Leveraging conferences for leads isn’t as simple as just showing up. If you want to optimize your attendance, preparation starts before you attend the conference. The work to land hot leads requires follow-through at the conferences you attend and follow-up after you attend.
Here’s how to get started making the most of conferences:
1. Review the conference attendee list for likely leads
Reach out to the event organizers for a list of attendees a week or two before the event. Note anyone you’ve interacted with in the past year.
2. Reach out to warm contacts
Set up meetings with the attendees you’ve had prior contact with. Offer to exchange referrals and introductions with as many people as possible.
3. Identify “land and expand” opportunities
Aim to deepen relationships with large companies. Look for attendees from companies you may have already started connections with.
4. Prepare to build relationships with centers of influence
Keynote experts and speakers may not be your ideal customers, but you should not ignore them. Ask them questions, buy their books, and follow them online. Experts have the potential to help you meet many leads.
5. Block out time for post-conference follow-up
Plan for 2-3 hours on your calendar the day after any conferences you attend. Send emails, make calls, and connect with attendees on social media during this time.
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