Posted on November 25, 2014 by - Uncategorized

Improving events is at the core of Vivastream. Our CTO Steve Francolla loves to say that he “eats, breathes and sleeps #eventtech.” Over the years we’ve worked with hundreds of event professionals and have gained a keen understanding of what it takes to be successful at an event as an attendee, speaker, exhibitor, and sponsor.

 

Network beyond the event

Before the widespread adoption of the Internet, it was rather time consuming to network before a trade show or conference. Event producers rarely published a list of attendees because it was not finalized until a few days before the event’s start date. This left little time to print and send the list via postal mail. Today, engaging with attendees before, during, and after the event is easier than ever. Usually this is done through two mediums:

 

  • mobile apps: Large scale events often have their own branded mobile app for attendees to use. Some event producers make the application available for download weeks, if not months, before the start of the event. These apps allow you to build an agenda and connect with attendees, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors.

 

  • social media: Most event marketers will designate a specific Twitter hashtag for the event to enable attendees to be a part of the conversations and allow those who couldn’t attend to join the conversations.  LinkedIn is also a great resource for event networking and some events create a group for a specific event.

 

Travel and entertainment budgets are often the first to get axed when companies trim their budgets. An easy way to avoid this at your company is to prove the ROI for the event before you register. In a recent Forbes article, sales expert Ken Krogue mentions that his company only attends events if they can set enough appointments to pay for the event in advance. This is a tremendously powerful mindset to adapt with events.

 

 

Plan your answers

The first few moments of any first time meeting often goes like this:

 

Q: Where are you from?

A: New York City

 

Q:What do you do?

A: Marketing at a startup

 

We’ve all been asked for these answers hundreds if not thousands of times and often the reply is just a few words like above. A simple way to take the conversation to the next level is to have an expanded answer ready filled with phrases that make the listener want to learn more. Like this:

 

Q: Where are you from?

A: I grew up in Northern Jersey and went moved to Syracuse for my undergraduate and graduate studies. I recently moved back to NYC a few months ago.

 

Q:What do you do?

A: I just started doing Marketing for an exciting startup in Chelsea. We help large enterprises learn more about their customers through analyzing event data.

 

The goal here is to leave open spots in the conversation for the person you are speaking with to ask questions that easily keep the conversation going. Charisma expert Charlie Houpert talks about this in greater detail in a recent blog post.

 

Take notes post-networking

 

By the end of an event you could easily have a hundreds of business cards that require follow up. If you wait until the end of the event to remember all the details, odds are you will miss out on crucial details. To avoid this problem, try taking notes about the interaction immediately after it happens. Entrepreneur Robyn Scott wrote here about how a 30 second recap can yield a lifelong impact.

 

Another great way to make networking easier on yourself is to digitize the person’s business card. I like to take a picture of the card as soon as possible so I know I have a second copy if the physical one gets lost. Others prefer a more modern digital form and use apps like Full Contact, CamCard, or Card Reader.