BEFORE THE EVENT
1. Set out SMART objectives – why do you want to attend the event? To win new accounts? Test Buyer’s responses to a new product? Gain insight into how to launch your product into untouched markets or regions? Stay up-to-date with changing Buyer preferences in a dynamic market? Perhaps it’s to reconnect with existing or previous customers? Whatever they are, set out your SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) objectives from the start so you can maintain focus, as well as accurately analyse your successes post-event.
2. Identify your target audience – which operator types can you tap into? Should you choose between coffee chains or contract caterers, for example, or take a more broad approach? Targeting a few operators outside of conventional channels leads to new opportunities for many businesses.
3. Choose a mixture of small, medium & large scale businesses to meet – smaller scale operators tend to have the ability to adopt new products quicker, whilst larger operators can take up to a year, sometimes more, to reach your desired end result.
4. Research your chosen operators – do you have the necessary certification required by the operator? It’s also wise to consider differences in preferences between regions. Will your product work in France, Germany, and Poland in its current form, for example?
ON THE DAY
5. Personalisation & customisation is key – ensure each of your presentations is unique to the specific brand and Buyers sat in front of you.
6. It’s a numbers game – Buyers at this level are concerned with margins, bottom lines and ROI. Know how your product will fit into their existing structure and contribute to their business.
7. Create a memorable experience – you only have a short period of time to make a lasting impression, so make each second count.
8. Know the business you’re representing inside out – consider in advance what questions you may be asked, and be prepared to answer them all.
9. Less is more – Buyers can meet up to 20 Suppliers in one day, so make sure your marketing collateral is snappy, informative and easy to take home.
10. Use every opportunity to network – Awards Dinners and Conferences attached to Meet the Buyer events provide an invaluable chance to bump into Buyers that aren’t necessarily part of your meeting schedule. Following and engaging with attendees on social media is another possible way of gaining new prospects, even if you don’t actually meet them on the day.
Over the last decade, Allegra’s Supply & Innovation Day has established itself as Europe’s largest and most effective business development platform for key industry suppliers and operators in the coffee shop chain and foodservice sectors.