Tuesday January 24, 2012
Double the ROI of your Conference or Tradeshow
LinkedIn: Pre and Post Conference
LinkedIn is an excellent tool for both preparing for conferences and as follow-up after a conference. Let's talk about some of the ways you can use LinkedIn to have more success, more sales, and more engagement before, during and after your conference and tradeshow travels!
1. If at all possible, see if you can get an attendee list for your conference. This is easier to do if you are a presenter. As an attendee, you might have to pay for this list - or it might not be available at all. However, if the conference is also posted as an event in a meetup, Facebook or LinkedIn Event, you will be able to see the other people who have marked themselves as interested or attending. Its worth doing a quick even search in Facebook, LinkedIn and Meetup.com to see if your conference is listed there.
If you can get a list of conference attendees, it would be a great idea to look them up on LinkedIn and see if you are connected. You might want to use the advanced search in order to do this. The reason for that is you can check specifically by location and not spend a lot of time looking for people who might have the same name - but not be the same person - as the attendee you were looking for.
2. Once you have found an attendee that you want to connect with, send them an invitation. If you aren't comfortable sending them an invitation, see if they are a member of the group and send a message through that group. If you have a paid account you can also send them an Inmail. But what a great thing to do! Set up a meeting before you ever meet.
3. If you don't have an attendee list, you can always set up meetings for LinkedIn members in the city that you're traveling to! There's no better way to make connections than to meet face-to-face. For more information about how to use LinkedIn when you travel go to http://linkedintobusiness.com/10-ways-to-use-linkedin-when-you-travel/.
4. As you begin to meet people make sure you gather their business cards. When you get back to your hotel room in the evening, invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn. Do it as soon as possible. While they still remember who you are. Once you've added them as a connection, make sure you tag their profile. For more information on how to tag a connection go to http://linkedintobusiness.com/tagging-your-way-into-toma-with-linkedin/.
Tagging will allow you to more easily communicate and follow up with your connections. Tag your connections:
- By the industry they work in
- By the company they work for
- By the name of the conference
- By their area of expertise
- Or all of the above....
...you can ===--in one fell swoop - reminding them who you are and what you do. Or even better, space use one of Bob Burg's great referral techniques. Ask them what they do and who is their best client is so you can keep them as a referral partner.
It's great to learn things at conferences and trade shows, but it's even better to make connections whom you can do business with later on! That will vastly increased the ROI of the conference.
5. Use the CardMunch App if you have an iPhone or iPad (BB and Android app coming soon) LinkedIn recently bought CardMunch and it is one of my favorite new tools. It allows you to take a snapshot of the business card and upload that information directly into your database. You can then invite those people to connect with you on LinkedIn or just add them to whatever CRM system you are using.
The power of conferences is in the follow-up - so use these tools to follow up with the people that you meet!
Tonight's #LinkedInChat is going to be all about how to use LinkedIn at conferences and trade shows here are the questions will be asking:
- Do you attend conferences or tradeshows?
- How do you prepare for conferences and trade shows?
- What kind of research do you put into finding out who will attend or be speaking at the conference or tradeshow you're attending?
- Do you use LinkedIn when preparing for a conference?
- How do you use LinkedIn when you are preparing for a conference?
- How are you at following up after the conference?
- Do you follow up after a conference or trade show?
- How do you follow up after a trade show or conference?
- Do you use CardMunch.com?