6th September 2019 | IN DESIGN EVENTS | BY SBID ShareTweetPinterestLinkedIn Having the right professional contacts can be an essential part in helping to grow your business, spread brand awareness and open the door to new opportunities. Networking events are generally one of the best ways to achieve this. To be successful at networking events however, it’s important to make a good first impression and make sure you are ready to utilise the day ahead. SBID Meet the Buyer is not your ‘traditional’ networking event. With its unique meeting format, event structure and the high standard of attendees who are likely to be in attendance, we’re sharing some useful advice on how to make the most of your time in the hot seat! This year’s event on 24th October 2019 is primed and ready to bring you a room full of quality, potential clients which comprise of some of the industry’s most respected designers and design practices from around the world. With international designers looking to build their supplier database or specify for upcoming projects, we suggest you brush up on your networking skills, practice your handshake and follow our useful tips to make sure get the most from the SBID Meet the Buyer event. 1) Come prepared! Of course it’s important to know your product inside out, but remember your audience is specialised in the interior design sector and has a keen eye for detail! The designers you meet may already have relevant projects underway or on the horizon which they need to specify for – so it’s all in the fine print! Make sure you bring and / or have access to any useful information designers might need (laptops, iPads and marketing materials are permitted as part of booking your meeting table). So don’t risk drawing a blank when it comes to providing essential details such as specs, supply availability, budgets, timescales and capabilities. This will help you find out if your offering is relevant and feasible for the designer’s needs – and if they are a relevant client for you! 2) Showcase with samples! Designers are visual, so use your space wisely! Utilise your allocated display space with product samples – pictures may be able to tell a thousand words, but nothing leaves a more lasting impression in a designer’s mind than visual stimulation and physical interaction – so accommodate their desire to get touchy feely and let your product do the talking! Whether you have a large display space or some room for samples on your meeting table, you could attract even more than you bargained for if you showcase your products in the right way! 3) Don’t forget to scan the designers you meet! Make sure you use the electronic badge scanners provided! This will be an essential part of the day which will help build your contacts and follow up on all those potential leads you have gathered. We know it seems a little high tech, but it saves fumbling around with a handful of business cards or perhaps misplacing them on the train on your way home… You will have 10 pre-arranged meetings already booked, but there are lots of chances to interact with and meet designers throughout the day. The back-to-back meetings will be divided up over breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks – so ensure you get out there and scan who you can! 4) Manage your time efficiently! We like to keep the meetings short and sweet, so get to the point and keep your communication concise and effective. Keep the designers engaged and ask them the questions! Find out what upcoming projects they will be or are currently working on; what type of projects they tend to specialise in and what sector they are looking to specify for. This will help you think about how your offering can compliment their projects, or even discover ways you can innovate or customise what you offer to meet their requirements. Asking the right questions can go a long way in building a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with the designers sitting in front of you! 5) Have your say and engage with the industry! The exclusive business seminars SBID host during the day are not just for the designers – manufacturers and suppliers can attend to! This is a good chance for you to engage in industry topics and participate in panel discussions with the experts. Use these seminars as your time to get involved and discover more about the sectors that you or your target audience may be working within; this could help you spot future trends, inspire you with ideas on how to grow your business or just give you a more rounded understanding of the environment that could impact you or your potential clients. This year SBID will feature talks about what makes a superbrand, as well as a revealing panel discussion about the industry’s ‘dirty little secrets’, such as issues with non-payment and protecting your copyrighted designs post EU exit. If SBID Meet the Buyer sounds like an event that could benefit you or help you meet the right contacts to suit your business objectives, make sure you get in touch to find out more about attending. Click here to enquire about booking a place at this year’s SBID Meet the Buyer event or email [email protected] for more information.