How to Make a Splash At Your Next Conference

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Conferences are a great way to make business connections, generate leads for your business, and learn new insights about your industry. But in a sea of booths and custom pens, how do you stand out amongst your competitors? We’re giving you some tips to help you make the most of your conference table buy-in and turn casual conversations into qualified leads.

Offer useful (and cool) customized goods

Take a moment to walk around a conference and you’ll quickly be able to tell which goodie bags are popular, and which ones are just missing the mark. There are the classics: the pens, the sticky notes, and the customized notebooks that are often swept up early on in the event. But then there are the other items that just don’t seem to fare as well, because they’re not as useful or valuable as their more popular counterparts.

When choosing which branded items to pass out at your next conference, consider these three things before placing your order.

  • Is it useful?
  • Is it trendy or relevant at the moment?
  • Will attendees find this item valuable?

Once you identify which branded items make sense for your business and budget, be strategic about how you give them away. Less expensive items like pens are great to have out on the table for attendees to pick up as they pass by; while Items like a custom Yeti cooler would make a great raffle prize. Simply collect contact information in exchange for a raffle entry and you’ll have people volunteering to connect and learn more about your organization.

Set up a photo booth

A photo booth is a fun and cost-effective way to attract conference attendees to your table, and an even better way to establish personal connections with them. Set up a custom themed photo booth (with a touch of your own branding). Offer to email the participant their photos in exchange for their consent to accept marketing emails. It’s a win-win for both of you—bonus points if they share and tag you on social media!

Host an event

Sponsoring a conference happy hour or dinner may not be the most budget-friendly tactic to make an impression at your next conference event. But, this strategy can give you the opportunity to get to know your colleagues and connections on a more intimate level than simply engaging in small talk as they pass by the rows and rows of booth at the conference center. If you have a few individuals or teams you’re really interested in working with, wow them with a private invite to your event and they’ll surely remember your brand long after the conference has concluded.

Engage attendees

Rather than having the same old setup with info packets and business cards at your table, make an impression with conference attendees by hosting activities at your booth! Trust us, word will spread fast if you’re giving away the best food or swag bags on the conference floor.

Here are a few ideas to help you revamp your setup:

  • Invest in a prize wheel for visitors to spin
  • Host a trivia session
  • Coordinate a social media scavenger hunt
  • Go all out with a silent disco

Boost your branding

Before you pack up your conference setup and get ready to flex your networking skills, you need to make sure your branding is on-point. From your nametags, to signage and social media, it’s important to have a strong brand image if you want to make an impression on thousands of conference attendees. Connect with other companies and attendees ahead of time by advertising your plans to attend the upcoming event, and call out any workshops or events you’re hosting by posting on your social media channels. Get a retweet from the event organizer? Great, that’s free press—and what’s more valuable than that?

Sponsor the wifi service

The moment conference attendees arrive to the event, they’ll be connecting to the wifi—meaning they’ll be exposed to wifi sponsors with signage throughout the event and online. This is an unconventional (and expensive) way to make a splash, but it’s repeated exposure and familiarity that convert. Check with the event’s organizer preceding the event to inquire about wifi sponsorship opportunities.

In conclusion

Stale booths and uninspiring signage, step aside. Follow these tips to make a lasting impression at your next conference event.

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