Events like The Hotel Show is a great opportunity to connect and network with hotels, hoteliers and related industry professionals.
Attendees at events have a unique opportunity to create lifetime relationships.
At events with 30.000+ attendees, it can for many be a little intimidating talking with strangers or crash a table with others.
The good news is that it’s possible to get more comfortable at events and greet new people; it just takes a plan and some practice.
Here are some tips for how to make new connections with skill at The Hotel Show event this year:
Build authentic and genuine connections
Be authentic and genuine. Don’t try to control a conversation talking just about yourself and your business.
It starts with listening, care and connect. And then you focus on establishing a new relationship.
Ask questions to get to know the other person and what they do.
With a focus on the relationship opportunities often presents themselves.
A smile is often a very effective icebreaker to start a conversation.
I tell hoteliers to bring a white dry eraser with you to the hotel. Draw a smile in the mirror, and then look at yourself smiling.
Even better take a mirror-selfie and share it where include the hashtag #thehotelshow.
Always be ready to smile.
Are you unsure what to say, or how to start a conversation?
Most events provide attendees with some form of a nametag.
You can start with ‘Great to meet you Are, what do you do?’
Listen for interesting and meaningful answers.
Follow up with ‘What does that mean?’
This opens the opportunity to put answers in a more valuable context.
Once you have more context you can ask ‘How do you do that?’. This is the door opener for new opportunities.
Time to introduce yourself
After you have taken your mirror-selfie it’s time to practice your quick intro.
‘Hi, John, I’m Are Morch and it’s a pleasure to meet you’… pause… ‘I help make every experience count while improving online visibility and revenue for fast-growing hotels.’
Keep it short and sweet. I understand that John’s time is valuable, and he has other people at the event he has an opportunity to network with.
If there is a synergy, then set up a coffee or lunch meeting.
Exit the conversation
At an event with 30.000+ attendees, there are a lot of people you can network and connect with.
You will experience meeting people where the synergy is not there. Don’t worry that is just the nature of the business.
My last #mirrorexercise is the exit line. Just like the other persons time is valuable, so is yours.
So, you can say ‘Hi, John. I know you have a lot of people you want to meet at this event. So, do I, and I don’t want to keep up your valuable time to network with others. I enjoyed the opportunity to meet you in person here. Here is my business card if you discover ways, I can help you, or you run into someone here that might benefit connecting with me. Do you have a business card, and I will do the same for you? Enjoy the rest of the event.’
If you are attending The Hotel Show 17 – 19 September at the Dubai World Trade Center take the opportunity to listen, care and connect.
Let’s meet over a cup of coffee or a lunch #thehotelshow #hotelmarketingcoach!
You will find information below where you can connect with me.
See you there!
About the author
Are Morch – Hotel Marketing Coach. I help make every experience count while improving online visibility and revenue for fast-growing hotels.