By Emily Moorhead
INPEX 2017 will be here before you know it, so inventors, now is the time to solidify your plan for this year’s invention show. What better way to strategize than to get words of wisdom from the attendees (company representatives) themselves? Pay close attention because all of these tidbits come directly from attendees who are here to make your INPEX experience more enjoyable and productive.
1. Know your audience and understand their nature of business
There are several different kinds of business attendees at INPEX. Each will have a slightly different reason for wanting to talk to you about your invention. Be sure you know what the following representatives do in their industries so you’ll be able to engage them with your elevator pitch and beyond. The industries are: manufacturing companies, licensors, marketers, infomercial companies, distributors, retailers, exporters/importers, research and development, mail order catalog, venture capital group/investors, and intellectual property experts. Know each industry and understand the differences between them to better connect with your audience.
2. Engage with attendees
It’s important that you appear awake, alert, and enthusiastic to attendees. Stand up straight, smile, make eye contact, and greet everyone who passes by your booth. Be sure that your body language shows that you’re open to interaction by keeping your arms unfolded; crossed arms make you look closed off from conversation. Be sure to actually ask attendees to come into your booth; don’t just assume that is obvious. Keep your booth open and welcoming by not blocking it off. Ensure you’re not distracted by your phone or computer during floor hours. Enjoy your lunch in the Exhibitor Lounge because talking while eating is unprofessional. Do not get wrapped up in conversation amongst your business partners or booth neighbors because you will appear busy and not ready to engage with the attendees.
3. Make a good impression with branding
Putting an effort into branding and marketing can go a long way. Wear branded clothing, such as a polo or pullover with your logo on it. Make sure you have an eye-catching, yet simple business card. Utilize both the front and back of the card so you can maximize the amount of information included. Be sure to include the invention name and an image of the product if possible because it helps to jog the attendee’s memories after the show. Choose a paper stock that can be written on and avoid glossy cards where notes cannot be jotted down on the card. Include your social media handles as well. Attendees also recommend you have flyers, brochures, sales sheets, banners, signs, and engaging promotional items. Pens, balls, and notepads are examples of branded promotional items you can utilize to help get your invention’s name out there to attendees. Ensure that all of your materials stick to your branding guidelines with your brand’s colors, fonts, and logo to make a good impression on attendees.
4. Make meaningful connections
You will meet many new people at INPEX. Even though you’ll be seeing many new faces, you need to try and make quality, meaningful connections throughout the show. Ask each attendee what brought them to your booth. Listen carefully to what they have to say and acknowledge what they tell you. You want to both identify and meet their information needs so don’t be afraid to ask. You can take a few moments to try and connect, relate, and develop rapport with them so you are more memorable after the show. Make sure you are honest in your responses and be sure to follow through with any promises you make during the show, such as sending follow-up emails or samples. Finally, let your personality shine through and don’t be afraid to be yourself!
5. Do your homework
To really make a lasting impression on the INPEX attendees, make sure you’ve done your homework. Attendees are looking to work with individuals who are driven, knowledgeable, and prepared, so show them you’re ready to take on the corporate world. Having a business plan, even if it is just a rough outline, will help you to show attendees that you’re ready to take the next step. A business plan will show that you understand your industry and that you’re looking towards the future.
With INPEX right around the corner, now is the time to finish up your planning and set yourself up for a great show. These pieces of advice from INPEX attendees will help you get on the right path. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to call your INPEX representative.