As the year starts to wind down, perhaps you’re starting to think about taking a well-deserved break. Maybe you’re planning a vacation or a holiday getaway to visit family. Whatever the case, consider how you can use the opportunity to create more exposure for your business.
Nothing can boost your income quite like tapping into a “new” market. Think about it – if you have done any networking in your local area, you know the power of connecting with ideal prospects and building relationships. Meeting new people, the RIGHT people, is often the quickest way to enroll new clients into your practice.
The same can be true when you go out of town.
Take the time to research what networking or speaking opportunities are available in your vacation area. Whether you visit another BNI chapter, a Chamber of Commerce meeting or some other event, you’ll be introduced to a fresh group of people with whom you can develop relationships and create opportunities.
Of course, for best results, you want to be sure to focus your attention on events that will connect you with a group of your ideal clients or prospective Power Partners. Remember your goal is to meet new people and start relationships with them – NOT sell to them. You want to build visibility for what you offer, do some market research by asking questions and extend/receive referrals.
Following are a few ideas for finding events to attend:
- Visit http://www.chamberofcommerce.com/chambers/ to connect with the local Chamber of Commerce. Inquire about upcoming meetings they’re hosting and other networking organizations in the area that you may be able to connect with.
- Check online for the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau for links to any local events that may be happening while you’re in town.
- Look at the online edition of the city’s Sunday newspaper. There is usually a section for local events, meetings and tradeshows which will give you a list of venues to contact and research.
- If you belong to a national organization (such as the eWomen Network or BNI), visit the organization’s website to find the nearest local chapter. Then reach out to the chapter President or Director to inquire about upcoming meetings and procedures for visiting the group.
- Let family and friends who live in the area know that you’re interested in meeting local entrepreneurs and see what connections they may have for you.
You may consider extending your trip either by going a day early or staying a day later to take advantage of the opportunities available. That way you can maximize your networking time and still be able to enjoy the snow, beach, or whatever fun activities you have planned.
Make sure you are well prepared to attend the event. Find out as much as you can in advance about the other attendees and what kind of businesses will be represented. You’ll want to have plenty of business cards and marketing materials to share, as appropriate. By all means, follow-up promptly on ALL leads and interest in your business. Taking an hour to send a few note cards, emails or making a few phone calls will significantly increase your likelihood of closing new business.
You should check with your Accountant, but attending networking events, speaking or otherwise conducting business meetings while you’re on vacation, could very well make most (or all) of your trip tax deductible!
Wherever your travel plans may take you this Fall and Winter, take advantage of the opportunity to connect with a new audience in the cities you visit. You’ll broaden your reach and you might even open a new door for you to visit that “vacation” city again to conduct business. Remember, there are people all over the world who need the solutions you offer. Make sure they have the opportunity to find you when they need you!
I encourage you to connect with other members of the community on the blog and inquire about networking opportunities in the cities you’ll be visiting. You may find just the connection you’re looking for!
Your Action Plan For The Week:
- Decide how you’re going to add some marketing time to your next trip or vacation.
- Research networking events, workshops or seminars in the area where you’ll be visiting.
- Reach out to the meeting contact to get all the necessary details and get yourself registered to attend.
- Do what you can to learn about the local culture and perhaps connect with some of the other attendees via social media to start building a relationship. (You’ll often find that events or networking groups have a presence on LinkedIn or Facebook).
- Set your intention about what results you want to create from the experience and start preparing early.
Do you have a success story about how you’ve turned your vacation into a Profit Boosting Opportunity? Or an idea about how you plan to implement this strategy? Do tell by posting your comments below!