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by Peter Strid
on November 13, 2015

Sales Hack: 6 Tips on Staying Engaged at a Conference Without Actually Being There

You can’t attend every industry conference. But you can still be involved in the conversation. You might even find a new deal like I have!

Here’s my story.

There was a recent industry conference, let’s call it “SocialSlam15!” held in California at an exclusive resort. A great opportunity for me to rub elbows with my peers and prospect audience of marketing and sales leaders interested in Social Selling! I had one problem; for those who know me, I broke my leg a few months ago and had a date with an orthopedic surgeon I couldn’t miss, so I couldn’t physically attend.

I decided to do the next best thing…Hack it and take the opportunity to still be part of the conversation by engaging on social.

My #SocialSelling Conference Hack was accomplished primarily using Twitter, LinkedIn, Email, Text Messaging and, yes, Periscope. My outcomes were better than anticipated. I attracted a bunch of new Twitter Followers and unsolicited LinkedIn Connections.  I had 4 existing clients and 3 net new prospects literally reach out to me wanting to get together with me while I was “at the event.” They thought I was sitting in the resort with them! I even received an unsolicited job offer from an attendee of “SocialSlam15!” (Thanks, but I’m good).

The best part of it all: I’m closing at least one Net New Deal that I sourced “at” the conference.

Evidence:

Evidence 1
netnewdeal2

Here are my 6 tips on how you can participate in a conference without being there in person. The next time you’re geographically challenged, you won’t have to miss out on networking opportunities. I’ll use an upcoming conference as an example: Selling Power Magazine’s “Sales 2.0” Event in Philadelphia. I’ll actually be there for this one–but maybe you won’t!

Tip #1: Do your homework

Your best results will come if you get a head start. Before the kick-off of the conference you are targeting, do some research. Review the website of the conference for basic details…Location, Timing, Agenda, Speakers, etc…

Sales 2.0

Tip #2: Find the twitter #hashtags associated with the event

Usually the conference website will have point you to their twitter handle where you might find some info. In the case of this upcoming Selling Power “Sales 2.0” conference the #hashtag is: #s20c.

Sales 2.0 Hashtag

Tip #3: Follow the speakers and conference affiliates on Twitter

They might not all be there, but follow the ones who are. This will help you get them to notice you and set you up for tweeting about them when they are on stage.

Sales 2.0 Speakers
Lisa Gschwandtner

Tip #4: Show your excitement for the conference by tweeting about it

Add an image such as the conference logo. Use the event #hashtag. Tag the speakers (up to 10 people). The speakers will be notified every time someone interacts with the tweet.

Sales 2.0 Tweet and Tag
Sales 2.0 Tweet and Tag 2

Tip #5: Make yourself known on LinkedIn as well

Here I have re-purposed that tweet on LinkedIn by uploading a photo…again making sure to tag the key note speakers.

Sales 2.0 LinkedIn

Tip #6: Engage digitally before and during the live event

Retweet, “like” and reply to current activity from the speakers, especially if they are already tweeting about the event. Pay close attention to the #hashtag in the days leading up to the event…you might find something to take advantage of.

Be creative and have some fun with it. Some events post updates to their blog or website, some even live broadcast. Use these to your advantage! Listen and pull sound bites that you can retweet and credit the speaker. People will retweet you and you’re as good as there. (Almost!)

This strategy can be incredible fruitful. For more detail on how I proceed on “game day”, reach out to me. I have a lot more tips–too many to list here; things like how to use Periscope for live action or even YouTube. If you’d like me to teach you or your sales team how to do this in your industry, please reach out to me…I’d love to help.

If you found this post useful…send it to your friends. Nothing better than a nice share to your followers!  Thanks!

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