Events are about networking
As business professionals, conferences and events are our go to places to network. We go to reconnect with people we already know, and more importantly, to engage with people we don’t. Whether we’re staffing a booth, sponsoring a reception, hosting a panel, or talking from the main stage, events are the marketplace for mingling. Where else do we
Events are about immediacy
Events give us that incredibly jolt of immediacy — that jolt of live, one-on-one in-person engagement. But think for a minute about how you used social media at the last event you went to. Did you use it to snap selfie after selfie of happy, smiling people? There’s nothing wrong with happy, smiling people. After all, it can certainly encourage people to come to the next event, but is it helping you to achieve your business objectives? Are you missing out on the larger networking opportunity to connect – at scale with the people at the events you attend who are the most interested in what you have to offer?
Be the person your target customer wants to meet
It’s true. Events are expensive and inefficient. How many people did you meet at the last event you attended? And of those, how many of them needed what you had to offer, or conversely, had the solution to the problem you need to fix. This is the power of using social media before and during events.
Social accelerates serendipity
Before the event, start and seek out conversations on social media (i.e., the relevant LinkedIn Groups(s), Twitter [with the conference’s hashtag], and increasingly the conference organizer’s own website or app) around the topics you care about most. You will quickly attract fellow attendees who have the problem you solve or the knowledge you seek. Every single person is at that event to seek a connection, and social media gives you the ability to pre-identify the people most interested in you, and you in them. It also gives everyone the opportunity to check each other out in advance.
Social maximizes your personal ROI
Social media improves the ROI of the time and money you invest in participating in live events. Use it to identify and attract the people you want to connect with most. After all, if 90% of the attendees at a given conference aren’t a “match,” why not focus your energies on getting to know and scheduling times to meet the 10% who are?
So by all means, take and share those selfies, talk to strangers (especially the cute ones), and connect with as many people as you can, knowing that you have pre-scheduled meetings with people who will make the event valuable for you and your company before you hand out your first business card.
Camilla Urdahl works for Social IoT company Unified Inbox, makers of the popular Outbox Pro social media publishing tool, and will speak to strangers at events about communications strategies, new business models, and how best to accelerate innovation. Follow Camilla and her conference adventures on Twitter @CamillaUrdahl. And learn more about Unified Inbox’s social media publishing tool Outbox Pro on https://app.outbox.pro!