Imagine this: you have your tickets to a banner cloud, IT, or telecom event like Channel Partners, ITExpo, or MSPWorld, and your flights are booked. You’re looking forward to networking with peers and earning new leads for your company. You show up on the conference floor and attend some panels, hoping to try your luck at bumping into the right people. You connect with many, but not all of them are right for your business.
The above scenario is okay, and you’re still doing a good job of getting your name and that of your business in front of new eyes — but you can do better. Let’s rewind and try that again, using any or all of the following steps.
Step one: Create an event-specific page on your website.
Many companies attend events with the intention of increasing brand awareness and, more importantly, creating new leads for their business.
When networking, it’s important to make a good impression. Start out on the right foot by creating a specific section of your website that’s dedicated to this event and your presence there on your company’s behalf. This page doesn’t have to be too complex, and a blog post will work instead of a formal page. Whichever route you take, make sure to include:
- the name of the event
- the dates you’ll be attending (especially if you’re only going for some of the event’s duration)
- any information needed to connect with you, such as your event schedule, any panels you’ll be on, or your booth number
- a way to set up a meeting with you, like direct email or a contact form
Event-specific pages lend legitimacy to your attendance, let web traffic learn about your presence at the event, and give you an opportunity to drive traffic to your website as you promote your attendance at the event.
Wait, what’s this about promoting your attendance?
Step two: Tell your social media audiences that you’re going.
We’re all looking for a reason to reach out — like meeting up at an event!
Social media makes it easy to stay in front of your prospects. It’s even easier if you create some eye-catching visual content to get prospects’ attention, too!
Use these tips to get the most bang for your buck:
Twitter Event Marketing
Twitter still reigns as the supreme hashtag social network. Just make sure you’re using the right hashtag(s)!
Some events have year-specific hashtags, such as #EC17 for Enterprise Connect 2017. Other events have general hashtags that are more widely used, such as #CPExpo, though some users may use other hashtags like #ChannelPartners.
You’ll probably want to start with the hashtag listed on the event site itself. From there, check out sites like Hashtagify to find other event hashtags as well as related hashtags such as #Telecom, #TheCloud, and #Channel.
Use your findings when you Tweet about the event to make sure your Tweets can be found by others attending or discussing the event.
LinkedIn Event Marketing
In addition to posting on your personal LinkedIn feed as well as your company’s feed, make sure you let your Groups know about your upcoming attendance.
LinkedIn Groups like Channel Partners Network and Women In The Channel are already frequented by people likely to be your prospects, so link your event page to your group and invite others to meet up with you.
Note that some groups frown upon aggressive self-promotion. In addition, hashtags are not used on LinkedIn, so make sure that you’re using copy that you specifically wrote for this network. Users will easily be able to tell if you’re just copying and pasting your promotions from network to network; this can lead to them losing interest and trust in you and your company.
Step three: Tell your email lists that you’re going.
Want a more personalized connection? Email marketing is far from dead, and it offers an easy way for you to reconnect with future, current, and former clients.
Send an email to some or all of your master list, linking to your event page and inviting them to meet with you there. However, before you hit send, make doubly sure that you’re emailing the right people. Depending on your business, your master list may consist of people interested in some or all of your services. Some events are specific to certain services, while others are more broad. Select your email recipients accordingly.
Step four: Track the event hashtag(s) before and during the event.
In addition to posting with the event hashtag(s) before and during the event, make sure to check them regularly. Doing so will show you:
- who else, specifically, is promoting the event and their upcoming attendance (prospects, connections, and competitors)
- whether your target audience is attending (if you’re not seeing a lot of chatter from those you’d expect, this may not be a worthwhile event for you next year)
- relevant events, panels, parties, and more that you may not have known about before
Of course, you can also reply to or Retweet others’ Tweets in order to start getting some event-specific chatter going, break the ice with new prospects, and expose others to your brand. Once the event actually begins, don’t forget to continue checking and engaging with the event hashtags!
I’m ready to promote my upcoming event attendance, but I need help!
We have your back! Schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you with your marketing, and we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming IT, cloud, or telecom event!