I thought that we might do something a little different this week and consider how you can leverage yours and your team’s attendance at conferences in your B2B lead generation playbook.
Networking is a big part of attending conferences – for many people, it’s the main reason that they go. The problem is, a lot of people find it really daunting to approach others. It can be doubly daunting to try to break the ice with an influencer that you really admire and would like to work with! What if you say the wrong thing? What if you come off as pushy or obnoxious? How should you approach them?
If this sounds like your stream of thought during a typical conference, this week’s infographic is sure to give your confidence a much-needed booster shot. Venngage and iconiContent surveyed 26 influencers to find out how they like to be approached at conferences and have gathered the results together in this handy infographic. Let’s look at their recommendations.
Make your move – and keep it simple. Don’t just stand around hoping to be approached – most influencers suggested that a simple “hi!” is the best way to start the conversation. Presenters expect to be approached – you don’t have to feel as though you are bothering them.
Come prepared. If you know that you’re going to want to speak to an influencer at an event, do some reading beforehand. Learn about their projects and passions, and use that as an icebreaker. If you own their book, ask them if they’ll sign your copy.
Be specific – and brief. Have a prepared question to ask and don’t expect that they’ll be able to spend a lot of time chatting with you – if they’re a keynote speaker, they probably have a lot of people waiting to connect with them. Try to tie your question to their presentation if you can!
Be memorable. Sitting in the front row during their presentation, being the first in line to ask a question, and making them laugh – these are all great ways to make an impression! It can also help to follow them online beforehand and comment on their stuff, or to tweet a “hello” to them using the event hashtag.
Don’t forget the flattery. Everyone loves compliments. Was there a specific part of their presentation that you enjoyed? Do they have a book or article or project that you’ve admired? Let them know!
Give, don’t take. Do not jump into a sales pitch! In fact, it’s better to offer something first. Do you have some helpful or constructive feedback or recommendation for them? Maybe you could mention that you plan to promote their work in a blog post. Prove your value to them before asking them for anything.
I hope that these tips will help you to make some great connections at your next event! For those of you who have developed a knack for connecting with influencers, what tips would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments!