Before the event:
- Around 2 weeks before the event, check who confirmed that they will be present or liked the event on Facebook. Check “#events”. If you find someone who you think would be worth meeting at the event, write that person a short message on Facebook (there’s a good chance that someone will accept your message on Facebook and decides to write back). You can also consider writing to them on LinkedIn.
- Prepare a few variants of pitches (what you want to say) in the following versions: 60 seconds, 30 seconds, 10 seconds.
- If infoshare is a very important event for you, and you conduct enterprise sales, then consider inviting your customers to a dinner party/before party in your apartment or a local restaurant prior to the event.
- If you belong to the hardware sector, have some robots and other devices with you.
- If you belong to the software sector, have a monitor/tablet to demonstrate the product/service.
- If your booth includes any electronic devices – test them and have a backup, e.g. a spare cable, because things tend to break down.
- ALWAYS keep around your business cards and a charged phone with the LinkedIn application (taking a power bank is a good idea).
- The booth should have a hustler who will “lure” people and a product specialist if the hustler can’t answer difficult questions.
- All materials should be made in two language versions – PL and EN,
- Have some case studies ready. How to create a good case study: https://casbeg.com/how-to-write-a-good-case-study/
- If you belong to the software house sector, keep some applications that you made in your phone.
Encouraging people to talk:
Freebies as the reason for starting a conversation. So instead of saying “Hey, can we talk?”, start your communication with a specific pretext:
- The first impression is extremely important – you have only a few seconds, so remember to use them well.
- You can provide a box from which people can draw fortunes/business hints/common mistakes made by customers, for example: “Companies without CRM waste 20 hours per week administering sales in Excel!” or “A contact form on a website should contain X, Y, Z – does your contain them?”.
- During an infoshare event in 2017, RightHello handed people a real dollar as a conversation starter.
- Free consultation – e.g. if your company is an agency, offer a quick 10-minute audit of a website. If your company is a SaaS company, offer a 10-minute consultation on how the sales process should look like.
- Contests/lotteries where people can win, e.g. a book related to your sector or 2 hours of free consulting.
- Sweets are also useful in the booth as a supplement.
How to start a conversation with someone you don’t know?
- “Hey, I’m new here, I’m good at X, Y and Z – who do you think I should talk to?”.
- If you have absolutely no idea how to start a conversation, try this one: “Hey, do you have a moment?”
- Try to talk to people who “aren’t in a hurry” and who are quite relaxed.
During the event:
- Gather e-mails, LinkedIn invitations and business cards.
- If somebody approaches the booth on their own – talk to them! Most importantly, use freebies mentioned in the point about encouraging conversation.
- Mailing your potential and current customers that you will be at the event.
- Information in the footer: “Let’s talk at infoshare.”
- When you talk to someone – don’t present the offer, just ask questions. So instead of saying: “Our product can X, Y, Z,” ask about the problems that the customers may have that your product can solve.
- Ask questions – you shouldn’t talk equally long with each and every person. Find out whether you can really help a person or their company. In which sector do they work? Do they have a problem that your product can solve? Are they in your target group? After using freebies and asking about what they do every day, you should be able to answer the aforesaid questions.
- Make somebody walk around and proactively look for contacts during the event – if 100% of the people present in the booth don’t require 100% of your employees, it means that someone can walk around and “lure” people.
- When you talk to someone, find a reason to stay in touch.
- Proactively look for recommendations – ask whether the people’s friends who are present at the event might need your services.
- Don’t limit your topics to the event. Your task is to meet as many new people as possible, renew relationships with the greatest number of people and potential customers whom you already know and strengthen relationships with the greatest number of customers with whom you cooperate.
- Respect people and behave as if anyone could put you on the cover of the greatest business magazine in your country – you can never be 100% sure who the other person is, whom they knows or whom they might become in a few years. 🙂
- Talking to “stars” can be difficult, so it is also worth talking to someone who might become a “star” in a few years.
- You can try to reach the “star” through their assistant/someone from their surrounding. Be careful! Don’t treat that person as “a means to an end” because you might alienate them.
- If 2 people are talking actively with each other – don’t interrupt them.
1. The time to party comes in the evening. Talk with people during the day to talk with them in the evening. Saying “Can I add you as a friend on Facebook so we can get in touch in the evening?” works wonders.
2. At parties, stick to beer, wine, prossecco or anything low-alcohol, otherwise you won’t be able to achieve your goals the day after.
3. Set a drink budget and be generous about it (it’s for potential customers, you mustn’t overdrink).
After the event:
- Up to 4 days after the event, get in touch with your lead with “It’s been nice meeting you,” but remember that some people may need even a few days to “get back on track” after the event.
- An alternative follow-up strategy is dividing the prospects into 2 groups: you must follow up the first one right away (but you must accept that you are in a crowd of other follow-ups because you talked for a long time or they must have remembered you), while the second one should be followed up after 10 days when they “get back on track”.