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62 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2022 enough (like PCBs), make sure you have a good array of product samples to touch, feel, and learn about. e better these are displayed, the more potential customers will be impressed by them and with your company. 7. Schedule business meetings. A large IPC APEX EXPO is the one time of the year when, chances are, everyone you want to meet will attend. You will all be in San Diego at the same time for the better part of a week. is is a great time to get to- gether with customers, partners, reps, salespeople, and even competitors. Use all your time wisely, not just the class- room time or the exhibition time, but all the time. Plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner meetings. Plan on meeting the right peo- ple for drinks. Make every meal and min- ute, count. is is an expensive exhibition in one of the most expensive cities in the country; you cannot afford not to make use of all your time in San Diego. 8. Don't wing it. e opportunity is too se- rious. Plan and set up meetings well in ad- vance. Develop a planned schedule of ap- pointments before you even arrive in San Diego. Create a log on your calendar of who you will meet with, when and where you will meet them, their contact infor- mation, why you want to meet with them, and what you want to accomplish in this meeting. I cannot emphasize this enough. 9. Tell people you are going to be at the show. Send out press releases to the me- dia. Send out email invitations and news- letters to your customers and potential customers letting them know that you will be at the show and where your booth is located. I strongly suggest that you give them a reason to come to your booth. Offer a free consultation, a free sample, or a free demo. Make the right people want to come your booth. 10. Use the media at the show. Take advan- tage of any opportunity to talk with the media. If someone like I-Connect007 offers you an interview, take it. If they don't, then ask them for one. is is critical. Get as much publicity as you can from the media outlets at the show. 11. Create a follow-up plan. Aer all, the real reason you are at this show is to mine the right contacts. Take notes of what they are interested and the questions they have asked. en refer to them in your follow-up emails, letters, and phone calls. Speaking of follow-up, make sure it's done promptly. You should send the prospects you meet an email that very evening and then a longer, more comprehensive fol- low-up package within a week of meeting them. is plan should also include adding the booth visitor's name and contact information to your company database. Finally, distribute those contacts to your sales team, giving them the names/leads of those people and companies in their territory. 12. Do a post-mortem within 48 hours of leaving the show. Make a list of what worked and what didn't work. What should you do next time? Should you attend again? Is there anything you did not bring that you should have? is is an important and oen overlooked point. And in the spirit of under promising and overdelivering, here is one more to make it an even bakers' dozen. Have a great time! See you in San Diego. SMT007 Dan Beaulieu is president of D.B. Management Group and an I-Connect007 columnist. To contact Beaulieu or read past columns, click here.

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