Cortland Blog

Five tips to tackle the trade conference trek

Cost, travel, dead-end leads. These are all excuses people make for NOT attending conferences or exhibitions in their field. Worst of all, they say they can’t spare the time away from their business.

At Cortland, we’re making sure we’re at some of the top regional and international conferences applicable to our business. Why? Take a read through our five key tips below, ahead of our bumper conference schedule in April and May.

1) Go armed with a plan

Appearing at a conference with no plan is a waste of time and plays right into the words of the networking naysayers. So, make time ahead of the show to find out who will be there; companies you know and some you don’t. Are any of your contacts going? Will your dream client be there? Is your competitor showing their products? Create a target list of people to speak to and seminars to see.

2) Check in with customers

The conference is on, so chances are that booth space is full, speakers are booked and delegates signed-up. It’s big and it’s happening if you’re there or not. How often do you get a chance to speak at length to your customers in person? Go along and hear what they have to say to their market, even support them with a case study for a presentation on a successful project. Your visibility will pay dividends when it comes to your ongoing business relationship.

3) Learn from the latest

Presentations at major conferences are typically exclusive, with announcements and white papers. You’re not likely to hear the same old stories time and time again; good organizers won’t allow it. There could be key innovations unveiled, speakers from like-minded companies, governing bodies and investors. Soak up this environment and ask how it affects your business decisions.

4) Meet influencers and experts in the flesh

This could be your one shot to meet that serial entrepreneur at the top of the game, mingle with industry backers or see how others are using digital tools to make the most of their products. Marketing and business development are everyone’s responsibility, so don’t sit back in your familiar chair or office, take a chance and head along. Don’t forget the business cards – they are still relevant!

5) New ideas, fresh perspective

We have learned by now that the business that stands still, goes nowhere. Think about the changes in your field over the last 15 years. They will have been drastically altered by technological changes, economics and even political legislation. New markets can be opened through a single conversation, creating a chance to diversify your product range or consider investment opportunities.

Take it from us At Cortland, we do feel these benefits of attendance at shows. Some business leads are slower burning than others, but conversations have led to new contacts, new contracts and have developed our company in ways we hadn’t anticipated. We’re looking forward to getting on the road across the US and Europe over the next two months, with appearances at:

Bauma Machinery Trade Fair, Munich, Germany

Associated Wire Rope Fabricators (AWRF) General Meeting and Product Information Event, Cleveland, Ohio

Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SCRA) Conference, Carlsbad, California

Offshore Technology Conference (OTC 2019), Houston, Texas

Association of Crane and Rigging Professionals (ACRP) General Assembly 2019, Lexington, Kentucky

Tugnology ’19, Liverpool

AWEA Windpower Conference, Houston, Texas

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