Recently, I attended a few big conferences in the Economic Development industry — the West Virginia Economic Development Council’s Fall Conference, the International Economic Development Council’s Annual Conference, and Maryland Economic Development Association’s Fall Meeting. Not only do I attend to learn more about the latest in the industry, it’s a way to secure leads at live events.
These conferences were great opportunities to meet more potential clients and business contacts, and deepen relationships with people in the industry that I already knew.
I highly recommend attending live events, conferences, and workshops in your industry. It’s an effective way to secure leads at live events. The team behind the event spend thousands of dollars and hours putting together conferences and filling the room. All you have to do is show up!
That said, attending a conference is still an investment of resources. There’s the ticket cost, hotel rental, food, and taking days away from the office.
So it’s essential to make the most out of the opportunity. Here at PPR Strategies, we strategically plan in advance to do our best to secure leads at live events.
My goal in attending conferences has been to learn, network, drive more traffic to our website and connect to target audience. So we updated our website with new graphics, copy, and photos. I worked closely with the web designer & developer to ensure that our site would be LIVE by the start of these conferences.
We also created a brand-new free opt-in gift — specifically for this particular audience. And, we made brand-new business cards with the updated branding and a link to the opt-in gift.
During the event, this gave me something to share and talk about when making new connections. I was able to share something of value that gave people a reason to opt-in to our newsletter list.
Once the conference over, it’s all about the follow-up. That’s when relationship cultivation begins.
Taking the time post-event to send a personal email to the people you met is key to making a stellar first impression. For those that you didn’t meet, you could still reach out. One tip is to get the list of attendee names. Even if you weren’t able to connect with everyone personally, afterward, you can send them a warm email to connect.
And then, don’t just let those contacts fade throughout the year. Reach out to them periodically. Keep them updated on the latest news in your organization, and ask them about their updates!
Through taking steps to plan in advance and follow up afterward, you can make the most out of your event experience — and see a great return on your investment! What will you do to secure leads at live events?