Community events provide business owners with an invaluable opportunity to connect with residents. If you’re attending one for the first time, make sure that you’re prepared in advance so that you can make the most of the experience. Here is what you should know.
How to Handle Your First Community Event
Communicate with everyone.
The goal of attending a community event is to establish a connection with as many valuable contacts as possible. You can only do that if you interact with attendees and provide them substantial information about who you are, what you do, and why you’re attending. Think of some details that set you apart from the competition so that you can stand out and make an impression.
Hand out promotional material.
Always come prepared with promotional materials. This can take the form of anything from a business card to an informative brochure to a sheet of coupons. Strive to include an incentive if it’s appropriate; for example, the coupons may promise a free product or service if the recipient contacts you within a specific period of time. Don’t just hand out your materials—back them up with a little bit about your company so that people know what you have to offer.
Show up late.
Treat the event as you would any type of professional affair. Arrive on time to avoid creating an unnecessary distraction. Since it takes some time to set up an organized table, you want to allow yourself the flexibility to change the setup if necessary. If you show up late, you’ll have to quickly place everything down haphazardly, which puts your brand in a less than favorable light. A neat table will draw plenty of attention from potential business resources.
Ignore fellow business owners.
The beauty of local events is that they allow you to become a part of something bigger and better. Connecting with fellow business owners is a fantastic way to establish yourself as a part of the community, to learn from others, and to find out the best avenues to market your business. Take the time to get to know them by introducing yourself, sharing your business card, and going over what you hope to achieve. You never know where one meeting will lead.