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All the most successful of businesses know that they need to open the door and extend a hand to the public once in a while. They will have a calendar of events and conferences to attend where they can build connections with consumers and potential business partners alike. Most importantly, they have a strategy to make those events the most successful they can be. Their strategy looks a little like this.
Don’t just keep the event publicity running in the week before it happens. Give yourself more time to make it a recurring part of your messaging. Use all your digital marketing methods to get the word out and invite the applicable parties to come and meet you. Contrast that with a false scarcity. If you’re hosting your own event, make the admissions window small. This creates a sense of urgency that gets people applying, rather than being on the fence about it until it’s too late.
You want one thing to stand out above all the rest at the event. We’re talking about your branding. If you have a booth, make sure it fits the visuals of your brand and catches the attention of any wanderers. If your team is going to be making the rounds, you can make it easier for interested parties to find them by outfitting them with corporate badges. It’s useful to help attendants discern who can give them the information they need if they’re in a room of strangers.
Information isn’t enough, of course. The people you bring need to be able to sell whatever it is you’re offering, whether it’s a product or a partnership. Identify your best salespeople by looking at their qualities, like their ability to fit the conversation to a person’s needs and an almost obsessive eye for detail.
Better than the people you can meet is the conversations you can have. People will not only talk about individual needs but industry concerns, too. These kinds of conversation make great content for those interested in the industry. That’s why you should consider using things like Storify to publish them. It shows your business has their finger on the pulse on the market and that they pay attention to challenges and needs.
Most importantly, you need to know the conversation doesn’t end at the event. You will talk with many people and it’s important to follow up with every one of them. Even if they don’t look like a likely sale or partnership, send a thank you note and show your appreciation for their time. You don’t know when they might suddenly be a viable connection and you’ll be glad you sent out those good vibrations when you did.
Having a strong message and a strong brand is what makes you stand out, but it’s the conversations you have at your events that matter the most. Not only can they help you make those meaningful relationships in business, but they can even inform the direction your business can take in the future.