Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Expo of Life

Getting ready to speak to a group in a couple of hours about expo marketing. You’ve been to some of these events. They’re known as expos, tradeshows, exhibitions and networking events. A variety of businesses and organizations have booths and exhibits. Someone stands at a table and, hopefully, meets and greets people strolling by.

Believe it or not this topic brings with it some tips that work in any type of job and in life.

The first thing I ask attendees to do is look over a list of 18 goals they can accomplish when marketing at an expo. I ask them to circle the top three goals they have for the event…then I ask them to put a check beside the most important one.

This little exercise forces them to focus on one specific goal. In work, as in life, you can’t have everything. Or, at least you can’t have all of everything at the same time. It might be an interesting exercise to make a simple list of why you work (try to come up with 10 reasons) and then pick the top three…and then the main reason. Your real reason for working might be different than your quick-and-easy answer.

The next thing I talk to attendees about is how they prepare for the event. I push them to include information about the event in their marketing and to contact all current and potential clients about the event. Too many business owners and managers leave expo marketing to the local chamber of commerce or expo company.

In work and life you’d better be pro-active about marketing yourself; your good work may easily go unnoticed.

Finally, I encourage attendees to have an after-show plan to get in touch with people they met at the show. By staying connected they raise the potential for immediate or future sales.

Whether you like it or not, networking in work and life shows the truth of the old saying, “it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know.”


When you think about it, life’s an expo. We’re walking around checking out the vendors, picking up some samples, deciding we’ll connect with a few groups and saying “no thank you” to others. The key question is that when—as was said at Elvis concerts—you’ve left the building, will your bag be full of goodies and you can say you had a great time?

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