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7 Tips to survive your next tech event

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Conferences and events can be exciting but overwhelming, with some people walking away wondering if it’s worth the hype. With Slush around the corner, we’ve got some tips to help you make your visit to your next event a success.

#1 Make sure your team knows your objectives

Discuss a plan and speaking points before you turn up. Are you discussing your latest product? On the lookout for leads, potential partners, or perhaps even investment? Circling the wagons and making sure everyone knows the game plan means more focused and fruitful conversations on the day. 

 

Some companies even set internal goals among their sales team – how many conversations can you have in an hour? In a day?

#2 Make sure all your essentials are at hand.

Got a booth? Lucky! Your marketing manager has likely briefed you on what you need to rock and roll but don’t forget the essentials – business cards, flyers, a few pens to take notes, your laptop and/or phone chargers. Some events give you water bottles but others, like Echelon, sometimes don’t – so it pays to sneak a bottle of water in your bag before you arrive.

#3 Know who’s who in the zoo

Take a look at the speaking agenda and the exhibitor booths. It’s always nice to know is going to be around and who is not. 

 

If you have high-value targets, do a little digging through their company’s press releases and other media to see what’s been happening for them. Clever sales teams look ahead and send out emails weeks before to try and book key individuals for a coffee or lunch at the event.

#4 Dress for the event.

You’ll (hopefully) be meeting a lot of people. Whether it’s a t-shirt with your company’s logo on it, or smart business casual, you’ll be making a lot of first impressions. Remember you’ll also be likely withstanding some pretty frosty AC – make sure you’ve got another layer!

#5 Stay fresh and genuine

Being at an event energises some and depletes others.  If you’re the latter, it’s okay to set yourself breaks as you would with any other day at work. If you’re on the booth, make sure you’ve got someone else to cover for you. If you’re a free-range attendee, it’s okay to step into a speaking session to get inspired, or to step outside to get away from the crowds. 

 

Do what you need to and aim for quality, genuine interactions – don’t become the motion-activated salesperson, trotting out the same canned speech every time.

#6 Follow up on those name cards

Take the initiative and set aside a morning or afternoon the week following an event to process all those name cards that you received – that way the personalities and conversations will hopefully still be fresh.

#7 Assess your ROI

It’s all well and good to head along to an event, but make sure to keep an eye on the number of leads and number of conversions that come as a result of your going. 

 

Do a post-mortem after your event and discuss with your team what went well and what could be improved – did you meet your objectives? Was your target audience there in the numbers you expected? What were the quality of your conversations like? Should you spring for a booth next year (or should you get rid of the booth and just head along as an attendee)? 

 

Taking a moment to crunch the numbers of leads and reflect thoughtfully means you’ll be in great shape…. for planning your next event.

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