The International Gem and Jewelry Show is this weekend, August 24-26 are you prepared to make your visit there a networking success? How about the other many shows that will be coming up?
Not to worry, here is a handy guide to help with your networking strategy.
Bring your business cards, a small notebook and camera. This event can be very educational if you take advantage of it.
Bringing your business cards will make sure that people remember you and they will have a way to contact you in the future. If your business cards do not have your phone number and emailaddress, print labels and stick them to the cards prior to the show.
A small notebook and pen can be very handy when it comes to taking people’s contact numbers or email addresses. It will also be helpful to write keywords that you can look-up at a later time if someone informed you of something interesting.
A camera is a good way to document things that you like. It is often a good idea to ask before taking pictures of other people’s jewelry. Don’t be offended if they refuse though, some people are worried about their ideas being taken. If you can’t take a picture of something that you like you can do a quick sketch in your notebook.
Wear your own pieces. The best way to showcase your work is to wear it, proudly. Jewelry is a good conversation starter, and your piece can say a lot about your style and your craftsmanship. If someone says they like your piece make sure to thank them and tell them you made it. This way you can naturally start a conversation about your work, and hopefully make a valuable connection with someone.
Networking is the opportunity to meet and interact with other likeminded people, sharing thoughts and ideas with the intent to build business relationships that will be of benefit to everyone involved. It should be a healthy balance between helping your peers and gaining knowledge. (Necklace by Kate Cusack)
Do your homework! This way when you approach people, you will recognize their work. You can even share how their pieces inspire you.
Be willing to share your knowledge and skills with others and let them know that you are available to be contacted in the future. Networking is a skill you can practice everywhere!
Do you have a business license? If so, don’t forget to bring copies of your UBI# and your reseller’s permit to the event. You will need your UBI # in order to access the wholesale only area of the shows and receive wholesale pricing. If you have a resellers permit you will not be taxed on items being used in the production of your pieces.
Above all, keep in mind that the Gem and Jewelry show, and any other event you attend, is not just for networking, but also for fun and inspiration. Be inspired by the gems and jewelry around you.
Seattle Findings store and Facebook page are fun places to network too! For more information on networking and building your business take a look at Building a Business, Building a Life by Karen Lorene. Easy to read with a lot of information!