Have you ever attended or exhibited at a conference? If you have then you know most of them aren’t cheap. I certainly know this having attended, exhibited, and been a speaker at dozens of them over the years. However, we still go to them over and over again. We go with the hopes that we get some return on the investment. Of course, there are a plethora of ways before, during, and after a conference to tip the ROI scales in your favor. I’ll share one of my favorites below.
Most of the conferences I exhibit at provide a registration list prior to the conference. This is why a lot of attendees get the “stop by my booth” emails. Those emails are becoming less and less effective due to the amount of digital white noise we’re all experiencing. Nowadays, sales and marketing professionals have to find more creative ways to rise above the noise and capture the attention of the audience.
I’ve used this tactic to capture my audience’s attention a couple of times now and the response has been awesome. First, I create a template using my favorite email service, Emma (if you need an email marketing service, I highly recommend them – you can check them out here http://myemma.com/). Next, instead of that boring “stop by the booth” email, I include a video link with a personalized message like Hey [Name], I have a personal message just for you…and some pretty special artwork to share with you. Click play to see what I’m talking about.
Here’s the video I made for my last conference:
Here’s what happened when I got to the conference:
I was immediately recognized by a ton of attendees that I had never met. I actually got a little taste of what it must be like to be a celebrity. I became “the video guy”. People came by the booth in droves just to say hi and tell me they loved the video. People came up to me on street and at the networking receptions to talk to me. All of which is great, but the important part came in what they said next. “Tell me what you do and how your company can help me.” I even had high profile public officials introducing me to their friends at the receptions saying “this guy sent me a video, his company does [XYZ] – go ahead Billy, tell him what you guys do”. Keep in mind these are people I had never met, excitedly introducing me to their peers as if we had already worked together. Pretty powerful for a 1 minute video, wouldn’t you say. During this conference, which I have attended several times in previous years, I met more people, gave more demos, and generated more leads than any other conference I’ve attended. Give it a try, I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.
Do you have some conference networking tips that have worked for you? Share them in the comments section below.