Now that conferences are happening again, there’s never been a better time for channel partners to gain opportunities for business growth.
More than a good cocktail party or mini-vacation, conferences are high-touch events that can provide strategic direction, open business-building opportunities, and add significant value and ROI to channel partnerships. Here are several ways channel partners can leverage conferences and other live events.
Pack Your Day
Treat each live event like a strategic partnership. This means carefully reviewing the schedule ahead of time, planning which sessions to attend, finding solution providers with whom to speak, and setting up meetings with key thought leaders via email.
Conferences can be overwhelming, if not outright exhausting. Stay engaged during the keynotes and executive briefings. Bring questions and suggestions to share since there are usually Q&A sessions after the presentations. People who ask questions at events are more likely to make strong connections afterward.
Maximize Every Minute
Your primary reason for attending conferences should be to build revenue. If you’re only going to “network” or have a good time, you’re wasting precious time and money. From travel expenses to registration fees, you’re paying good money and need to view it as an investment by leveraging every minute. If possible, stay off your device and focus on the conference’s key themes, trends, and insights. Take notes so you don’t lose those “aha” moments.
Set Specific Business Goals
To get the most out of your live event, clarify why you are attending. What areas of business growth do you want to achieve? Giving yourself a specific target, such as “meet 20 prospects” or “close five new deals” will help to keep you hyper-focused and attentive to larger business goals. While your primary aim is to grow your vendor’s products and services, you should always be on the lookout for individual business opportunities as an IT strategist.
Make the conference venue a part of your broader sales and revenue goals for the year. The event will become much more meaningful by finding deals you want to close and people with whom you want to close them. Conferences are fertile grounds for innovation, creativity, and open collaboration — so make the most of your time!
Showcase Your Products and Services
As a channel partner, you’re in a unique position to demonstrate the value of your vendor partnership by selling new products and services to prospective customers. Even if your product is in the early stages of development, live events are excellent opportunities to gain feedback and buy-in from potential customers. Gathering thoughtful advice from early adopters and IT solution providers will set your product apart in the marketplace.
Report on Your Experience
One of the biggest issues with conferences is that they offer a sort of “high” that unfortunately can lead to a letdown — usually near the last session. Writing about the event is one way to extend your energy and excitement. Tap into your vendor’s content team and request to write a blog on the conference; any business would likely be thrilled to post a firsthand account of your experience.
As people and IT leaders return to live events, channel partners have a unique opportunity to grow their businesses and extend their networks. Following these best practices will not only add tremendous value to the conference experience but will invigorate you to crush your strategic business goals.