Conference season is slowing down right now, which means it’s a great time to think about how you can make next season a success for you and your team. As a Sales Development Rep myself, I can confidently say that conferences can be incredibly intimidating for rookie SDRs. We’re comfortable doing our pitch over the phone and through email, but once you add in that in-person interaction, it can throw off our game.
Getting organized, prepping meetings before the show, and planning to interact with as many people as possible will help any level SDR make the most out of a show.
Here are some key tips I suggest for your next big show so you can stay on-point and work the event to your greatest potential!
1. Go to the Event Organized
Marketing and sales alignment is key. Meet with your marketing counterparts multiple times prior to the conference to set up booth duty times, attire, swag, and best practices (i.e. no cell phone usage in the booth! Plus, always eat breakfast and have your morning coffee so you can be pumped to get out there and start chatting it up).
Be calendar ready—this means internally and externally. Put all booth duty assignments on your calendar with the location set. Conferences can be huge (think Dreamforce) make sure your team knows where to be and when. For your prospects, all meeting invites should be set in the calendar with the booth number or location, the time, the prospect name and number, as well as your contact information just in case the prospect needs to reschedule.
Practice. Book 30 minutes weekly with your manager or members of your team to practice your pitch and objection handling in the weeks prior to the show to master your pitch and build confidence.
2. Figure out Which of Your Target Accounts are Attending the Show and Book Meetings
This one may be easier said than done. My recommendation is to get creative. In the past, I’ve joined groups on social media, searched hashtags, tweeted companies and prospects, and followed on them social channels—starting my outreach at least a few weeks prior to he event has really helped to build the relationship by the time the show comes around.
This obviously can’t be done for thousands of accounts. Make sure your team has technology like predictive sales in place so you know you are spending your time prospecting in the right places.
Once you’ve booked those meetings, make sure you get in touch just prior to the conference. Get in touch via email or text (based on your relationship, discretion advised) before the show with your booth number or meeting location as a friendly reminder and to increase your attendance rate. Double check to make sure you have their cell phone numbers prior to the conference for meetings. Bad wifi can be daunting for confirming meetings.
** Pro Tip: Ask if you can text them the day-of as we’ve found that this is a prime communication channel at conferences **
3. Don’t Forget: Every Interaction Has Potential
Don’t blow off people that visit your booth just because they may not fit your ideal buyer persona. These interactions are not only a great chance to nail down your pitch, but this person you’re talking to could be your champion in the future or a great intro to the right contact at your target account. Don’t forget, conferences are great for your company and your personal brand. You never know who you will work with later on in life–start networking!
Enjoy yourself! Make sure to have time to visit other booths! Get some awesome swag and take up the chance to make more connections. Conferences should be a fun change of pace compared to day-to-day office work. Capitalize on all the show has to offer!