Conferences are great resources for small business owners looking to promote their brands to a new audience. These events provide opportunities for people to meet industry experts, increase brand awareness and attract new consumers. Once you've chosen the perfect conference and begin planning for the best ways to market your materials, there are several steps to follow to get the most from the event and its visitors.
One of the best ways to promote your business prior to the conference is through the use of social media. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram are ideal ways for announcing your company's presence at the event. Not only can you deliver coupons, directions and maps for the conferences, but you can remain in contact with loyal consumers who are expected to come. Before choosing the decorations or offerings that will be at your booth, be sure to reach out to followers and ask for suggestions - this way, you can both ensure your table is perfectly geared to your target demographic and allow your consumers to feel actively involved in the conference before it takes place.
Additionally, small business owners should be sure to reach out to pre-existing consumers via email about one month before the event, then another two weeks prior to the conference. To best attract new and existing consumers to your event, keep the email short and sweet. Pack it full of colorful text, engaging images and a brief summarization of why they should attend.
When the time of the conference comes, it's essential to stay active on social media throughout the event as well. Small business owners should be sure to keep consumers engaged throughout the conference, using Twitter to report live happenings and Instagram to post pictures from speakers, booth visitors and other companies in attendance. Encourage customers to virtually speak to your brand, especially when they're visiting your table.
A great way to encourage engagement and spread awareness at the same time is by setting up an interactive section of the booth geared toward providing entertainment for the guests. For example, small business owners could use a game to draw in the crowd, such as one that allows them to win a small prize. Additionally, managers should be sure to collect business cards from attendees, as they will want to further connect with leads via social media and email communications. These events are ideal times during which you can collect valuable potential consumers, so be sure to remain positive, helpful and engaging throughout the conference.
Following-up with your visitors is key to your brand's survival after the event. Whether you have a small bowl to collect business cards or encourage booth goers to fill out an informational sheet, you must have access to their information in order to further pursue their business. It's best to write one mass email to all conference attendees later in the day when the event is over, then contact each lead individually within the next week.