As you glance over the recent flyer you received in the mail for another professional marketing conference you think to yourself, “Not another conference. Should I even bother going? What will I get out of it?”
The answer is you will get out of it what you put into it. As a marketing executive you can learn a lot from attending marketing conferences. Attending one requires planning in order to make the conference a more valuable experience.
Starting with the conference agenda in your hand take responsibility for planning to get the most out of the next relevant event by looking to gain new knowledge and new ties to add to your marketing toolbox.
Among some things to keep in mind in order to better promote your small business and brand:
Information Sessions and Trade Shows
Most conferences provide informational sessions and educational lectures or workshops. By reviewing promotional material for each of these sessions, choose the ones that work best for you and your business.
Topics should include different marketing approaches, business strategies to help organization growth, and ethics in the industry. Attending a workshop that you’re interested in also means that you have the opportunity to meet and interact with other people who are interested in your industry. This is a great way to network with others who can provide opportunities for business growth, and may even be your next big customer.
In between workshops, attend a trade show at the conference.
Trade show exhibitors share the latest and greatest in marketing and promotional products. Trade shows provide opportunities for attendees to view live demonstrations of new technology and ideas.
Education in ever-changing social media marketing strategies is valuable for getting the word out to customers about your industry or product. This is a great opportunity to learn some other tricks of the trade. Trade shows offer ways for exhibitors to market their product face-to-face with many people at once. Again this is a great opportunity to network with the exhibitors themselves, and learn their marketing strategies for your next trade show or event.
Social Events and Active Participation
Be sure to attend the marketing conference’s planned social events. Most conferences will host a social hour in order for attendees to socialize and network. Networking is critical for a marketing executive to gain possible business opportunities.
Ask questions, trade business cards, and learn as much as you can about the other people who are interested in your area of expertise. If you are unable to attend the social events, invite the people you’ve met in the workshop to meet for coffee, or dinner.
You need to come away with the knowledge you set out to gain at the conference, so actively participate. Make sure to ask questions during the workshops and at the tradeshow. Networking comes into play here when people notice you asking questions. This is often an opportunity to break the ice with other people who are sitting across the room from you and have the same questions you have. Approach others who are curious.
Expand Your Horizons
The primary responsibilities of marketing executives are to expand into new markets and build a customer base.
Executives may need to attend many conferences in a year in order to keep up with new marketing strategies and network by making important professional connections. There is no quota on how many to attend, only the relevance to an organization’s growth potential.
Other considerations of the practicality of attending a marketing conference include location, and cost to attend. Balancing the travel and costs against the potential for growth, is an important proactive step. If you know there will be potential clients who are attending a conference, be sure to set up an appointment ahead of the event and schedule a time to meet.
As long as the executive does his or her homework and plans accordingly, a good marketing conference can ultimately make a huge difference in company revenue.
About the Author: Dana Aley Smith is a freelance writer who covers a wide variety of topics from business marketing strategy to how to use thebillfloat service.