The Tecmark team just finished up the Minnesota Petroleum Marketers Association (MPMA) 91st Convention and Trade Show in St. Paul, MN.
(Yes, we had it pretty easy since we simply transported our exhibit goodies through the skyway.)
Who knew that a few after hour trade show events could help you better learn your customers and even gain a few referrals?
Well, hopefully YOU did. And this concept goes for both exhibitors and attendees. It’s a great way and a less formal way to get feedback on a product or an idea, and can lead to a few sales.
Once our booth was set up, a few of us decided to make our way to the show’s Welcome Reception and Silent Auction. (Thank you, sponsors1!) We enjoyed food and wine while we listened to a lovely jazz band during our chat. The opportunity to mix and mingle with event registrants – including potential customers – is great and shouldn’t be passed up.
Tuesday was the big day and there was plenty to do following the 4 p.m. close of the exhibition hall. Since the association dinner didn’t kick off until 6 p.m., there again was opportunity to chat with people near the hospitality booths.
Sponsored2 post-dinner entertainment included a magician and guitar duo. Events like these also bring the possibility of leads, referrals, and maybe even a few closed deals. The point is to get out there and engage people.
Some trade show attendees are flying solo. Be human and invite them to lunch, or offer a seat at your table during an event! You never know what you might learn from your new connection. Plus, it’s always nice to have a laugh in a casual setting. If you are the one flying solo, don’t be afraid to waltz up to a group to say hello, or ask if there is space at someone’s lunch table.
Introduce yourself. Make a connection. Nurture the relationship.
And be yourself!
Feel free to send your personal trade show experiences, thoughts, and questions.
1Armor Tank Lining, Inc.; B & H Petroleum Equipment Company; BP Products North America; Calumet Superior; Chambers & Owen, Inc.; CHS, Inc./Cenex; Clark Brands; Circle-K Corporation; Conway, Deuth, & Schmeisling, CPA; Dandamar; EBY Brown; Employers Mutual Casualty (EMC); Farner-Bocken Company; Federated Insurance; Flint Hills Resources (FHR); Hartland Fuel Products; Kane Transport; LBT Inc.; Marathon Petroleum Company; Minnesota Petroleum Company; MPMA & Associate Members; North American Trailer; Northern Tier Energy; Northland Petroleum Service; Premier Banks; Polar Tank; Professional Carwash Systems Inc.; Reliable Plus Car Wash Services, Inc.; Seaver Company/I’Gogs; Sinclair Oil Corporation; Stan Morgan & Associates, Inc.; TankWagonMaster; Tesoro Refining and Marketing on behalf of Tesoro, ExxonMobil, and Shell; Wayne Transports Inc.; Western Petroleum Company; Westmor Industries LLC; Yocum Oil; and Zahl Petroleum Maintenance Company.
2Allstate Peterbilt; BP Products; Calumet Superior LLC; CHS, Inc./Cenex; Core-Mark International; Day N’ Night Bites; Dooley Petroleum; Eby-Brown Company; Croix Oil Company; Flint Hills Resources; Hartland Fuel Products; Henry’s Foods; Kane Transport, Inc.; Lakeside Oil/Western Petroleum; Marathon Petroleum Company LP; MEG Corp; Mielke Oil Company, Inc.; MN Service Station Association (MSSA); North American Trailer; Northern Tier Energy; Polar Tank Trailer; Professional Carwash Systems; Sinclair Oil Corporation; Tesoro Refining & Marketing; and Wayne Transports, Inc.