Ah, the summer conference season is upon us. As teams gear up for Cannes and other events, the most pressing thing on their minds (besides where the top parties are) is being able to prove event ROI.
The #1 driver of event ROI for attendees and sponsors is the number and quality of the meetings that sales and marketing teams drive before and during the event. We want everyone to exceed their goals at Cannes so we’ve compiled this list of unique ways to pre-book more meetings.
Even if you’re not attending Cannes— maybe B2B Marketing Forum, Dreamforce, CES, DMEXCO, or any other quickly approaching conference or trade show—these tips will help sales and marketing teams pre-book better sales meetings at whatever events they attend.
1. Find Event Groups on Facebook and LinkedIn
Some event organizers create groups for the event, while others are created by attendees and sponsors. The Cannes for Cannesseurs group on Facebook was originally created in 2015 and has nearly 5,000 members that continue to be very active. Another good group to check out is I’m Going to Cannes Lion Festival, featuring close to 3,000 members looking to network at the event!
2. Ask Your LinkedIn Network if They Know Anyone Attending
We’ve all read (and probably posted) the “I’m attending [insert event name]. Comment below if you’re attending or click this link to book a meeting with me!” status update on LinkedIn.
To mix it up a bit, we recommend asking your LinkedIn network if they know anyone who is attending. By asking this, not only will they let you know if they’re attending, but it also presents the opportunity for some brand new connections!
3. Obtain the Attendee List
Now this one seems pretty obvious, but we’ve encountered quite a few folks who have skipped this step! All good pre-show marketing starts with understanding which prospects and current clients are attending the event. This requires you to secure the attendee list.
Previously, the only way to secure attendee lists was to purchase an exorbitant event sponsorship or booth space from the event organizer. Many times, this list is given without names or contact information a mere two weeks before the big event. Now, with the rise of social media and digital information, there are multiple ways to find out who is going to be at an event:
- Scan the Event Hashtag. Use a tool like Tweetdeck to track event hashtags and see what people are saying about the event. From there, it’s an easy way to see who else is attending and reach out to pre-book a meeting. We also suggest looking for versions of the official hashtag. For example, people attending IoT World were using the official #IoTWorld tag but also using #IoTWorld19, #iot and #IoTWorld2019 as well. The unofficial tags will have fewer people using them but are great opportunities to filter through the noise.
- The Event Website and App. For the stealthy, the event website will provide enough information to get your prospecting started. Take advantage of the attendee prospectus, their sponsor list, and the event app. Download the event app early and be sure to log in to the app once a week leading up to the event to make sure you haven’t missed any connections or opportunities.
Our pro tip: Stand out from the crowd on the event app by uploading a nice headshot, a bio mentioning who you’re interested in meeting at the event, and a clear, correctly sized version of your logo.
4. Search LinkedIn for “Cannes Lions + [Event Sponsors]”
For example, Cannes is quickly approaching. Adobe, IBM iX, Deloitte, iHeart Media, and Tivo are a few of the sponsors of Cannes.
If you search “Cannes + Tivo” on LinkedIn, you’ll find posts that mention both the sponsor and the event. Generally, these posts tend to be by the actual folks attending the events asking for meetings.
It’s an easy way to see exactly which employee is attending an event and book a meeting directly with them.
5. Run Facebook Ads Targeted Toward People who Like the Event Page
People who like the event page are more likely to have either gone in year’s past or are attending this year. When setting up a Facebook ad for booking more meetings at the event, click “narrow audience” and enter the event name. This will narrow your reach to “all other targeting details + must like event page” so you’ll limit reach to only those interested in the event enough to express social signals.
It’s great to promote a piece of content about the event in the ad to show relevancy and hopefully increase social sharing. Paying to book meetings at B2B events is the last thing your sales and marketing team should implement. Make sure the team is squeezing every drop of juice out of organic, unpaid ways to book more meetings.
In the End, Booking Better Meetings = Boosted ROI at B2B Events
We believe in helping sales and marketing teams drive a higher return on event (ROE) and believe the number one way to do that is to book better sales meetings at B2B conferences and trade shows. SummitSync is a valuable tool for sales and marketing teams to use at B2B events—our meeting automation platform makes it easy for your team to schedule and manage more meetings and drive more revenue.