5 Tips for Attending Chamber Expo

While we’ve been preparing for and getting the word out for the 2018 Chamber Expo next month, Exhibitors have been busy behind the scenes prepping their booths. But, as an attendee, you can also benefit from having a solid game plan in place before the show. Here are our top tips for attending a trade show:

SET A GOAL AND STRATEGY

Before you attend any event, know why you’re doing it. Why are you attending? What problems are you hoping to solve for your business? Knowing what you need will help you take advantage of Chamber Expo.

Once you have your points of interest in mind, jot down the top 5 or 10 industries that you absolutely must make time for.

BALANCE YOUR TIME

There are two ways to spend time at a tradeshow: seeking out vendors on your list or wandering to see what you discover. It’s a good idea to make time for both, but know which one you’re most interested in.

SAVE ROOM FOR EXISTING CONNECTIONS

Most people attend trade shows in search of something new. But, it’s a good idea to visit some vendors you already know. Reconnect and see what new projects they’re working on. This gives you the opportunity to verify they’re still the best fit for your business and builds a relationship by connecting face to face periodically.

BE SOCIAL

Yes, you’re most likely there for business purposes. But Chamber Expo also acts as the largest Business After Hours in the area and is an excellent place to network. You can meet other people working in your industry and collect recommendations from them of who to seek out during Chamber Expo.

ENJOY YOURSELF

This may seem silly, but don’t forget to have fun. You’re there to expand your experience and contribute to your business but you also get to make some friends while you’re at it!

We hope to see you Chamber Expo on November 7!

Presenting Sponsor:

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How to be a better networker for people who hate networking

With Sarasota Summer Showcase just around the corner (June 27), we thought this article from The Washington Post was very relevant and helpful for our members who are not very keen with the ins-and-outs of networking.


Most species hang out only with family members. Everybody else is a potential enemy. Good ol’ Homo sapiens have been successful because we’ve extended the definition of family by using mutually agreed upon stories — “fictive kinship” as Israeli researcher Yuval Noah Harari points out.

Families are not merely blood relatives. We’re in many families: We’re Americans. We’re IBM employees. We’re on the same softball team. Most simply, we’re friends. This allows us to collaborate on a scale that’s impossible for other animals. This is the secret to our success as a species. It’s also the secret to your success as an individual: friendship.

networking

Even so, you might feel awkward about going up to that person who could be important to your career with what feels like the thin veneer of “friendship.” But that’s a false distinction. One of the primary things every romantic couple has in common is not magic, it’s proximity. It’s really hard to fall in love when you never encounter each other.

Sure, reaching out may feel awkward at first, but there’s no need to be afraid of networking. The truth is, we often underestimate by as much as 50 percent how much others are willing to help us when asked. Remember, the rule of thumb is simple when making friends: Assume other people will like you, and they probably will. Here are some other tips to help you become an effective networker.

Start with the friends you already have

Research shows that one of the quickest and easiest ways to boost your network isn’t to pass your business card out on street corners; it’s to reconnect with old friends. And there’s no sleazy element to it at all — they’re already your friends. You just haven’t caught up with them in a year. Go through your Facebook friends list, your LinkedIn connections, or your address book, and send a few emails every week, asking, “What’s up?” Research shows that those dormant friendships can actually be bigger boosters to your career than any new connections you make.

Find your ‘Superconnectors’

Not all people in a network are created equal, contact-wise. Northwestern University professor Brian Uzzi and journalist Sharon Dunlap did research and found that there’s an 80/20 rule of sorts in networking. You probably met the vast majority of your friends through a handful of “superfriends” — your buddies who are the most socially connected. So when it comes to trying to expand your network and make new friends, do what works. Reaching out to these “superfriends” and saying, “Whom do you know that I should meet?” will produce disproportionate results.

Make the time and the budget

People say they want to increase their networks but few really make it a priority, dedicate time for it, or commit something specific to it, such as “I’m going to allocate an extra $50 a week to having coffees and lunches in which I connect with people.” Entrepreneur and best-selling author Ben Casnocha saw that top networkers committed a certain amount of time and money to their networking goal so that when opportunities came up, they didn’t hesitate.

