Networking at Trade Shows

14 May 2007

Ryan Allis

Ryan Allis is the CEO and co-founder of iContact, a leading on-demand email marketing service. As CEO, he's managed iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size with more than 90 employees and 25,000 customers worldwide. In 2005, Ryan was named by BusinessWeek as one of the "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25." Ryan is also the author book Zero to One Million: How I Built a Company To $1 Million in Sales and How You Can Too, published by McGraw-Hill. As an email marketing expert, Ryan will provide guidance in his blog posts on how to enhance and improve your online marketing campaigns.

Last time I talked about growing a contact list by networking. Over the next few posts I'll talk about some specific places that are excellent networking opportunities. Today I'd like to talk about trade shows.

Trade shows are an excellent resource for good sales leads. The costumers you meet are pretty much pre-selected buyers. The nature of the event assumes that people want to hear your message: they pay a fee to go to a show about similar products. You can collect a whole slew of new contacts by using guest books, contests, sweepstakes, or membership cards. If your company does business-to-business sales, consider attending for the sole purpose of gathering leads.

Tip: Like any other networking opportunity, make sure to follow up with your new subscribers within a few days. It's a good idea to welcome them to your contact lists before they receive the first email. Make sure to thank them for the contact and remind them of your conversation.

Next time, I'll talk about other ways to grow a list.

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