Diving into the world of industry events and awards can feel daunting when you consider the sheer number of opportunities out there. But with a bit of research and a solid game plan, it can become a manageable and rewarding part of your business development strategy. Here are some ways to find and stay on top of these valuable business opportunities and why you should start integrating this powerful tactic into your business model.

The How

1.    Research

A simple Google search can unveil numerous events and awards in your industry. You can also search websites dedicated to listing professional events, like Eventbrite or industry-specific platforms. While researching opportunities, avoid those that ask you to “pay-to-play.” While you can expect to pay a small fee for an application or spot at a table, we recommend you stay away from opportunities that require you to pay a significant sum of money throughout the process to be recognized.

2.    Subscribe to newsletters

Many industry associations and organizations run newsletters that include upcoming events and award announcements. Subscribe to these newsletters to receive timely information directly in your inbox, reducing the chances of missing out on valuable opportunities.

3.    Track your opportunities

Once you’ve identified potential events and awards that fit with your business goals, keep track of them. One option is a simple spreadsheet where you can list all the opportunities you’re interested in, along with critical details like event dates, event locations, entry requirements, entry deadlines and any associated costs. This not only helps you manage deadlines but also aids in evaluating which opportunities are worth pursuing based on your current availability, resources and business goals.

4.    Participate

Participating in industry events and awards puts your brand directly in the spotlight, offering a unique platform to showcase your expertise and contributions. Over time, a consistent presence can transform your business from a new player to a recognized name within your industry.

5.    Leverage your participation

Tracking and attending these events is the first step. Next, maximize the benefits through promotion. Share your experiences, nominations and wins on your website, through social media and in your company’s newsletters. Each mention increases your brand’s visibility and enhances your stature within the industry.

The Why

Position yourself as the expert you are

Winning an award or even being nominated can serve as a testament to your business’ excellence and reliability. These accolades bolster your credibility and position you as an authority in your field, which can attract new customers and clients who value expertise.

Increase your brand awareness

Industry events and awards are excellent venues for increasing visibility. Even without taking home an award, the act of participating or attending can significantly boost your brand’s presence, especially when leveraged through social media and press releases.

Connect with colleagues and editors

These gatherings are networking goldmines, providing the perfect backdrop to build meaningful connections with peers, potential collaborators, and even editors looking for compelling business stories. Such relationships can lead to partnerships, editorial coverage and other opportunities to shine a spotlight on your business.

Get Going!

In the fast-paced world of small businesses, standing out from the competition isn’t just beneficial – it’s essential. Now, there are many ways to boost your business profile, but one that really packs a punch is getting involved in industry events and snagging some awards.

By effectively tracking and engaging with industry events and awards, you’re opening doors to all sorts of opportunities. You can elevate your business, connect with like-minded professionals and establish yourself as a top player in your field. Start by getting organized and marking those important dates on your calendar. Every event you attend and every award you win isn’t about getting a pat on the back. You’re building trust and credibility with your audience.

If you need a hand navigating industry events and award opportunities, Red Shoes loves helping out. Give us a shout, and we’ll make sure you’re set up for success.

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