Be Prepared to Attend Industry Conferences

AUG 29, 2014 3:00pm ET

When it comes to conference marketing and networking, preparation is critical to your success at the trade show. Here's what you need to do right now:

1. Check your marketing materialsAre your brochures, exhibit booth, business cards, website and meeting room signage up to date and looking sharp? Or do they inadvertently encourage prospects to seek help from your competitors?

2. Announce your big news. Have you launched a new product or service, or perhaps landed a big deal? If so, conferences are an ideal time to make announcements via a press release and marketing materials.

3. Reach out to prospects. Create a strategic email, print and/or calling campaign to reach your hot targets. Make sure that every outreach is professional and puts your company in the best possible light. A poorly designed email or postcard, or a call from an amateur with a bad script, will only tarnish your company's image.

4. Trinkets — to give or not to give? When pondering what to do, consider who will end up using your trinket. Is it your prospect's wife, child or dog? If there is a high likelihood of that, skip the giveaway item and put those funds to better use. (Most trinkets inevitably fall under this category, by the way.)

5. Book a hotel suite. If you are looking to promote your business, you will most likely need a private area to meet with prospects even if you have an exhibit space. A suite at the main conference hotel is ideal, but if one is not available at this stage, then your best bet may be a suite at a nearby hotel or a meeting room by the exhibit hall.

6. And the basics. If you have not done so already, register for the conference, book a hotel room, and reserve your exhibit space if you plan to exhibit. The earlier you do this, the better.

Rosalie Berg is the president of Strategic Vantage, a public relations and marketing agency serving lenders, servicers, vendors and technology providers in the real estate finance industries.. Rosalie can be reached at Info@StrategicVantage.com or (305) 971-5352.

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