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Conference Planning Tips For 2020

By Alex Borkowski | December 18, 2019 | Posted in News

Like it or not, 2020 is just around the corner. If you’re not already on your way to laying out your conference planning strategy, you’re doing so to your own detriment. Never fear, however, because Kapow is here to help. If your conference strategy is feeling a little rusty, we’ve got some personalized WD-40 in the form of our Conference Crush handbook. If you’d like a little taste of what’s inside, check out some of our tips after the jump.

Know your needs before you pick your conferences

One of the most important tips we can give you for conference planning is that you need to ensure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew. This means that it’s important you match your conference selections to your overall marketing strategy. If you’re still building your brand and sourcing leads, you’ll want to look into smaller conferences with more 1:1 opportunities. The bigger your budget and brand influence, the bigger the conference you can attend and expect a good return-on-investment.

Whether you’re a big brand or small, a customer event at the conference can be a great way to generate additional leads and face time.

Be able to track your goals

We live in a data-driven society, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing—but it can be if you’re not choosy about what data you’re gathering. While you’re picking your conferences, you’ll want to be thinking about what a “successful” event will look like to you. This will largely depend on your brand reach and existing footprint. In general, good goals for a conference involve at least one of the following:

  • Increasing your brand awareness among new customers
  • Generating new leads and potential clients to capitalize on post-event
  • Nurturing your existing relationships

From here, you need to know how your goals are going to factor in to your ROI. We’ll go in depth on that a little later, but you should be able to understand what will constitute a “successful conference” by calculating the cost of attending the conference against how many sales leads you need to close to cover your cost. Obviously the goal isn’t just to break even, but it’s a helpful baseline to have established.

Have a strategy for the conference—and stick to it!

Once you touch down at your conference, it’s going to be too late to hammer out your floor strategy. So make sure you’re thinking about it ahead of time! Do your research about your VIPs and know what they look like so you can catch them as they walk by on the exhibition floor. Make sure that you’re well prepared with business cards, extra chargers and anything else you might need while on the clock. It’s also especially helpful to know who on your team is going to be on logistics and coordination, who’s your sales closer and who is going to be doing a little of both. Remember—once you’re at the conference it’s going to be a full sprint, so make sure that you’re well-prepared in advance.

Be ready to start following up ASAP

After the conference ends, you’ll need to start following up with your leads immediately—don’t get caught devising your follow-up strategy. Keep a detailed list of who you managed to contact from your VIPs and who you missed. You’ll want to be capitalizing on your leads as soon as you’re back from your conference, so be sure to collaborate with your sales and outreach teams prior to in order to make the most of your lead gen. In addition, you’ll want to regroup with your main stakeholders to determine the efficacy of the event. What went well? What could have gone better? Eventually you’ll compare your results against your expected ROI and tweak from there.

Looking for a little extra oomph at your next conference or need an event to keep you top of mind while planning your next one? Check out our unique slate of events that are only available at kapow.com and let us help you turbo-charge your 2020 marketing strategy.

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