Kashmir Hill’s little coverage of Defcon perfectly demonstrates how business conventions and tradeshows aren’t just two-dimensional corporate gatherings. An event can quickly and easily assimilate elements that aren’t hardcore B2B. You have to consider the idea of social going beyond just professional networking. Entertainment itself can make for a lot of surprises.
As such, if your IT lead generation campaign incorporates events on any level, those aren’t possibilities that you can simply ignore. Remember, this is a context where people will have to get up and about, actively engaging all sorts of dynamic marketing content (e.g. booths, freebies, presentations, demonstrations etc). It’s not exactly cut-and-dry so here’s a quick guide to understanding how an event’s non-B2B sides can interact with your campaign:
- If it’s your event – You know what’s the worst about your stereotypical business conference? (You know the ones that even industry gurus shun?) It’s the fact that it’s so disconnected from the humanity of its attendees. That’s whether you’re sending invites by phone or email, at least consider that much. Your prospects aren’t robots to be seated while they just stare wide-eyed at your presentation. They’re human beings that are going to at least be looking for the basics of food, conversation, and even some socializing after the event.
If you’re part of the event – If you’re broadcasting your presence at a particular event, don’t give prospects the impression that you’ll be just another booth there. Give them some incentive to check it out and network with your representatives. It also helps that you’ll be doing more for the event than just stand around.
- If you want follow-ups after the event – Last but not the least, events in either case could mean prospects to follow-up on. Mind the conversation you have when you do. You never know when a prospect is going to remember you more for the little things you did at a conference than anything major. You can stick to your main objectives throughout most of the conversation. Just make sure to acknowledge also some other unrelated things that happened during an event.
Attendees aren’t bots that are just meant to fill up your seats anymore than they are cash cows meant for filling your sales pipeline. A lead generation campaign succeeds well if it acknowledges the humanity of its prospects. That includes interacting with both this human side as much as the business side.