I absolutely love The Business Show. There are many exhibitions, start-up shows and motivational talks; I’ve been to most, but this stands out as the best on the planet.

There is no other place that you will have the opportunity to access all the services you need to run a business from accountancy, company registration, legal advice and even how to make yourself filthy rich on the stock market –serious FX trading is promoted there too. You’ll also be able to hear advice from successful entrepreneurs, Dragons from the Den, BBC Apprentice candidates and …… me (oh of course!). It’s amazing the speaking opportunities you can get if you bribe people with skittles.

Credit to the organisers there’s probably too much going on, even for a two day event, so unlike most exhibitions you’ll gain so much by visiting more than once. The Business Show needs at least two visits to be able to maximise its potential and probably should be in your plans every year.

If you’re reading this and thinking about going or you’ve been before and you’re not sure if it’s worth going again then this is my advice to you.

VISIT 1: Inspiration and Finding My Path
If this is your first visit, you are going to be overwhelmed. I remember the first time I went to the Business Show, I thought it was amazing I spent four or so hours wandering around the exhibitors. I picked up brochures from all the stands I visited that could help me on my journey. I would need this when I employed staff, either one of those services would help me manage the books, great this can help me build my website. I was so busy exhibit surfing I missed most of the speakers I wanted to see because the queues were too dense. At the end of my visit I walked out of the door buzzing with excitement with a bag full of fliers, posters and special offers. BIG MISTAKE. Life took over a bit so I wasn’t really able to look into that bag for a couple of days, so of course what happened was by the time I opened the bag again – I was overwhelmed with the various bits I acquired and couldn’t really remember why I had picked ‘that’ up and where I should start.

Tips for your first visit:

  1. Use the event guide to plan what speakers you want to see BEFORE you get to the show. Plan how you will spend your time between visiting stands and speakers. Use this visit to take in content and motivation from inspirational speakers. Plan to see at least three and get to their sessions early or you won’t get in. I recommend checking out Brad Burton by the way (my sessions start at 11am, I’m in seminar hall 4 on Wednesday and seminar hall 6 on Thursday, so start your day there)
  2. What is the service you need to get to the next stage? Think of one or two service that will benefit you right now. Only take information about service that will bring immediate benefit to your idea
  3. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK – there are 10,000+ like minded people at the event make sure you use it to grow your contacts especially if your perfect customer is at the event
  4. Post your  pictures, messages and videos on your social media channels using hashtag #TBSUK, another fantastic way to network and be involved in the buzz around the show
  5. Don’t forget your business cards
  6. Bring some snacks, it could be a long day and the highly priced food is an expense your start-up can do without

That should be enough to get you through visit number one. If you’ve been already or if you want to know what to do on your next few visits read on but make sure you’ve booked your FREE ticket for the show………….

VISIT 2: Grow your business – Meet KPI’s in your Industry
If you’ve worked smart since your first visit to The Business Show the likelihood is you’ve grown your business and it’s changed since your first visit. You should definitely visit again. This time you’ll be more prepared for what you should expect. This visit is about moving your business to the next level, so again make sure you are sure on the services that you need (now) to grow your business. You’ll have a better idea of the right questions to ask when networking or visiting exhibitors and be more confident so you’ll be getting the most out of this fantastic event.
My challenge for your second visit would be to try and get involved in speed networking and pitching your business for investment. There are areas dedicated to speed networking one of them is run by 4N business networking group. There are other sponsors that give you the opportunity to pitch or speed network (you have to pre-register for some of these opportunities).

Once again plan speakers that you want to see prior to your visit, however this time the seminars you attend should mainly be linked to the industry that concerns your business.

Visit 3: Be the Business at the Business Show
There may be one or two more visits as you grow your business, but to keep it in with my process we’ll stick this in as visit three. The third time you visit, you should be more than a visitor, you should be an exhibitor. You should have built your business to a stage where you are able to get some value from the 20,000+ visitors to the show. What better goal than exhibiting your business at the biggest business show on the planet!

Whether you go once, twice or three times a visit to The Business Show is well worth the investment (time). If you’re there do try to connect with me – but most importantly have fun.

Oh and of course don’t forget to come and say hi – Get the most out of networking at The Business Show and beyond

If you’ve got an idea or already run a small business and interested in joining a community of entrepreneurs with FREE advice and support leave your email below.

If you want to reach out to me before the event I’m easily reachable via my Twiter @DwainReid or Instagram @MrDwainReid.

See you on the 14th and/or 15th of November – don’t forget to secure your FREE ticket(s) NOW.

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