I copy-pasted a social media post that someone had done that I thought was really solid for this purpose. I plan to put it to work at the next conference I attend, but maybe it’ll help you, too.
**1- Get the list of attendees.**You need the list of attendees to see who is more likely to go. Also, if you can get a list from last year, that is good as well.
2- Outline the prospects you really want to meet.You can rank them or classify them, and you can even go get their LinkedIn profile picture to know what they look like.
**3- Personalise outreach pre-show.**You want to find a reason to reach out to prospects you want to meet. So for those that you outlined in the previous step, go for it, BUT:- Not too much in advance, or prospects will forget about you by the time the conference starts.- Make a message that leaves the door open and doesn’t make them feel any kind of pressure.- Write something that makes them want to meet you.
Don’t necessarily email everyone, because you want the right people, and inviting everyone might make it so that you miss the opportunity of having a meaningful conversation with the right people. Anyway, it’s just a thought; maybe I’m stressing too much.
A few examples of messages include:- Invite them to your booth to register to win a free [insert whatever].- Invite them to an event you’re hosting.
I like the following sequence:
I saw that you might be going to XXX show. ABC company . Do you want to connect at the show? We’ll be at booth #1234.”
Email 2: the Friday before the show.
“Let me know your thoughts. Booth #.”
Even if they don’t reply, they’ll still have your booth # and value prop. They’ll often swing by, say they saw your email, and want to see what we do.
**4- Define what you want to showcase at your booth.**Well, you need to, but I don’t know how; that’s not my job.
**5- Where to meet people?**This depends on a few factors, such as: did you send personalized emails inviting people to your booth? If so, you might be better off being there all the time, or at the time you specified in your invitation email (if you did).
What I suggest is this:
– (Mostly for women) chat in the restroom while washing hands or getting ready.
– Sit in conferences related to what you do, arrive 5–10 minutes before, chat with the person next to you, and fake a phone call if you feel like you’re wasting your time.
– Happy hour! Don’t drink excessively; just go to the bar. While waiting for a drink, talk to people.
– Lunch- Gym of the hotel
6- Prepare a list of general questions relating to the conference for small talk.- Concerning topics covered at the conference- Concerning what challenges tied to the conference’s topic they are trying to solve- Concerning the XYZ element they can relate to.- Are they planning anything else in the city the conference is in?- What would make them happy to attain when they leave the conference?
The last key points to remember:
*****Don’t be a lazy a**. You’re not there to party and eat sh*tty food (well, maybe your boss sent you to the wrong place). But assuming you are at a valuable conference, be hungry; a conference will speed up your sales process so much.
** The last thing is that people are literally at conferences to meet others. The fact that you feel like you might come across as creepy or turn them off is the bigger problem here. Why would you even imagine that to begin with?
*** Don’t pitch unless you are asked to. You are here for business, yes, BUT – Be strategic: engage people by taking interest in them, learning about them, taking their contact information, and as long as this is a potential customer, you win from this.
**** Every interaction you have, TAKE NOTES!!!
*********Attendees are here for business; they are here to meet people, so don’t be afraid to engage with them.