In our industry, we are always planning for the next convention. It’s time we outline the best practices to get the most out of our trip.
Build up: Getting ready is half the fun and just as important as the actual convention.
Spread the word and be social: Make sure that all your clients and partners know that you will be attending. Using social media outlets is a great way to spread the word fast. Here you should also find the key groups for the convention on Linkedin, twitter and others.
Identify your objectives: This should be done on the “big picture” level and also for each meeting. Set realistic objectives, this will in turn provide real results. Build a team and excite them: Having a team is not only about efficiency but also morale. Fill them in on your main objective, let them share some responsibility and have fun with it.
Prepare for your meetings: there is nothing more attractive than meeting someone that knows your product just as well as you do. This will single you out and keep the client on the edge of their seat.
Meet up: absorb the information but make sure to always be closing!
Take Notes: This will come in handy for all the follow up’s and help you make the most out of the information you gather.
Listen, Ask and listen: Before you begin to “sell” make sure to listen for what they actually need, ask questions to understand the relevance and only then decide what you have to offer that they can’t live without. Remember, to listen for what their final destination is and show them that you hold the roadmap. Use it!
Take as many pictures as possible: Pictures of the hall, pictures with clients and pictures of the team. This will be helpful for marketing material and it shows that you made the most of the time you had. Use social media: There are so many things to share while attending a conference. Share on Linkedin the events you went to, upload the photos you took to Facebook and tweet everything. When tweeting, remember to use the hashtag# of the conference, this will also show your company’s presence at the convention.
Go to big name speakers: These lectures will draw the biggest players in the market and will set the stage for the upcoming months. Here you can get ideas to share via social media and enrich friends and colleagues that were not able to attend. Additionally, you may get lucky and rub shoulders with the big fish.
Summarize: you should summarize the most important points of each day at the end of it. This will help you be more focused in the days to come and when you go back to the office.
Follow up: It’s not over until the fat lady sings “ROI”!
Promote: As soon as the conference comes to an end, its time to start marketing yourself and the company. A good place to start is to gather all the pictures and events and promote it on the website and social channels.
Follow up with EVERYONE: Thank everyone individually for their time and summarize your meetings (notes will come in handy). Business cards you have collected should be followed up as well even if the meeting didn’t fit your expectations, future business is always around the corner.
Timing is everything: The optimal time to follow up is after the initial follow up herd. Let them get through all the “others” and email them after the weekend somewhere around mid-week. This ensure that they are actually reading your email and not just browsing.
Follow up again with ROUND 2: Second time around is just as important and maybe even a 5th time. Always revisit a lead (closed or not) to make sure you reached their full potential.
What is your ROI: this is the most crucial part of the process. Try and identify all that you gained from the conference (from new leads to professional development) and translate it to dollars.
Oriane Samuel is a Mobile Team Leader at dmg