In an increasingly digital world, where virtual interactions dominate our daily lives, the value of face-to-face connections cannot be underestimated. With its ability to bring people together in a shared space, events are powerful opportunities for us all to engage, create memorable experiences and drive personal and professional growth.
Building Authentic Connections
Unlike traditional marketing channels, events provide you with good old fashioned ‘work the room’ opportunities. Events also attract a diverse range of attendees, providing you with the opportunity to meet a range of different contacts, not only to generate sales leads but to create wider opportunities.
When it comes to building authentic connections at an event, here are some suggestions to help facilitate interactions and get the most from your attendance:
Yes, it seems obvious, but the classic schoolboy error is to show up with no cards. Show that you are prepared and interested in maintaining a connection beyond the event with professionally designed and branded cards.
Pro Tip: Embrace the shift from paper business cards to digital. With digital business cards, you instantly share your contact information. Tap your card against a smartphone and share your contact details. It can act as an ice breaker or as a memorable way to bring your conversation to a close. Check out TAPiTAG.
Research and Familiarize
Take the time to research and understand the companies who are attending and the services they offer. This knowledge allows you to identify potential partnerships or check in with better-known competitors. Create a plan for who you want to speak to and consider getting in touch before the event, to get some pre-agreed meetings in the diary.
Harness Social Media
Make sure people know you are going to be there. Share your attendance on your personal LinkedIn page and if you’re only there for a limited time then make that clear.
Pro Tip: Look for the official event hashtag and use it. Usually, you can find them on the organizer’s website or social media. By using the event hashtag, you will ensure that your post will be at the heart of the conversation around the event, allowing you to interact with like-minded attendees. Boost your reach!
Not everyone is confident to dive straight into conversations. Prepare some industry questions to help you initiate conversations. Engaging conversation starters can help break the ice and foster deeper discussions. Alternatively, kick-off by asking them to tap your new digital business card on their phone!
Show your expertise
Before the event, demonstrate your expertise by providing value. Share relevant content such as blogs, reviews, interviews, or industry podcasts highlighting your knowledge and making it clear what people can talk to you about. By positioning yourself as a thought leader and sharing valuable insights, you establish credibility and generate interest.
if your company are exhibiting then be familiar with what’s being presented. Speak to the stand organisers and ensure you’re familiar with what your company are doing, and focusing on, at the show. If you work for a larger organisation, then see who is attending from other offices or locations and build your internal network as well as your external one.
Event marketing still presents a unique opportunity to build authentic connections in an increasingly digital landscape. By activating some of these suggestions you can untap the potential of event marketing and forge lasting connections that go beyond the event itself.