Vendor Success Strategies for Events – Step 1by Fred F. Farkel, Thursday, September 8th, 2011
Pre-Event Preparation for Success at Events
Wes Sherman, President, The IT Summit
Why do you attend technology trade shows and conferences? For the education? Sure. To see new solutions? Of course. To develop business connections? EXACTLY! You need to prepare for each event to successfully develop business relationships. As Ty Howard, CIO of the Arizona Department of Water Resources says “Gone are the days of smash-and-grab sales. The CIO community wants to develop relationships with the vendor community. We want you to call us even when you don’t have anything to sell us. We want to stay in touch with you.” I constantly speak with CIOs who express the same sentiment. This applies particularly at high-level conferences and events. You’re going to spend the day in a room full of buyers who want to meet with you, and want to do business with you. Do you just show up and hope for the best, or do you prepare and plan to create deep relationships? STOP, plan for success, execute, follow up. Here are some strategies we’ve developed over the last 13 years to help you succeed:
Engage In Your Pre-Event Marketing Activities
Social media, e-mail campaigns, telephone campaigns, direct mail, in-person client invitations, press releases, etc, are critical for your success at IT events. You wouldn’t throw a party and hope your friends showed…you’d INVITE them. Same goes for professional business events. Invite your clients to attend…to visit your exhibit booth, to sit in on your presentation, to join you for lunch, to meet early and stay late. Invite your prospects to the party, too. How do you feel when you’re invited to a party? Honored? Special? Excited? Of course. Provide the same for your clients and prospects. They’ll appreciate the invitation and the event, and they’ll appreciate you for it. Use conferences and trade shows to entertain your clients and prospects. Create an experience for them at each event. Well thought-out, comprehensive pre-event marketing campaigns to your C-level clients and prospects, and to lists that you acquire prior to each event, can make the difference between moderate success and outstanding success…and they can be very low cost or FREE.
The IT Summit brings together technology buyers and sellers in tightly focused events. If you are a vendor of IT solutions, contact Wes Sherman to see if your company qualifies for participation in The IT Summit events. Wes can be reached at [email protected]