Conferences can provide a wealth of information to your marketing and sales teams, and they can be a great opportunity to expand your company’s reach. But leading up to a conference, whether you’re just an attendee, have a booth, or are presenting the keynote means a lot of prep work. It’s important to spend your prep time wisely, so we’ve compiled the must dos and don’t misses when it comes to conference ramp up.
- DO put together a brainstorming team to come up with an innovative way to promote your products and services. The beginning of the conference season is a great way to introduce your company to a new group of potential clients. Make sure you bring in opinions from many different departments so you present the most well rounded view of your organization.
- DO tie games at your booth to specific products and services. For this year’s ASAE and AM&P conferences, The YGS Group developed a spin on Ellen DeGeneres’ game “Heads Up” and participants were entered to win an iPad mini! The game was used to promote marketing services professional development opportunities and give booth visitors a look into YGS’ strategic thinking capabilities.
- DO make sure your booth reflects your brand. If you’re building excitement about your products and services, your booth should be just as exciting, beyond the games and giveaways. Incorporate your company colors, logo, and taglines at every opportunity, but make it tasteful, not arbitrary.
- DON’T miss out on preliminary marketing opportunities and early-bird registrations. Planning for conferences happens months (or sometimes years!) in advance, and it’s important to utilize the planning time to create hype about your presence at the event. After registering our booth for ASAE earlier this year, YGS created customized mailers and email blasts for all registered attendees promoting the Heads Up game and the opportunity to win the iPad and a service voucher.
- DON’T ignore social media involvement. Before, during, and after the conference, increase your social media chatter. Most official events have joined the trend of creating exclusive hashtags, so utilize those in your tweets, and be sure to tag relevant handles and profiles in your posts. Social media is the 21st century word of mouth method that really makes a big statement, especially if social media development is one of your services.
- DO regroup and re-evaluate post-conference. Meet again with your brainstorming team and figure out what worked and what didn’t. Improvement at every stage of the game—even mid-conference—is a great way to get ready for the next big event, and always offer your best.
What conferences are you most looking forward to this year? What’s the most valuable lesson or tool you’ve taken away from a conference recently? We’re looking forward to the rest of the conference season, and hope to see you at our booths. Don’t forget to look for YGS at booth 203 at AM&P’s Annual Meeting (June 15–17) and booth 238 at ASAE’s Annual Meeting (August 8–11)!