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Vendor Guide – Maximizing A Business Exchange

Vendor Guide – Maximizing A Business Exchange
Business exchanges are becoming more and more popular as association events as a way for vendors to get in front of key property management personnel.  In a lot of ways, a business exchange is a cross between speed dating and a trade show, but rather than the vendor having a booth, the property management companies man their own tables, with suppliers having the opportunity to visit each table and pitch their service.  Oftentimes, the business exchange has time limits, such as 5 minutes for each meeting, which gives it a speed dating feel as vendors move from one property management company to another, trying to woo each one in the process. Since these events are becoming more popular, we visited the Houston Apartment Association’s Business Exchange to discuss vendor strategies with both vendors and property management representatives.  Here are eight tips to maximizing the business exchange from a vendor’s point of view: 1)      Do you have a plan or are you “winging it”?  Do you know exactly what you want to cover, and just as importantly, what goal you want to achieve at the event?  One supplier told us that they attempt to get included in manager meetings after the event, which means they attempt to find out the date and details for that managers meeting.  In a related conversation, we heard that being prepared to offer to sponsor a lunch at the manager’s meeting would definitely give an opportunity to address the group.  Another goal we heard was to identify who the d......
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