We are now in that lovely quiet summer loll in-between conference seasons - we just wrapped a bunch in June and are starting to gear up for the busy season that will pick up again in September. Whether you’re heading to Dreamforce, OpenWorld, the International Manufacturing Technology Show, the Gartner IT Symposium - or another one (there are so many these days!), there are a few tips and tricks to ensure you make the most of your conference experience.
While the conference sessions can be helpful, as salespeople the biggest bang for your buck with conferences is in the connections and side meetings you make.
But when you walk into that conference hall and see thousands of people mulling around and huge company banners left, right, and center - how do you focus your efforts to maximize your time and energy?
Sharing a few tried and tested tips:
1. Review the conference attendee list: Ahead of every conference, the conference leaders publish a list of attendees. Depending on privacy constraints, they may not publish individual names but you should at least be able to pull companies in attendance.
2. Reach out to your existing contacts at the attending companies: Once you’ve pulled the attendee list, reach out to key stakeholders to confirm their attendance and see if they’d be open to a side meeting.
3. Identify key targets at your prospects: If you don’t already have deep relationships in place, no problem! Conferences are a fantastic way to get in front of prospects you’ve been wanting to reach. Build a separate list of prospects and put together backgrounders with the following info:
- Photo - so you know what they look like
- Professional background
- Social interests
- Key company updates/news
- Talking points
Psst: Sound like a lot of research? Zinnia AI does it all for you - join our waitlist and be ready to pull all of your prospects by conference season.
Reach out to each of them ahead if you can, if not, drop by their booth and say hello!
4. Roll out the executive red carpet: Conferences provide a unique opportunity to roll out the red carpet treatment for your clients - it is not every day that they likely get a chance to meet with your leadership team. Set up meetings with your execs to help push deals forward, or mend any relationships that need some help. Make sure to prep your execs for the meeting so they can provide the support you need (Did you know that Zinnia AI allows you to send a quick summary and talking points to your exec at the click of a button?).
5. Plan a customer happy hour: Nothing helps sell your product better than… other customers! Foster an environment where your clients can connect with your reps, your leadership, and other customers all in one place by planning a happy hour one of the nights. Offer free drinks, food, and swag and make sure to send out the invite early. Need help planning? Zinnia for Sales will take care of all of the logistics so you can just show up!
You have to make conference attendance worthwhile in order to maximize the ROI. By following these steps to research, engage, and wine and dine your customers and prospects - you’ll be sure to maximize your outcomes and walk away with a long list of leads.