Networking is powerful because it puts you in the position to pitch ideas to those already in the industry. Attending industry events, though, is somewhat expensive considering the cost of travel, lodging, booths, and all the other costs that go into attending them.
If you’re looking to maximize the return on your investment when you send representatives to network at industry events, consider the following…
1. Streamline the process if possible
Networking doesn’t have to be difficult at these events. There are several approaches you can take, like stopping at each booth and shaking hands with each and every attendee, but that gets a little tedious.
If you are lucky, the event organizers have enlisted the help of a mobile conference app to make the job easier. It allows others to quickly find out who’s speaking, who’s exhibiting, who’s attending and where the event is. It allows you to discover additional resources to maximize your time and effort at the event.
Many of these events are very technical in nature. So you aren’t left scrambling to jot down information, make sure the to take advantage of the available technology prior to going in – making sure to study up on its usage and capabilities – to ensure you get the most out of it and the event.
2. Push the swag
If you are exhibiting at the event, swag is where it’s at. The items you give out at conferencing and networking events, are like a door buster in the sense that they bring people into the fold and get them interested in what you have to offer. By having great swag, you’ll get more opportunities to share your ideas.
People love free stuff
People at these events are like kids on Christmas morning. They have the tendency to pick up anything and everything from every booth in sight. The key is to make your swag stick out and be remembered long after the event. Try to make it something a person could use, like a pen or a USB memory stick.
Once they’re back in the office and dig through their bag – as long as you have something memorable – you’ll strike a chord with the individual which could lead to a call and business lead.
3. Play the marketing role
What would you do for online customer acquisition?
If your online acquisition is working, translate those techniques into a physical medium. This means utilizing your networking content as hand-outs at the event. Just make sure to direct interested individuals to specific landing pages that are then likely to convert.
Example: If you attend an industry event that attracts people in the creative field, it would make sense to point them to a page tailored to the talking points that would appeal to them most.
Make sure wherever you direct them, that they have something actionable. Surveys are time-consuming to develop, but they are worth the effort especially if you are tracking analytics and collecting additional personal information. This information is highly valuable so you can tailor future contact to a potential customer’s needs.
4. Explore gamification
Gamification is the idea of adding game-like elements to a particular set of activities. An example of this would be a reward system for learning a new language – there are role-playing elements that not only keep the user engaged but also very sociable because they want to share their progress with others.
Gamification in network marketing can come about in a variety of ways:
· Reward an individual with a trial (or full product) for sharing company information
· Introduce an augmented reality game others can play with their device at the event
· Use incentives that give bonuses to those signing up while at the event
The point of gamification is to add fun elements to your marketing channel, in terms of peer-to-peer networking. They will set you apart from other attendees and make you memorable. This is what it takes to turn contacts into sales.
What are some things you’ve done to improve networking at events?