5 Mistakes You Make at an Industry Event
Attending an industry event can be daunting, but it can also bring a lot of value for you personally and for your company. Don’t miss out on this value by making easily avoidable mistakes. What are they? It’s about time you found out!
You don’t get specific
A misstep can occur from the very beginning of planning to attend an event, i.e. you start off by choosing the wrong one. With an abundance of conferences, workshops, conventions, trade shows, expos, forums, summits and the like, you have to pick the correct format for your goals.
Milling around surrounded by a large group of people can be beneficial to meet like-minded professionals and enjoy their company. However, if your aim is to deliver a pitch to a decision-maker, there’s is no guarantee you will find them in a sea of people. For this purpose, you need to search out a specific type of industry event – a summit. Contrary to a conference, a summit gathers top-level executives & industry leaders exclusively.
Summits are designed to bring together influential players in the market. For attendees, it allows to directly address key people that can help business growth, have vital advice on strategy and can share success stories & approaches that work.
You don’t network
Networking is a top priority to 82% of corporate event attendees, reports EventMB, while learning is a close second (71%). It’s important to find an event that offers both – conference sessions for learning & networking activities – to get the most benefits out of your investment.
Meeting new people, connecting to fellow professionals and conversing with prospective clients in person at events is ranked as number one among B2B demand generation tactics, writes Marketing Charts. Many leading industry event organisers even offer to arrange face-to-face meetings in a private area to better engage with possible business partners and ensure maximum results.
When networking, it’s also essential to continue the conversation even after the event. Exchanging business cards is a good way to get all contact information for quick reference after you’re back in the office. However, great discussions and top-notch pitches can make you forget to get it. Luckily, event organiser Wisdom has you covered on that score by providing scanned business cards of all participants after the event, so you never fall out of touch with a new client.
You don’t follow the event on social media
The run-up to a conference or summit can bring about many changes with new speakers being added almost daily. To make sure you’re up-to-date, it’s beneficial to follow the organiser or the official event account on your favourite social media platform.
As a follower, you will get relevant information about the event programme, special offers, discounts and news before the event. It will help you plan what activities are must-attend and which speakers & topics could provide the most impact for your company. Not only that, social media can help start networking with participants even before the event begins, as you will see their profiles in the event posts. You could introduce yourself beforehand and jump right into business at the event.
According to a study by Freeman XP & EMI, 55% of companies use social media to post photos during the event, so even when it’s over, you will likely have easy access to professional photos to remember the experience.
You don’t Exhibit
Networking can be a challenge when you’re not sure how to approach the right person or how to start a conversation on the right foot. If you decide to exhibit, though, your display can be an icebreaker all by itself.
When you’re an exhibitor, you end up in a position of power as clients come to you to have a conversation and ask questions. A well designed, eye-catching exhibition stand or prop can increase your visibility and lead even more people to engage with your brand. And if you’re ever lost for words, don’t forget to bring promotional materials to aid with your pitch or help visitors remember your company.
Even with the exciting benefits that exhibiting provides, some companies are still reluctant to try it out due to the high costs of booths and their construction. However, there are ways to avoid breaking the bank. For example, Wisdom offers to prepare and install exhibition stands for the exhibitors at their events.
You don’t prepare
You might think that only speakers or exhibitors have to be prepared to participate in a conference. But every delegate in attendance should think of a strategy to best approach the event.
Make sure to define your goals. If gathering knowledge about the industry is the most important for you, analyse the agenda and mark down the most relevant sessions. More often than not after a presentation, there’s time for a Q&A, so don’t be afraid to ask questions or even join in the discussion. Remember, networking breaks can also be a good time to get more information from the speaker in case you miss your chance during the Q&A.
On the other hand, if expanding your professional network is of the utmost importance, get a delegate list from the organisers before you set off for the event. It will help you see who will be there and give you a chance to find the best way to approach them.
Want to sharpen your newly acquired mistake-free skills at an upcoming industry event? Check out the 4th International LNG Summit in Oslo, Norway on June 18th! Get all the details and your tickets at www.lngsummit.org.