All over the world, more than 1 million tech conferences are held annually with over 200 million people attending various conferences and at various times. These conferences range from small regional conferences to globally attended massive super conferences. In all, they are about gathering information, knowledge and most importantly getting contacts and quality leads.
Ways to generate leads from a tech conference:
- Networking: Tech conference attendees are often industry professionals looking for ways to connect with others in their respective field. You need to ensure that you have business cards handy in order to take advantage of networking opportunities to connect with potential leads whenever such opportunity arises.
- Speaking engagements: If your company is speaking at the conference, you will want to use the opportunity to showcase your expertise and generate leads through your presentation.
- Sponsorship: Sponsoring a conference can give your company visibility and access to potential leads and will guarantee that all attendees learn about your company, although it doesn’t come cheap.
Consider exhibiting at the conference or hosting an event during the conference if you can afford the necessary costs.
- Social media: Use social media like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to promote your presence at the conference and connect with attendees. Consider using a conference-specific hashtag to join the conversation and make connections.
- Follow-up: Ensure that you follow up with leads after the conference to continue the conversation and convert them into customers.
Whether it is a business-to-business tech conference or business to consumers tech conference there are always contacts to be made and quality leads to be nurtured along the sales pipeline. However, it is not that easy to generate leads at tech conferences as everyone who attends a tech gathering has a primary purpose for being there and will most likely have little time to spare if not attending to such purpose.
Tech experts won’t waste even one-minute exchanging pleasantries with another attendee when he/she can’t clearly within the first few minutes establish the importance of making that new contact for his/her organization. Consequently, it will result to a waste of time and effort if you attend any tech conference without adequate preparations on how to go about generating leads at tech conferences.
Preparation is what decides it all. You need to adequately prepare to generate meaningful leads in your next tech conference and by preparation, every care must be taken to ensure all quality lead you make will take you seriously and possibly convert to a sale.
Here are some tips and strategies you need to be cognizant of when generating leads from participants at a tech conference
1. Choose The Right Tech Conference To Get Quality Leads At Tech Conferences
Generating leads at tech conferences starts first from choosing to attend the right events. As earlier cited, more than 1 million conferences are held annually and tech conferences take up a significant portion of this aggregate. To be successful in sales, you are not mandated to attend all these events or even up to 10% of them. It comes down to relevance and quality.
Here you take a close look at the advertised tech gathering and evaluate which are in line with your organization’s tech goals and/or industry perspective. For example, It won’t prove valuable to you if you attend a tech conference on basic Java technology while you work for a firm domiciled in the android industry. So as a first step to getting leads at tech conferences, you should plan to attend and only attend conferences that identify with your industry’s ideals.
2. Prepare The Right Marketing Materials For Generating Targeted Leads At Tech Conferences
Having decided on the next tech conference you wish to attend, the next step is to prepare your organization’s marketing materials, contacts, and product brochures you wish to take to such conference.
I do not subscribe to the notion that all marketing materials do the same job and will always get a couple of leads no matter how generic they might be. I like to be more detailed and targeted with the marketing materials I take to a tech conference. Typically contacts are made within a few minutes or possibly less, but what will form the basis for further engagements are the marketing materials or contact card you handed out during that momentary meeting.
In a situation where the material does not have a reassuring content or the purpose cannot be identified within the first few lines or with pictures, well, that lead has probably been lost to the winds and the time spent in meeting such was wasted. But where you handed out a marketing material that is reassuring, engaging and speaks to the needs of the industry and what your organization has to offer thereof, you are sure to have the leads you make moving in the direction of having more business meetings with you if not already moving to close sales.
For the right marketing materials, you can consider tips like having the header/theme, the design of your printed flyers readily identifying with the general concept of the tech conference you are attending. For example, if you are attending a conference on future transportation modes, and you work for an organization that is the into the manufacturing of flying cars.
Your header can be flying cars, the future of transportation. Exactly, you can think around this tip and create more ideas on how to twist your marketing materials to easily identify with the tech conference.
3. Find Prospective Attendees on Social Media
In this age where most people are on one social media platform or another, you can use this to your advantage by creating social filters on the more popular social media networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, etc. With this, you find out those planning to attend such conference and who you know in common with them.
The goal of this step is to prequalify your targeted leads from the list of attendees and narrow it down to a list of those you are sure to get across to for the duration of the conference. This is the first benefit of using social filters to generate leads at tech conferences and of course any other conference.
Secondly, you can get a bit more interactive by messaging your prospects in a friendly yet professional manner and request to meet up a the event proper. However, don’t appear to be selling but rather simply write or sound like someone who is passionate about the industry and is looking up to the big event while being enthusiastic to meet with industry verticals and horizontals. With this approach, you will have already broken down the first line of resistance from any lead you plan to get across to.
4. Research Prospective Leads and Their Organizations
At this stage, you have a list of the leads you would like to get across to at the conference, you know where they work and probably how many company representatives they will be in the company of. Well, it doesn’t end here. In fact, our main lead generation strategy is unveiled here.
You definitely have to put in more effort by making more research on the leads you are likely going to meet. Going to LinkedIn, you will most likely get information on their current position in the organization and department or units they had managed in the past. You also need to strike a balance between the technological needs of the organization and the solution/s your own organization is bringing to the table.
Make a note in a spreadsheet format for this as it will form your first standpoint for conversations. Remember, the value you represent should be clearly established right from the onset and this should be reinforced with the marketing materials or contacts you exchange with the prospective lead.
5. Provide Follow-Ups For Various Communication Channels
In preparation for getting leads at tech conferences, you have to plan for the end of a meeting before having the meeting. This is because you need to be sure of the various means of communication you can use to engage your newly qualified lead and nurture them along the sales pipeline.
To do this, endeavor to get the contact details of your new lead and be sure to update the same on your customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Some of these CRM applications are capable of sending you news feeds about the lead or his organization so you can keep track of events surrounding them.
The more communication channels you have to your disposal, the easier it will be to get across your leads without missing anyone.
It is important to note that more and more professional organizations are having a more visible presence on social media, unlike the conventional email messaging platforms. Therefore, as a tip to get more leads at tech conferences, ensure to provide various follow-up channels for further communication and/or keeping track of events in the organization, especially via social media.
Generating quality leads from tech conferences is one vital step in a sales funnel. Tech leads more than often convert to quick sales as the industry is a dynamic one with no procrastination. Once a solution is bankable, there is no limit to the number of leads who will come asking for it. However, this is the easy part.
The hard part lies in positioning yourself as a professional who has value to offer. With the steps we have highlighted here, you will no longer have challenges getting leads from tech conferences. The secret lies in preparations, and by preparation, we mean adequate preparations. We have outlined the various steps you should take to start getting quality leads from tech conferences and these steps won’t fail you.