How to Successfully Network at Trade Shows

| Posted: 2024

Mastering Networking at Summer Trade Shows: A Guide for Tax Preparers

Summer trade shows like Latino Tax Fest, IRS Nationwide Tax Forum, and NATP Taxposium present invaluable opportunities for you to expand not only your professional network, but also uncover solutions that can grow your business. Successful networking requires a structured and strategic approach and can sometimes feel daunting! Don’t stress, below is a a detailed guide to help you navigate trade shows and make the most out of your networking efforts.

✓ Set Clear Goals

Before stepping foot into any event, it’s crucial to set clear goals. For example, are you looking to learn more about a particular product or service? Find out what business attending offer that service ahead of time, you may even want to reach out in advance to schedule a meeting. Looking to meet more tax professionals like yourself? Attend the industry events and be ready to put yourself out there in conversation. Clear goals will serve as your compass, guiding your interactions and ensuring you remain focused amidst the bustling event atmosphere.

✓ Research Attendees

In the digital age, information is at your fingertips. Prior to the event, take the time to research the session topics, speakers, and exhibitors. Many events provide a list of participants or speakers online. Identify key individuals or companies you’re interested in connecting with and delve into their recent accomplishments or product offerings. Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your approach and make a stronger, more informed impression.

✓ Prepare Your Elevator Pitch

First impressions are vital, and a well-crafted elevator pitch can help you stand out. Your elevator pitch should be a succinct and compelling introduction that encapsulates who you are, your expertise, and what you seek to accomplish. Practice delivering it in the mirror with confidence and clarity. For example, you might say, “Hi, I’m Rory McRory and I am the owner of “Rory’s Tax Preparation” that specializes in individual tax prep. I’m here to explore payment processing solutions and earn continuing education credits.”

✓ Initiate Conversations

Approach people with confidence and initiate conversations by introducing yourself. Break the ice by finding common ground related to the trade show’s sessions or activities. Asking questions and showing genuine curiosity about the other person’s work can create a meaningful dialogue. Remember, networking is not just about selling yourself; it’s about building relationships. Listen actively and engage sincerely in the conversation.

✓ Exchange Information

Once you’ve established a connection, don’t hesitate to exchange business cards or contact information. This simple step ensures you have the means to follow up after the event.

✓ Be Strategic with Your Time

Events are often time-constrained, and it’s essential to manage your time wisely. Prioritize interactions with individuals who align with your goals.

✓ Follow Up

Networking doesn’t end when the event does; the follow-up is where the real magic happens. Reach out to your new contacts via email or LinkedIn shortly after the event. Personalize your message by referencing a personal connection from your conversation and expressing interest in staying in touch or exploring collaboration opportunities.

Networking at summer trade shows like Latino Tax Fest, IRS Nationwide Tax Forum, and NATP Taxposium can be a game-changer for you and your business. Set clear goals, research attendees, prepare your elevator pitch, and once there, initiate conversations and exchange information so you can maximize your time and these valuable opportunies.