It cannot be very comforting to meet new people at events if you aren’t fully prepared. If you are a sales or marketing professional or a business owner, B2B marketing events are a crucial source for generating leads and creating brand awareness. As such, the most important part of attending events is business networking and generating new leads for your business. There are possibilities in every conversion. Marketing events provide the perfect platform to meet new people, make connections, nurture leads, and grow your sales funnel. The key is to make sure you capture every single contact so you can turn opportunities into potential revenue.
You need to keep a few simple yet effective points in mind for successful networking at marketing events. Done right, these to-do things will create a positive and rewarding experience, and help you to find qualified prospects.
- Know All the Key Details About the Event Beforehand
It is always important to acquire information about the event you’re attending. Conduct some basic research about the guests attending the event, the companies sponsoring, the sessions being held and so on. If you’re targeting a particular company account and the company you’ve been pursuing is also attending, know who is representing and try to set up a time to meet beforehand. Be prepared and be informed about the schedule so you can pick what’s most important for you. It is also essential to set your priorities and goals ahead of the event so you can focus on achieving them.
- You Don’t Need to Impress Everyone – Focus On What and Who Is Important
As pointed out above, focus is key. Thousands of people attend events and you’re not going after everyone. It’s impossible to meet everybody. Strike conversations with the right people, ask the right questions, get the right info, and have your follow-up plan in place. Don’t sell, but build rapport. Start with general discussions and slowly start building up your pitch without being salesy.
Of course, everyone is there to do business, but it doesn’t have to be all about selling. Remember, you are not selling your brand; you are building it.
- Carry Your Business Cards, Exchange and Capture
Don’t forget to exchange business cards during the event. You’ve spent time and resources in preparing and getting to the event, you’ve done your research, you’ve met the right people – it’s important you capture their contact so you can nurture your leads.
It’s not uncommon to collect hundreds of business cards at an event, only to lose them and miss out on potential sales opportunities. Use technology to overcome these problems. Apps can help you capture leads easily, like the ScanBizCards business card scanner that adds contacts to your phone’s address book from business cards instantly, simply by snapping a photo. It even exports contacts to a csv or CRM systems such as Salesforce and others. You can download the app on Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
- Listen, Interact, Show Interest and Build Rapport
Remember, everyone present at the event has something to take and something to offer. The important thing is to find synergies. Always show genuine interest in what your prospects have to offer to you to expect them to show the same level of interest in your offering. Ask relevant questions, listen carefully and be in the conversion.
- Don’t Forget to Follow Up
All networking will prove to be futile if you don’t follow up on your leads. You can follow up with your prospects or the specific companies you’re prospecting through email, phone, on social media platforms or perhaps at a future event that they’re also attending. Make sure to thank your guests before leaving the spot. For when you meet up the next time, consolidate your connections and greet them with short and sweet messages. Of course, if you have the right tools to be able to do these effectively, you’re going to succeed!
Networking events are an essential tool to develop and nurture new connections. It will promote your brand and build your funnel. Key is to blend interpersonal skills with the right technology tools. Apps like the ScanBizCards business card scanner app will help you to capture contacts with its OCR powered scanner and add them on your phone’s address book or CRM. CRMs and email marketing tools will help you follow up, track and convert. There are tools for every aspect of event marketing, you just need to have your plan in place and execute with the right tools.
So when attending the next meeting or event, go with confidence and create a favorable impression!