Do's and Don'ts: Preparation Tips for Aerolink Farnborough 2012
Having organised Aerolink events for nearly ten years, over time we have gained experience in what makes a successful event for our delegates. Below we have gathered together some tips for those attending.
- Come prepared - Make sure you have looked at what the company you want to meet is interested in and have looked at what they produce themselves.
- Remember first impressions count - The meetings at Aerolink are 20 minutes long. This is your chance to introduce yourself to the company you are meeting, and to start a working relationship. Make it count!
- Find out how the other company works - Will there be others involved in the decision to purchase from you/work together? Are there regulatory issues with introducing new innovations?
- Consider what you want to achieve prior to the meeting - Are you buying, sourcing or introducing a new innovation? Do you have a proposal for working together on a project? What do you want from the other company, and what can your company offer in return?
- Listen, Understand & Record - Show that you are understanding what the other party is looking to achieve, and record what this means for you - You will be meeting a lot of people, and follow-up activity will be a lot easier to recall if you have it written down!
- Come with an open mind - You will be in a room filled with people all looking for new opportunities, you may be surprised where the next one for you could come from.
- Speak to people! - We have found that those who gain the most from the event are constantly chatting and making new contacts, not just in meetings. The exhibition, seminars & workshops and even the lunch queue are all full of people looking to do business too.
- Make the most of your day - You may have come for a couple of key meetings, but you may miss valuable opportunities if you ignore the exhibition, seminars or networking opportunities during refreshments.
- Remember why you are here - To uncover business opportunities! If presenting an 'innovation' remember to make the business case for it as well as explaining the technical side. If you are looking to sell something, make sure it is clear why the buyer should consider you, what are the advantages? If you are sourcing, be clear about what you are looking for.
- Get commitment - If a meeting or discussion has gone well, get a second meeting in the diary, record some actions from both sides, make sure that the positive initial discussions turn into a successful relationship.
- Regurgitate the 'same old' sales pitch - It is easy to claim wonderful things about yourself and company, but if that isn't relevant to the company you are meeting, it is a waste of time. Understand what the other party needs and offer solutions and opportunities in return.
- Forget that your registration details will be viewed by others - You can start forming an impression before you even meet other companies. When you sign up, take a little time to consider what you are trying to achieve on the day and make sure this is clear in your registration form.
- Forget that opportunities could come from anywhere - Don't just look 'up' the supply chain for opportunities, use the day to make contacts across the board, they could lead to valuable new business.
- Forget your 'competitors' -The modern business environment is full of successful collaborations. Previous Aerolink events have seen 'competitors' coming together to win bigger contracts than they could on their own. Could this sort of meeting be useful for your organisation?
- Wait for the opportunity to come to you - Just sitting behind an exhibition stand, or on a laptop all day is unlikely to bring people flooding to you with business. Make sure you speak to other attendees and find out what they need, you may have the solution to their problems.
- Ignore the innovation aspect - Recent events have had increasing numbers of technical and R&D representation from companies. If your company has something innovative to offer, make it clear, if you don't let the other party know what you have to offer, they cannot decide whether they like the idea or not!
- Forget to pick up your delegate pack - The event directory contains a wealth of useful information, including the contact details of all the delegates at the event. It is a very useful tool after the event should you wish to contact the other companies who were there.
- Miss meetings - If another company has requested a meeting with you, and it is in your schedule, please have the courtesy to turn up to it. You may not immediately see the advantage to yourself, but you wont know unless you turn up, we have had companies miss valuable contracts in the past because they 'didn't see the opportunity' for themselves.
- Forget to let us know your thoughts - This will be the fourth year that the Aerolink Farnborough event has taken place, and we are constantly trying to ensure it meets your needs. Please let us know what you think of the event, positives or negatives, so we can keep on making improvements for you.
- Forget to confirm further actions - If a meeting has gone well, make sure you are clear on what to do next to 'seal the deal'. Arrange further contact, getting samples out, a visit to the customers site etc.
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