Guide to Marketing Your Business at Conferences and Events
Attending live events is a major marketing opportunity that many business owners shy away from for a variety of reasons. But remember that in your overall business plan, you shouldn’t be planning ONLY for the quick sale. Ultimately, you want people to remember you and you should develop relationships with others both online and in real life so they will refer you to their circle of friends. Forming that relationship is also how people will get to know, like, and trust you, which will lead to sales and other referrals.
Yes, you can develop relationships online via social media and videos but why pass up the opportunity to meet people in real life? You never know who you will meet; your next big client may be somebody who lives in your home town. Or maybe you’ll meet your favorite icon at a conference and become inspired to achieve more. Or maybe you’ll meet someone who offers services you can use in your own business. You can never predict who you’ll meet at different events.
Working an online business can also become very lonely, so attending live events is simply a way to get out of the house! Start off easy by attending a business networking meeting or a simple Meet Up in your area. If you enjoyed the experience, you can certainly expand your horizons with a BNI membership or joining a local networking club. Once you start researching, you’ll discover a whole variety of opportunities, from those local events that meet weekly or monthly, to conferences that last for multiple days.
The Step-by-Step Planner Covers (21 PAGES):
- Step 1: Which Events Are Right For You
When money (and time) are at a premium, it makes good sense to choose events carefully so you can be sure you get the most out of each and every one.
- Exercise: Research conferences + events that interest you
- Exercise: Research your travel options for each conference or event
- Step 2: Sponsorship Opportunities
There’s more to events than just attending, and sponsorships can offer you a great way to get your name and business in front of everyone, and often at a super affordable price.
- Exercise: Review potential sponsorship ideas to see if they are a good fit (sponsorship ideas will vary from conference to conference)
- Step 3: Speaking Opportunities
You know your stuff, and as a coach, it’s your responsibility to share your expertise. Few methods will have more of an impact than speaking from the stage.
- Exercise: Research at least 5 upcoming events to approach as a speaker
- Step 4: Attendee Benefits
Even if you’re not speaking or sponsoring the event, there’s plenty to learn. In this step, you’ll discover how to have a clear picture of the exact benefits you’ll receive as an attendee.
- Exercise: Research at least 5 upcoming events which would benefit you as an attendee
- Step 5: Know Your Goals
Never attend an event without a clear plan. That’s a sure way to come home feeling like you didn’t gain anything. Instead, map out your goals, and you’ll be much more likely to benefit from every event you attend.
- Exercise: Declare your event goals in concrete terms
- Exercise: Plan how these goals will help your business grow
- Step 6: Plan Your Days
The bigger the event, the more activities you’ll have to choose from. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to attend every session and networking opportunity, so before you go, plan out your days for maximum impact.
- Exercise: Plan out your important DON’T MISS event activities
- Exercise: Create a personal event schedule
- Step 7: Review & Follow Up
Here’s where event attendees drop the ball. They come home with a notebook full of ideas and a pocket full of business cards, only to toss them all in a drawer for ‘later.’ Of course, by the time later rolls around, they’ve forgotten who they met and why they were excited about that connection in the first place. Don’t let that happen! In step 7, you’ll learn what to do after you get home, so you can continue to benefit from the event.
- Exercise: Track connections with next action steps
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You can never predict who you’ll meet at different events.