There’s one undeniable advantage to conferences: they put you in front of prospective clients. Many of these are people you’ve known for years.
If you regularly attend conferences, you probably hear this quite a lot when you bump into a colleague: “Hi! We should talk. My company could use your help.”
The interesting part is that most of these people likely have your contact details already–yet they did not get around to reaching out to you before the conference. Instead, when they saw you, they were prompted to take action. It was easy. You were in front of them. And they knew you could solve a challenge they were facing.
Indeed, many people have very busy schedules–or they are disorganized. Or, they simply don’t think about reaching out to you, even if it would benefit them.
So how do you use this knowledge to generate more sales for your business?
There are countless ways. Here are some of my favorites.
1. Make It Easy
Knowing that your prospects are busy, don’t wait for them to bump into you in a conference hallway. Make it easy for them to meet up with you without leaving it to chance. That means sending prospects an invitation to meet ahead of time. Create and send an email campaign to your contacts about 2-4 weeks before the event. If you’re going to the MBA Annual Convention, the Risk Management Forum or any other fall conference, you should start preparing now. Don’t wait until you get the attendee list to start planning.
2. Make Yourself Visible
If running into contacts at a conference generates business for you, then don’t hide in your suite! It’s pretty simple. While you may need to have meetings there, it’s important to leverage openings in your schedule to go where large numbers of conference attendees will be. That could be by the exhibit hall, by the session halls, in the conference hotel lobby, or at popular conference receptions. This is no time to be shy.
3. Don’t Wait for Conferences
You don’t need to fly to Denver, Chicago or Miami to generate new business. Email marketing is a great way for your contacts to virtually “bump into you” without stepping foot out of their offices. When you email them, your name pops up on their screen–and voila, they are thinking about you. If they are facing a business challenge that you could solve, they are much more likely to contact you.
When we are caught up in our busy schedules, we don’t always think of the people who can help us with our challenges. We need prompting.
So think about what makes conferences successful, and use that to your advantage, either at conferences or from your office.
If you need help with your next conference or marketing campaign, just reach out. Whether you’re seeking help in creating the content and artwork for an email marketing campaign, exhibit booth, or brochure–or looking to drum up publicity–we can help. Just contact me at Info@StrategicVantage.com. I’d be happy to help.
By Rosalie Berg, President, Strategic Vantage