Join groups

No, not some corny “networking group.” Again, that’s awkward and borderline gross. Do you know a bunch of friends who have lunch every week? How about a group that watches football every Sunday? A book club at work? These are fun, passive ways to make sure you stay in the mix and connect with others organically.

Always follow up

We all meet people but we rarely take the time to follow up and actually begin a friendship. Analyzing 8 million phone calls between 2 million people, researchers at Notre Dame found that what makes close friendships endure is simply staying in touch every two weeks. Now, you don’t need to connect with people that often if they’re not close friends, but the principle still stands: Checking in every now and then matters.

Just like your mother taught you, say thank you

Research from the journal Cognition and Emotion shows that gratitude is the quality that makes people want to spend more time with you. Gratitude is the tactical nuke of happiness and the cornerstone of long-lasting relationships.

If it’s that simple — just taking time to say thanks — why don’t we all do it? Researchers call it “hedonic adaptation.” I call it “taking things for granted.” When you first get your new house, it’s the greatest thing that ever happened to you. A year later, it’s that money pit that needs a new roof. The joy of the new never lasts. And this happens with everything.

Making time to feel gratitude for what you have undoes the hedonic adaptation. And what’s the best way to do this? Thank the people around you. Relationships are the key to happiness, and taking the time to say “thanks” renews that feeling of being blessed.

So here is my final recommendation: Do a gratitude visit. This isn’t just some cute idea. Research by psychology professor Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania shows that doing a gratitude visit is one of the most powerful ways to feel happier and to make someone else happy in the process.

It’s quite simple. Seligman says to write a letter of gratitude to someone. Make it concrete; say what they did for you and how it affected your life. Then set a time to sit down with them, but don’t say why. When you meet, read them the letter. Both of you will be happier for it.

An email or text is fine, too. Studies show gratitude gives our friendships a “booster shot” and predicts relationship satisfaction. Gratitude doesn’t just help friendships. It also improves work relationships. One study showed that although we say “thanks” regularly to family, only 15 percent show gratitude at work. And 35 percent of those surveyed said their boss never says it.

You’re not too busy — and neither are they — for a brief show of sincere gratitude. You may think they already know how you feel, but showing it is where the real magic is.


This article is By Eric Barker and adapted from “From Barking Up The Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong.” Copyright © 2017 by Eric Barker. Reprinted with permission by HarperOne, a division of HarperCollinsPublishers. Barker’s popular blog can be found here.


View original article in The Washington Post

Celebrate the Tropical Way at Hob Nob

hobnob-fb-cover-1Join us at Hob Nob for tropical luau – a member showcase featuring unique cultural experiences from Chamber member businesses. Looking to join in on the fun? Showcase your business or attend and expand your network to over 400 Sarasotans, elected and business officials.

Hob Nob 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017 |  5 p.m. – 8 p.m.  |  Phillippi Estate Park
5500 S Tamiami Trail  Sarasota, FL 34231

We invite you to get your ticket and join in on the fun and get involved. How?

1.)  Sponsor. Get your name out to the community and in front of our 400 attendees. Receive recognition on all Hob Nob marketing materials, signage at the event and the opportunity to do giveaways at your booth.

2.)  Exhibit. Showcase your business by participating as a Food Booth, decorate your booth like the tropics, hula and all, and provide a food item. This is a great way to meet contacts and make connections.

3.)  Attend. Bring your staff and connect with other attendees while enjoying complimentary food and drink from over a dozen Chamber Member Teams.

Click here to see Sponsorship and Ticketing options!

Live reggae music from Jah Movement Reggae Band!

Jah Movement Reggae Band specializes in the Best top 40 Reggae, Dancehall, Soca, R&B, Funk, Soul and Old School Hip-Hop to keep you dancing and feeling Irie! Jah Movement was recently voted ‘2016 Best Reggae Band‘ by Tampa Bay Creative Loafing ‘Best of the Bay‘ and Sarasota voted lead vocalist, Shantel Norman, ‘Best Entertainer‘ in the Herald-Tribune’s 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.


