What You Need to Do Before a Conference

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A conference is a great exposure opportunity for your brand and new products, and for creating new contacts, getting inspired, and of course, to sell. The key to a successful conference is to come well-prepared. These are a couple of tips and tricks to keep in mind if you want to stand out in the crowd of conference visitors, get the most out of your exposure, and attract visitors, leading to more meetings and closed deals.

Have a Plan                  The first thing you need before a conference is a strategy. Why are you going to the conference? For exposure and to promote the brand? To launch a new product or service? To increase awareness for your business and how to use your products? To find new customers in a new target audience? The purpose of your attendance influence everything, from the material you need and your showcase to how you talk to your visitors. If you have a great plan in your back pocket, it will be easier for you to give a uniform impression that stands out. Create Marketing Material Regardless if you go to create exposure for a product or your brand, you still need material to convey your message. Material such as banners, posters, and signs are bigger and can be seen from further away, which means it should contain images that are clearly visible and a straight forward message. Use them to lure people in. When the visitors come knocking on your booth, you can use your printed material (and of course, yourself) to give them the details. If you look around at a conference you will see trash bins filled with unwanted brochures. Save those brochures you spent so much on for visitors who stay to talk and who have clearly shown their interest. Print cheaper flyers with your main message as an alternative to hand out to people who are just passing by. An Enticing Booth A booth is more than just a place where you stand with your marketing material – it is a representation of your brand and your message. Imagine a design that is compelling and uniform where colors and design align, where the printed material and the exhibitors’ clothing match to give a professional impression. All these things make it easier to spread your message. Supplement your marketing material with props and merchandise that spark the curiosity of your visitors. Perhaps you can place a comfy sofa in your booth where people can sit down, relax and talk to a chatty parrot, as long as there is a natural link to your message, of course. Use all the senses. In addition to banners, posters, and signs, you can for instance use sound, big screens, video, model designs, demo versions of products etc. And don’t forget to have something edible. It can help you lure some people in, and when they are there to have a taste you have a great opportunity to talk to them for a while. Things to Remember:
  • Stock up on business cards. The digital revolution does not change the fact that business cards still are a great networking tool.
  • Lighting. A well-lit booth feels warm and welcoming and makes your message visible from further away.
  • Backup technology. If your presentation requires a video or a demo, you will not have a good time if your technology fails during the first day, leaving you stranded without alternatives.
  • Giveaways. Gifts make visitors more likely to stay a while and listen.
  • A good mood. Well-made and professional printed material and an enticing booth will not go far if a tired and grumpy marketing expert is standing there to scare people away. In the end, you are the one making sales and getting contacts.
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