the exhibition hall. Use eye-catching messages on invitations to customers and prospects, while welcoming them to visit your trade show stand.

4.  Train Your Team

A positive aura in your trade show stand is essential in making your guests feel comfortable and welcomed. Your staff should be energetic and smart without looking like they are going to pounce on people. This will require training them before the event. Outline some scenarios and work through them with your team so they aren’t practicing on customers. Consider create a manual or show handbook for your team as a refresher that can be done as part of the training before future events.

5.  Do an Audit

This can be done with your customers and also internally with your team. Survey a few key customers to find out what they thought about the event, your staff and your product or service. Get the team involved in analyzing the success for the show and track numbers to gauge the success of the show. This step is easy to miss, but can make a huge difference to your business as it often helps to highlight issues that can be addressed sooner rather than later. Remember, you’re trying to keep a lot of people happy and making sure everyone feels heard goes a long way to keeping the peace.