Swimming Upstream – Trade Show Networking Reimagined
June 12, 2015 at 2:16 PM
We communicate with clients and other business partners as much as possible. We email. We make phone calls. We electronically share desktops. We trade electronic files: 2D, 3D etc. It might still primarily be love, but the internet is definitely helping to make the world go around. These types of exchanges are fast and easy and we all barely think about it these days. They are the tools that keep us at our desks, getting the work done!
Every so often here at Nexus Design, we peel ourselves away from our monitors, and send a brave few off to a trade show to support our community. Usually we know some folks who will be there as exhibitors, sometimes with a product or prototype that we recently worked on. We are eager to see how the hard work we were a part of gets ultimately delivered to a client’s customer base. The people that we know usually know we are coming. We are welcome. They’re excited to be there. We’re excited to be there. It's all good.
We want to know how you do what you do.
But trade shows are not just a place to see old friends. We always hope to make a few new ones - to win some new hearts and minds. It's actually this aspect of a trade show visit that gets interesting. Planning to be exhibiting at a trade show? We might pay you a visit.
After all, trade shows are meant to be a medium for networking. We are always keen to use skills and experience, gained from prior work in an industry in yet another corner of that industry, be it medical products, outdoor sports equipment, etc.
And should we set foot on your plush carpeting or laminate floor, we’re not your customers. We don't have sales accounts with you that need attention. We are definitely interested in your new products: what they do, how they work, how slick they might look. Are we interested in hearing more about other innovative solutions? Sure, but how many would we order? Hold on… actually we are also in the solutions business.
We’ll provide solutions to problems, puzzles or whatever, right on the spot.
You’ve won our interest. We’re fans. But even though you are busy promoting your products, we actually don't want them. I know, wait for it… What we actually want is to help you make the next product your company will develop. We want to help you maintain that level of quality and innovation you just mentioned and maybe with some added effort from us, push that level ten design to an “eleven”.
There will be a minute or two here, where your new customer magnet will repel ours. Take a quick break from the trade show routine and let us do the talking for just a few minutes. We'd love to give you a quick peek at what we do and how we do it. You may already have a team of designers and engineers on staff. Maybe in that case you don't have any immediate needs, but if your team is ever stretched thin, trying to meet that development schedule, perhaps for next year's trade show, we'd be happy to help out. Name the part of the project that needs help: ideation, concept generation, engineering analysis, regulatory prep, product testing. Any of it or all of it – we'll dive right in.
No offense – appearances may be deceiving.
So if we are there, like you to make a pitch, why aren't we snug in our own booth? We actually prefer to experience your booth and your presentation as one of your customers might. This helps us understand what you are about. After all, we’ll show up wanting to provide services that would ultimately contribute to products offered to your customers. Why not start the introduction by approaching from their perspective?
Not to keep you too long though. We just wanted to introduce ourselves and show you that we can go the distance. Whether it's the design and development work you might have for us or whether it's the effort to make the journey to shake your hand and chat for a bit.
Now back to the routine. Good luck. We’ll keep swimming!
See you at the next show!