Once you have selected your goals and purpose for attending the conference, you need to set strategies for each goal. First, you want to set your budget. This is key to planning your strategy for a conference. Figure out how much of your funds will be used for travel and accommodations, how much it will cost to attend the conference and various workshops, how much it will cost to create marketing materials, and anything else you need for the conference. Once you have a strategy for all of your expenses, you will be able to strategically plan for the conference. The next steps are to begin registering for the event, book travel and accommodations, and begin you can begin your marketing strategy to prepare for the conference.
Email Marketing Strategy
Having an email marketing strategy is a great way to let your target audience and other conference attendees know that you will be attending. Reach out to the event organizers and see if they will provide you with a list of those attending. TIP: Sometimes the conference website will already have a list of other companies attending, so you can review this and get an idea of the attendee demographics ahead of time. Sending an email is a great strategy whether you are setting up a booth or simply just representing your company by attending. It provides you with a marketing opportunity and the chance to set appointments to meet with potential prospects. In this email, obviously, state that you are attending and that you would like to get some time on the calendar to discuss their needs. Setting appointments for the conference through email marketing is a great way to promote your products/services and to kick-start conversations. You can also create a landing page for attendees to register a time to connect with you at the event. This form can later be used to follow up with attendees after the event.
Social Media Strategy
If your company already uses various social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., you can use these platforms let your audience know that you will be attending the conference. If you are attending and will have a company booth, provide the booth number and direct them to where the booth will be on the conference floor layout map. If you will be providing demos at the booth, be sure to include the times that live demos will be commencing. If you do not have a booth or table, let your audience know that you will be setting up appointments for conversations as well. Invite them to grab lunch, coffee, or just to chat with you for a bit. This is a great way to let others know you will be open to having conversations both for your company and as an opportunity for you to network.
Marketing materials are crucial for every goal in your strategy. Whether your goal is to create brand awareness, gather new leads, or simply network, y need materials to support each and every one of these goals. Prepare handouts, flyers, or brochures that have more in-depth information about your company, product, and/or service. Often, attendees are pressed for time and you will not be able to provide them with extensive details about your company. Having printed marketing materials prepared is a great way for them to read up on the company when they have a free moment later on, especially if you did not have a chance to talk with them. If you will be having a booth, be sure to get table cloths with the company logo, booth exhibit materials, have signage prepared, and bring any materials you will need for demonstrations. Also, do not forget to bring business cards and any other materials you will need for networking.
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