By Ruth Lauber

Expos are more popular than ever. While an online presence is part of any business marketing plan, people still want to meet other people face-to-face. Expos are the ideal way to connect with the public and showcase products and services.

A plan should be created, whether attending as a guest or as a vendor, to maximize its marketing potential.

If attending as a guest, here are some tips:

1. Wear comfortable walking shoes. You want to be able to cover the entire floor with a smile on your face.
2. Bring a tote or some other bag to be able pick up literature and carry it.
3. If a woman, wear a small purse with a shoulder strap for valuables and business cards.
4. Speaking of business cards, bring plenty of them.
5. Bring bottled water to stay hydrated.
6. When you arrive, check out the layout.
Are there specific vendors that would benefit your business or whom you can partner with? Visit them first when you are fresh.
7. Walk around the expo and see if there are new businesses to check out.

If manning a booth, here are some tips:

1. Wear comfortable shoes. People can tell if you are hurting or in pain.
2. Smile and reach out to guests walking past your booth. But don’t be too aggressive. If
they are interested, they will stop.
3. Ask them about their business. People enjoy speaking about themselves and this will give valuable information if they are potential clients.
4. Bring snacks. There is nothing worse than being hungry.
5. Display something that will draw people’s attention, such as a banner or big sign.
6. If there are two or more people manning the booth, walk around and introduce yourself to the other vendors. They are also potential clients.
7. Collect and exchange business cards. You can offer a giveaway in exchange for a business card.
8. Follow up with those business cards. An email thanking them for stopping by will open doors.

With planning, expos are a valuable source of networking, exposure and gaining new clients. It can be a fun and rewarding way to conduct business as well. Get ready to market your business as an attendee and vendor.

Ruth Lauber
RuthRuth Lauber is the vice president of sales and marketing for Las Vegas Woman magazine. She has over 40 years in the broad spectrum of newspaper and magazine sales, marketing, events and new electronic media with a number of publications. Lauber has been a part of the magazine since its inception.