Imagine a group baseball card fanatics, car buffs, or John Deere vintage agricultural memorabilia types all gathered in one room, conversing, arguing, and taking down contact information. Sound like a bit of a mad house? Perhaps to the outsider it is, but for the information marketer it is a great opportunity to improve business. See how the trade show can be both an exciting and fun way to see your information marketing business expand.
Nerds. That was the term, wasn’t it?
It used to be, up until the 1980s, that people who had certain
odd interests were often viewed as freakish and weird.
The correct term is “nerds.” Trekkies, greasers,
Spider-Man fans…whatever your obsession was, if you had any
brains, you kept your “nerdiness” in the closest.
But something changed in the 90s. Whether it was the pop
culture references in Quentin Tarantino’s films or just a
general public interest, things had changed. Being a nerd all of
a sudden brought new respect, and now your high school days
were far less stormy. I know — I was there. I could read my
movie magazines without scorn and even attract the interest of
some girls, oddly enough.
This was and still is great news for information marketers.
Special interests have produced special publications and the
need for information. Model trains, 78 rpm records, or even old
wooden house partitions, it doesn’t matter. There is a demand
for information on all of this stuff and, provided you have the
knowledge, you can serve this marketplace.
One of the tried and true methods of gaining access to these
markets is the trade show or convention. They are held still
umpteen times a year and are great ways to bring more people
into your business.
To get in on a good convention, you should:
— Consult trade magazines: Back in the day, I usually found
out where comic book shows were being held in the back of
comic-related magazines. You can do the same for your area of
interest. Scour all the magazines or publications you can find
about your information subject, and go through them
thoroughly, as some of the ads for these events are small.
Finding good publications can be hard, but they can be bought
at bookstores with large magazine racks or specialty shops of
your area of interest.
— Check your network: Don’t be afraid to send out requests to
friends or trusted business relations on your e-mail list to see
who might know about an upcoming show. If you’re lucky,
some of them might have a press pass that can get you access
to special events or people. You might want to avoid sending
out e-mails to your clients, however. Remember: it is you
providing the information to them, not the other way around.
— Think about traveling: My mom and dad were never nuts
about me borrowing the car to go to comic shows, but they
would occasionally let me as a treat. Think in the same way.
Sometimes traveling is not in your budget, but if you can get to
a really big show in a large metropolitan area, take the
opportunity. Look into cheap flights and hotels and aim to stay
for the whole show. It might be worth it in the end.
— Go to the show prepared: When you get to the show, be
prepared to give out some information about yourself. Scout
around and introduce yourself to people who might be serious
prospect partners. Carry a stack of business cards to give out.
And be sure to sign up for other people’s e-mail lists. You can
get new ideas and make new connections this way after the
show is over.
Getting people who love one thing into one room can look odd
to the outsider. But it can be nothing short of great for the
information marketer. You can meet like-minded people and
create more success for your business at the same time. It’s the
best way to mix business with pleasure.