Why conferences are still a good marketing tactic.
Conferences come in all forms and sizes. They can be cheap or expensive, close or far away, worthwhile or totally pointless. As a marketer, should you still attend?
ab+c exhibits at seven or eight conferences a year — this doesn’t include the ones we attend to simply gain insight and industry knowledge for our respective departments. Are they worth it? Yes. Here’s why:
Spending time with clients
Conferences offer a terrific opportunity to spend some quality time with your clients. Not to talk about this project or that problem, this budget or that approval, but to work on your relationships. Trusting relationships are the foundation of our business, and casual face-to-face time is an important part of this. Not to sound cheesy, but at ab+c, we like our clients. And at conferences we enjoy the chance to socialize with them in a non-business setting — could be over dinner or drinks.
Prospecting new clients
This might seem obvious. Attending as an exhibitor or vendor obviously shows you are there to talk about what you can do for prospective clients. But are you taking advantage of every opportunity? Try to speak at as many conferences as you can. This puts you in front of a group of people, as opposed to having to introduce yourself to them one by one. On top of that? It’s a great way to show your industry knowledge and expertise.
Networking with peers
Hearing war stories from others in the industry can only help. At industry-specific conferences we hear others’ problems and their solutions. It’s valuable information to take back to the agency.
Good old-fashioned learning
Never stop learning, right? Our industry, and the industries we’re involved in, are constantly changing. Conferences are a great way to keep up. You can find something of value in session after session. Even if only one speaker gets you fired up and starts your brain spinning with new ideas, it’ll be worth the trip.