Conferences are a great way for you to get in front of your target audience and for others to get a sense of you and your firm. I’m certain that every professional has participated in a conference in some capacity whether it was speaking, exhibiting, sponsoring or just attending. You likely spent a good amount of money on this opportunity and a considerable amount of time just to be there, so how can you maximize your visibility? Below are a few tips to help ensure you get the most bang for your buck no matter your involvement:
If you are exhibiting/sponsoring:
- Take detailed notes about your conversations with people and follow up immediately with those who warrant it.
- Keep a raffle box to collect business cards and encourage every passerby to drop their card in. It’s not as much about the raffle as it is about collecting that contact information for your database.
- Listen and ask questions – Try not to do all the talking or you might lose people’s interest. Instead, find out why they are attending the conference, what they hope to get out of it, etc.
- If you don’t have an exhibit booth, consider how you can create visibility before and after the conference. This might include sending out a non-traditional mailer and asking people to find you at the conference to enter to win a prize, earn a free consultation, etc.
If you are attending:
- Determine if there is an attendee list available ahead of time. It may not always be readily available, but contacting the conference coordinator and requesting it may be your best option. Review it and determine who you want to meet. This will allow you to walk into the room with more purpose.
- If you say you are going to follow up, do it in a timely manner.
- Review recent news articles relevant to the topics presented. This gives you the advantage of coming off well-versed when discussing them with other attendees.