People usually visit trade shows to check out exhibitors' products, services, fresh ideas, etc. But have you ever attended one in hopes of finding a job?
It might be a great idea for you. Almost any industry you can think of holds an annual trade show. Why not take that the opportunity to network with other industry professionals? After all, often times it's not what you know, but who you know.
Here are a few tips for job searching at conventions:
1. Start with local trade shows in order to begin building your network. This will also give you the opportunity to get used to the trade show experience before jumping into larger, nationwide shows.
2. Meet people. In fact, meet as many people as you can. Make it your goal to collect and give out as many business cards as possible.
3. Prepare quality questions beforehand so that exhibitors see your value. Engage in conversations about industry issues and expertise.
4. Follow up within 48 hours of the event. Do this more easily by importing new contact information into your database and touching base via email.
5. Keep in touch, but don't overwhelm. Remind your new contacts that you're still interested by sending a quick message on at least a quarterly basis.
As you can see, making connections at trade shows is easier than you thought! Who knows? Your new friends may just help you land the job of your dreams. Please share any other tips you may have!