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Onsite Conference Tips For Your 2020 Strategy

The onsite conference day has arrived. You’ve crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s of your conference case. You’ve planned for any and all hiccups (well okay, most of them). Now comes the real deal. It’s all come down to this—you’re onsite and you need to execute your marketing strategy. But how? We’ve got all the best tips and tricks for a stellar onsite conference strategy that will send you home with qualified leads and a happy sales team. 

Executing onsite conference strategy

Having six hours on the floor at a conference might seem like a long time, but we can guarantee you that it’ll go faster than you think. In addition, all the planning in the world isn’t going to help you if you can’t execute when the chips are down. You don’t have to be activated 100% of the time, but in general these are going to be your best practices to ensure you give it your all while you’re onsite.

  • Talk to people as they pass: Not everyone is going to stop at your booth, but a simple greeting upon making eye contact might be the thing that gets you a new contact.
  • Scan everyone you can: More scans mean more contacts and that’s why you’re here in the first place.
  • Take notes on every conversation: It might not seem like it, but after about 20 conversations, even if they’re only 15 minutes, everything is going to start to run together. Keep your contacts differentiated!
  • Compare notes: Finding a particular pitch that’s selling well? Share it with your boothmates so you can all take advantage of it!
  • Leverage social media: Post pics of your booth using the conference hashtag so people know what you look like!
  • Follow up with promising contacts at a customer event: You did book a customer event, right?
  • Pass off VIPs to your closer: Work smarter, not harder when you encounter one of your ideal fits.

Make sure you’re connecting with your teammates during lulls as well. Are you on track to meet your goals? Compare your notes about who you’ve met. The team that scans together crushes conferences together.

You’ll also want to take advantage of other opportunities to meet contacts, even when you’re not on the booth floor. Book 1:1 meetings with VIPs, attend networking events and even sit with strangers at lunch time instead of with the rest of your team if you can help it. You never know what’s going to pay off, and sometimes changing up your setting can be the perfect opportunity

Following up after the conference

Conference marketing is a lot like flying an airplane: if it’s going to crash then chances are good that’ll happen during the takeoff or the landing. If you’ve made it through the conference, you need to know how to stick the landing after you’ve concluded the onsite conference portion of your strategy. Over 80% of trade show exhibitors don’t follow up with their show leads. 80%! The reason for this is that many teams lose momentum after the conference is over, so don’t let that be you.

The easiest way to ensure you nail your landing is to download your contact scans and start prioritizing them before the show is over. Chances are you don’t need that many closed leads in order to meet your goals, but you do yourself no favors by waiting around. Assess who needs to be followed up with 1:1 and who can be added to your post-conference drip. Add your new contacts to your system and update pre-existing ones with the new information you’ve accrued.

Determining success

Depending on how quickly you move, it might take a while to be able to calculate whether or not you “met” your return on investment goal. But all that glitters is not gold! As you prepare to regroup with your stakeholders, consider some of the following: was your goal achieved with “softer” metrics like increasing your brand awareness? Are there standout interactions you had that you can call to mind? How are you planning on following up afterward?

Even if your strategy didn’t fall into place perfectly (and let’s be honest, whose does?), there’s always something you can take away from every conference you attend. To make the most out of your conference strategy, you can download our exclusive whitepaper “Conference Crush” here. Chock full of tips, data and strategies, it’s the best thing you can do for your brand since booking an event on Kapow. Good luck, and happy conference marketing to you and yours in 2020 and beyond!

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