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25 Days to Africa’s Biggest Business Fair: Are You Ready?

The Connect Nigeria Business Fair, Africa’s largest trade event for SMEs, holds this month. For two days- the 26th and 27thh of April –thousands of business-minded persons will converge upon the Tafawa-Balewa Square in Lagos to buy, sell, network, and learn the top strategies for achieving enterprise growth.

If you would like to make new valuable connections, give your brand unprecedented exposure or gain exceptional insights into running a successful business in today’s world, you’ll want to attend the Connect Nigeria Business Fair. Since its beginnings in 2011, it’s helped numerous people raise their sales, found new businesses, and even secure high-profile startup investment. These are just a few things you could benefit from being at the fair.

But if you’ve already decided to attend the Business Fair, you’re probably already looking forward to these things. There’s one question for you though: Are you ready for the event?

It’s important for you to be prepared for whatever wins you’d like to notch up there. What are your goals for the fair? Would you like to rake in a lot of sales? Will you be going for the smart ideas to be shared by the panel of experts and top industry stakeholders? Do you intend to catch the attention of high-quality leads, partners or investors?

Whatever opportunities you would want to take advantage of, you’ll have to be ready for them when they come. Here, we’ll be telling you how to get things together for a great outing at the Connect Nigeria Business Fair.

For Exhibitors

1. Plan to Meet Your Customers’ Needs

Sure, there will be thousands of people at the venue over the two days in which the fair is scheduled to hold. But that’s no guarantee that you’ll have a mammoth gathering around your booth all the time. Those attendees will go to the stands with the sort of look, feel, and products that appeal to them. Once you have these boxes ticked at the venue, you should be attracting a good deal of attention from the crowd there.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to offering your customers what they want at the fair.

2. Get Your Social Media Strategy Right

You shouldn’t merely focus on selling at the venue. Pay attention to how you’ll promote your presence and work at the fair before, during and after it holds. The most cost-effective way to do this would be by using your social media pages.

You could begin telling your followers- and whoever else might be looking at your posts – that you’d be at the event. Doing a countdown to the day it begins is a good idea; this way, you’ll create a sense of excitement and anticipation around it, and cause more people to be interested in what you’ll be doing at the fair. They may even be persuaded to attend as well, and purchase things from you there.

There’s more on creating a social media strategy for the business fair here.

3. Map Out Your Approach to Selling

How do you actually bring people to your booth, or convince them to buy or place orders?

There’s a lot that goes into this. Be sure you get all of them right- from the layout and ambience of your booth to your dressing (and that of others on your team), you should present your brand as thoroughly professional and orderly. Then tackle selling proper, by being conscious of what would motivate your potential lead to become a customer, and applying that knowledge in your conversation with them.

This guide to showing up and selling at the event should be useful.

For Attendees

4. Follow Updates Online and On Social Media

This is how you keep up with the Connect Nigeria Business Fair. We’ll have more reminders leading up to the event, as well as the order of activities on both days. You will also be able to follow the progress of things when it gets underway by monitoring posts on our social media handles, as well as through the event’s hashtags.

5. Prepare to Take Notes

A lot of valuable information will be shared by seasoned experts and experienced business executives at the panel sessions and masterclass that’ll take place. In order to capture as much of it as you can, you should prepare to take notes at these sessions. Come with a pen and a notebook. Alternatively, record the important points in text with a notetaking app or capture the speeches with an audio recorder.

General Tips

These points are useful for regular attendees and exhibitors alike.

6. Brush Up on Your Networking Skills

There’s going to be a lot of opportunities to network and make new contacts. Are you ready to take them?

Whether you’ve grown a bit rusty with your networking skills or you’re not given to initiating conversations, you’ll find a few great questions to kick off your interaction here.

And here’s how to overcome the fear of networking.

7. Practice Your Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch that’s well prepared and delivered could be the starting point for a fruitful discussion with a potential business partner, big value lead, or an investor. If your aim is to catch the attention of any of these groups of people at the event, you should create an elevator pitch that could initiate such a discussion.

Here’s a detailed explanation of what an elevator pitch is and how to craft one.

Remember, the Connect Nigeria Business Fair is free to attend. Click here to register.

If you’d like to exhibit your products and services at the fair, you can book your exhibition space here. You can also call 0700 800 5000, or send an email to bizfair[@]connectnigeria.com to find out more.

Featured image source: Connect Nigeria

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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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