Click Here to Register. For more information on Sponsorship Opportunities, please contact Brittany Lamont at blamont@sarasotachamber.com or (941) 556-4040.

Member Tip Monday: Joining a Council

Members of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce have the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of both their business and the greater Sarasota community by serving on various Chamber council and committees. This opportunity is available not only to you personally but to all your staff as well. Volunteer services afford Chamber members a mean to become actively involved in community affairs. Even more importantly, it provides vehicles necessary to bring together the wealth of talent, experience and expertise within our membership ranks for the benefit of our business community.

See the listing below to discover ways to get involved, share your vision and have a voice in issues that affect your business.

2016-Chamber-MemberServices&SupportLogo-Hz.pngTo provide relevant and profitable events for the membership, fulfill/provide the services and benefits relating to membership and identify revenue sources in addition to membership dues.

2016-chamber-chamberambassadorslogo-hzMember Volunteers serve as customer relations representatives for the Chamber, visiting new members, contacting existing members to expand communications and involvement.

 

2016-chamber-governmentallogo-hzMonitors and develops public policy positions that are “pro-business and pro-greater Sarasota.”  Research is involved, as well as meeting with elected officials and experts on various topics as The Chamber’s positions are developed and then communicated and advocated.

2016-chamber-cityprioritieslogo-hzThe council focuses on strategic economic development planning, as well as on partnerships, that benefit the continuing revitalization of downtown Sarasota.

2016-chamber-ypglogo-hzCreates a platform for its members ranging in age from 21-40 to build relationships, develop professionally, become politically and philanthropically active, and contribute to the economic development and high-quality living of our community. (council appointed – membership & committees open)


By Invite-Only:

2016-chamber-leadershiplogo-hzThe Council is comprised of Leadership Sarasota County alumni who oversee the Adult and Youth programs, Alumni activities, Engage Sarasota and the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. The mission is “Engaging, Developing, and Inspiring Community Leaders.” (participation by application/selection)

2016-chamber-financelogo-hzThis committee is invite-only. The committee monitors The Chamber’s finances.


For more information on joining one or more of the councils and committees below, contact Dillon Buckland, dbuckland@sarasotachamber.com or (941) 556-4039.

 

How to Choose the Right Event to Attend

The Chamber is proud to offer you over 100 networking opportunities each year. From committees and councils to monthly and annual events, there’s no shortage of opportunities to get involved.

With so many Chamber events each year, how do you decide which one is right for you? Let’s take a moment to briefly review each of them:

Monday MixerMonday Mixer WEB
Start your week at Monday Mixer, an after-hours networking reception with light appetizers, drinks and door prizes. Connect with 50 to 60 like-minded business people at a local Chamber business or organization each month. Stop by anytime between 5 and 6:30 p.m. and build relationships at this cocktail reception.

Continue reading “How to Choose the Right Event to Attend”

Make the Most of Your Tradeshow: Part Two

allison imre
Allison Imre, iHeart Media Sarasota

During our August 2015 Shumaker Chamber University, Allison Imre presented tips and tricks for connecting at “Make the Most of Your Tradeshow.” Imre is the Senior Account Manager of iHeartMedia Sarasota. With 245 million monthly listeners in the U.S., iHeartMedia has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. The company owns and operates 858 broadcast radio stations, serving more than 150 markets throughout the U.S.

Imre is no stranger to tradeshows. Her experience with marketing business at tradeshows started at her previous position with the Kansas City Royals and has expanded since she joined iHeartMedia Sarasota.

While most of our attendees had exhibited at a tradeshow in the past, for some, the tradeshow wasn’t worth their time or investment. Others found success in meeting new people, closing deals and setting appointments. By opening the tradeshow conversation, Imre offered some of the best tools, tips and tricks to use when attending or exhibiting at a tradeshow.

We already took a look at what to do as a tradeshow attendee. Today, we’re following up with her tips on exhibiting at a tradeshow. Continue reading “Make the Most of Your Tradeshow: Part Two”