8 plus 1 Proven Tricks to Promote Your Brand at a Conference
Every industry has at least a couple of key events that are worth checking out. If you are a young Australian startup, you may consider Launch Festival (Sydney), Pause Fest (Melbourne) or Myriad (Brisbane) to meet like-minded entrepreneurs, learn about new trends, and, let’s be real, have a drink or two with your colleagues.
Conferences are perfect occasions to ditch your office routine, get creative, catch up with interesting people, and share some groundbreaking ideas.
Whether it is a small forum or a major conference with 10,000 attendees, this is a great opportunity to grow the list of leads and get much-needed attention from those who haven’t heard about you and your company before.
Do your research, find important events you’d like to attend and come up with a solid plan to attract new prospects.
The first trick is of course getting your Haystack app set up and ready for action:
- Update your digital business card with a good quality logo and profile images - having a sharp looking digital business card is a great way to make a smashing first impression
- Practice sharing your digital card with a friend or a colleague - practice makes perfect, and your recipients will feel your confidence when you’re sharing your card like a pro
- Use the Haystack app to scan the paper cards you get from others during the conference - this will make it easy to never lose a contact, and also follow up with your new contacts after the event
While getting your digital business card is important, you will probably need some old-school tricks to get your company noticed and make the most out of the event.
As part of our ongoing collaboration, the guys from online printing services, Zenprint, prepared a list of 8 proven techniques for you to try out.
Launch a Marketing Campaign Two Weeks Prior to the Event
There is no way you can avoid Digital Marketing or Social Media campaigns. Let your target audience know that your company is attending the event and that they can meet you there in person. Going to a B2B Forum? Use LinkedIn and Twitter to reach out to professionals in the field. Or is it an event where you can meet with your customers directly? Then focus on channels like Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to spy on other attendees from time to time: they might have an interesting strategy you haven’t thought of.
Follow the Hashtags
Even the most serious Conference has a list of unique hashtags. Visit the event’s official Social Media accounts and look through all the hashtags they use. Monitor them before, during, and after the event to connect with the right people. Everyone loves to be a part of something bigger so expect to see thousands of snaps and tweets about the Conference.
Send direct messages, comment, like, retweet, and post pictures of your team to attract potential attendees. Considering the number of outreach emails you are going to send, your digital business card will definitely come in handy.
Market Your Booth
It would make a lot of sense to invest in a conference booth. Yes, it is pricey but with thousands of people attending major events, it is easy to get lost among all the brands out there. A good thing about conference booths is that you can always reuse promotional materials at the upcoming events.
Gear up and equip it with a large banner and an eye-catching x-stand to be visible from far away. Don’t forget to include a phrase that describes your company. Unless you are Google, don’t assume people will know much about your business. Attendees will appreciate a brief summary of your company’s core activities.
Give People What They Want
Conferences would be boring without freebies. However, many brands do not think it through and come up with a bunch of junk no one ever needs. To avoid wasting resources, think what your audience might really need. Trust us, no one wants a huge sticker with your logo on it or an oversized ugly t-shirt. Umbrellas, pens, and bags, on the other hand, are the products people actually use.
Can you think of something your prospects will appreciate? Discuss it with the team to decide on promotional materials you are going to prepare.
Printed Marketing Materials
Unfortunately, events are far from being paperless yet (you’re ahead of the curve). Sometimes we just need to go old school and hand out a paper brochure, booklet or a flyer. To minimize the amount of paper, use QR Codes on your promotional materials. Attendees with smartphones will be able to access your digital materials in a matter of seconds without polluting the Earth with paper waste. To generate the code use a free online service like qrstuff.com. You won’t only save resources but also generate additional traffic to your website.
At a Conference, you and your colleagues are the faces of the company you represent. Make sure to dress in the same style and showcase the brand’s logo and stick to the same color palette. Ideally, get yourself branded t-shirts or polos and lanyards with name tags so everyone can tell what company you are with. That might sound like playing dress-up but in fact, this small detail will help you look serious and professional.
Give a Speech
Why not become a participant yourself and give a 5 to 10 minutes lecture on the topic of your expertise? It is your chance to share some great insights, get noticed, and initiate a conversation with the audience. You will see that after the event people will start reaching out to you to discuss what has been said on the stage.
We encourage you to contact the organizers and express your desire to talk at the event. Avoid being vague and mention something more controversial instead to get the attention.
Organize an After-Party
While networking with potential partners, you could mention that your company is hosting a VIP event after the Conference. Many will get intrigued as VIP parties are perfect for building lasting relationships with people you’ve just met. Choose a venue not far from the place where the event takes place to guarantee a sufficient number of people coming to your party to relax and talk in the informal environment.
While there are many other clever ways to boost your brand’s image at an event, we’ve touched upon the most efficient ones that won’t require too much money and resources.
Don’t forget to monitor Social Media and other channels after the event. The next couple of weeks the Internet will be discussing the speakers and other highlights.
Look through the business cards you’ve got, check your mailbox and start reaching out to people you’ve met. With all these new prospects it will be a busy month full of exciting opportunities.