The best part of trade shows is the chance to network and seek out business opportunities. Federal, State, and Local government agencies hold trade shows to publicize their potential contract opportunities and to find new vendors, and to network with peers in the industry. They can be a great opportunity for businesses that are actively trying to win government contracts or are trying to sell a product they have to government agencies.
To be successful at any tradeshow you attend you want to put in the effort before and after the actual event to turn contacts into contracts. Prepare before the show, know who’s going to be there that you need to meet. Research the people you want to meet, find out what they hope to get out of attending the tradeshow and align yourself with those objectives.
After the trade show has come to an end you need to follow up. This will help you maintain the contacts you just gained and turn them into profitable business opportunities. It helps to hold onto the business cards of everyone you met. Then you can sit down and write follow-up emails to each of them. Make sure to personalize the email so that you will stand apart from the rest of the emails they are likely to get after the tradeshow.
It is also wise to keep an open mind when attending these trade shows. You never know what opportunities may present themselves to you. You may be prepared to network with a specific type of agency or vendor and find out there was a whole sector you were unaware of that may need your service or product. So talk to everyone, give out your business cards to everyone, and in turn take everyone’s business card who offers it to you.
Out of many trade shows here are just a few for you to consider:
- Government Purchasing Association of NJ
- NY GovBuy
- National Association of Counties
- National Institute of Government Purchasing
- Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
- California Association of Public Procurement Officials
You can find us at the California Association of Public Procurement Officials (CAPPO) Conference in January. Just look for the GovSpend Booth and come say “Hi” or reach out to us on our Facebook Page.