The Importance of Networking After a Trade Show
By Maria Jones
The trade show has ended. You’ve packed up your booth, said your goodbyes, and have headed home. But just because the trade show has ended does not mean you don’t still have a lot of work ahead of you.
The truth is, your networking experience is not even close to being finished. Company representatives, investors, product experts and the public have all seen your booth, but what is stopping them from forgetting your invention the moment they walk out the trade show doors? The following tips illustrate the importance of networking once a trade show has come to a close.
Follow Up with Companies
After years of perfecting your invention and hours of practicing your elevator pitch, you finally have stood in front of companies and pitched your product. So much time has been spent preparing for what seems to be just a momentary interaction. In reality, that pitch had more impact than you might think.
A great way to maximize the outcome of your pitch is through networking. Revisit all the business cards and LinkedIn connections that you managed to attain from the different companies at the show and follow up on those contacts. Take initiative and do not be afraid to reach out to the companies with a well-written thank you or quick note to remind them of your conversation at the show. This can show a company that you are determined to move your product forward, which could possibly lead to even better opportunities.
Follow Up with Investors
Just as you should network with consumer product companies post show, you should follow up with any potential investors you may have met as well. Depending on your level of development, an investment may be the next step towards launching your invention.
A friendly and professional follow up could win over an investor by proving to him or her that you are truly passionate about your invention. Because investors also have something to gain from the success of your invention, it is important to illustrate to them your determination and familiarity with the investing process. Prove to them you are not simply a shot in the dark by remaining in contact with them after the show.
Remind the Public of Your Product
Don’t forget about the consumers who would ultimately be purchasing your product if it goes to market. Keep in touch with any contacts from the general public that you met at a trade show. A great way do so is through social media.
Social media provides a platform to see what the public is saying about your product. You can also follow individuals as well and share posts about your booth. Through social media, the public can even direct message you if he or she has questions about your invention. If you have not already created social media pages for your patented invention or brand, be sure to do so, as it would not only help you in keeping in touch with contacts, but would also heighten visibility of your brand.
Networking with industry influencers is an important part of any trade show. This is the same for after the show has ended. Whether it’s a phone call, an email or a social media post, post-show networking could potentially impact the success of your invention.