• Nichola Kelsey

Tops tips for attending The Micro Business Show

The Micro Business Show is a great way to make contacts, increase your visibility, promote your company, find new products, build and solidify existing relationships, and educate yourself about the latest industry trends.

With our exhibition, seminar programme, networking sessions, IT clinic and free tea and coffee, there's a lot to see and do. Be sure to register online and book your seminar spot, and then follow our handy guide to get maximum value out of your day.

The Micro Business Show Floor Plan

1. Research

A bit of research before you start will do a lot of the hard work for you. Have a look online to see who is exhibiting before you come to see which exhibitors hold the most interest for you. Check out the show guide when you get there to find out where they are located. Have an eye to the future – some exhibitors may not be for you just now, but knowing what support is available is great for strategically planning your business.

2. Set goals

Now you know who’s there, you can start to think about your reasons for attending. Are you looking to grow your contacts from the Networking Zone? Are you looking for potential suppliers or collaborators from the exhibition? Are you looking for knowledge and guidance from our seminar speakers? Are you in need of IT support from the IT Zone? Set yourself some objectives – the more time and effort you put into it, the more you will get out of it.

3. Plan your route

Prioritise the exhibitors you’ve identified as being of interest, note down their stand numbers and map a route for yourself. This will make best use of your time at the event and ensure you get a worthwhile experience. You don’t want to run out of time before you get to the important exhibitors you wanted to meet. The IT Clinic offers an appointment booking system for a one-to-one appointment – head here first to make sure you get booked in and can plan your day more effectively. If you’ve pre-registered, you will be first in line for the latest show news, offers and benefits via social media. You will details of networking events and details of special show promotions.

4. Be online

Be sure to follow @MicroBizShow on Facebook and Twitter. Search using #MicroBizShow to keep up-to-date with information relating to the event. All the exhibitors have some form of social media channel, so follow and like them to get details of any special event offers they might be running as well as engage with the exhibition and exhibitors in advance. Take part in the online Scavenger Hunt to be in with a chance of winning one of Pipistrelle Art’s illustrations!

5. Keep an open mind

One of the huge advantages of The Micro Business Show is the opportunity to learn about concepts and ideas that you may not have considered before. Especially if you are looking for innovation or something new, it's the idea that you haven't considered that offers the best solution. So take a good look around and be prepared to listen to what’s on offer.

6. Network, network, network

Take advantage of the opportunity to meet industry peers and uncover hidden business opportunities in the Networking Zone. There are plenty of opportunities to connect with people, brands, information and business solutions through our 3 facilitated networking zones provided by Socially Shared, Business Biscotti and the Solihull Chamber of Commerce. Prepare a 60-second pitch in advance and strike up conversations with other like-minded business people to discuss your idea (and theirs). Don’t forget the huge benefit of meeting new and existing customers face-to-face, perhaps over a (free) cup of coffee? Make sure to allow time for unscheduled conversations as well as planned meetings. You never know who you might meet and who can help you on your journey!

7. Education

The Micro Business Show is not only a place to meet businesses, it also offers lots of opportunities to learn from the best. Our free seminars have been specifically tailored for small businesses, freelancers, start ups, sole self-employed and anyone looking to start up a business. Sessions cover Marketing, Cyber Security, Instagram, Research & Development and Facebook – all designed with the micro business community in mind. Take advantage of these free educational opportunities as it’s a great way of obtaining information. Don't be complacent – it’s easy to believe that you already know all you need to. Things change all the time and this is your chance to keep abreast of new developments.

8. Be friendly

Exhibitors are there because they want to talk to people! Especially if it’s a company you are keen to meet, don’t be afraid to say hello. If you’ve planned ahead, you’ll know who you wish to speak to. If their stand is busy, hang around for a bit looking at their stand and literature while you wait for an opening. Don’t just focus on the companies you came to see - you may be surprised by the number of companies offering similar services. Make eye contact, smile and remember a quick stop could result in an invaluable find or an enlightening conversation.

9. Stand firm

Don’t lose sight of your goals. If you know what you want, and are in a position to purchase, at the event then go ahead and take advantage of show specials. But if your primary goal of attending the event is for research, don’t feel pressured into entering into agreements just because you’re there and feel you have to.

10.Take it easy

In all the excitement it can be easy to forget to recharge your batteries. Take time for a coffee, whilst you sit down and rest your feet, to recap everything you’ve seen. Use the opportunity to check in with your plan and make sure you’re speaking to who you wanted to. If you have spare time set aside at the end of the day, visit a few other businesses not on your list and soak up their valuable advice - it won’t do you any harm.

11.Follow Up

Sometimes it’s not possible to make a decision on the spot. For a company that you are interested in, agree to continue discussions after the event. With the right negotiation strategy, you might find the “Show Specials” are still available later after all. Reach out to any companies you may have missed on site. Monitor post-show social media coverage, which typically highlights the most important news featured at the show, to see if you may have missed any potential partners that can help resolve a problem. If you’d like copies of the presentations given at the seminars attended, please get in touch.

Whether you’re exhibiting or attending at The Micro Business Show, a focused strategy will yield a better return on your investment, whether this be time, energy or money.

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