Conferences are a great place to nurture client relationships, cultivate prospects and generate new clients. Doing this well requires some forethought– and it may not be in the ways you expect. Check out these five tips that could change your effectiveness at conferences for years to come:
1. Walk with an enthusiastic fan
Walking the conference floors, parties and exhibit hall with someone who thinks your company is amazing can make for a quick home run. If we are introduced by a mutual friend who says “This is Rosalie, who owns the best marketing and PR agency in our industry,” aren’t you much more likely to take an interest in me and my company?
2. Stand out
Whether you’re generating business for your company or planting seeds to land your next job, you want to make yourself memorable. It could be your trademark vest or impeccably tailored clothing, your effusive personality or your Texan sayings. Being unforgettable can make you stick out from the herd.
3. Reach out early
Connect with your colleagues, clients and prospects before the conference. Whether it’s through a newsletter, advertising, email, phone call or press release, you want people thinking about you and your company as they head to a conference.
4. Rethink the airport
Have you ever met prospects or conference attendees at the airport or on a flight? Chances are you have. That said, dress appropriately even when you’re traveling. This is no time to wear old jeans and a t-shirt. Dress to impress, even if you’re wearing comfortable clothes.
5. Complete the pass
In my 20+ years in marketing, I have seen many companies do a lot of prep work for conferences and then drop the ball with weak post-conference follow-up. Don’t let that be your company. Before even going to a conference, make sure you have a game plan to follow up with prospects—and to follow up more than once. This is not about a single email or call. It is about having a marketing campaign with continued outreach to your prospects, which may be as simple as a monthly newsletter! Just be sure you are not easily forgotten.
All these tips require a bit of forethought and planning. How will you be reaching out to your contacts before and after the conference? Think about your time, your resources and the ROI, and plan accordingly.
Keep in mind that the return on investment will come not just in the months after the conference, but likely for years afterward. The impression you make now and the recurring outreach you do after a conference will build your brand, your reputation and keep you at the top of people’s minds. That is invaluable.
Need help creating email campaigns, newsletters or marketing materials? Just email me at Info@StrategicVantage.com. We’d be happy to help.
By Rosalie Berg, President, Strategic Vantage