In this episode, we are discussing ways to leverage yourself while attending an in-person event, how to break the ice and engage with potential future clients without disrespecting the rules of the organizers, and how to create content through collaborations.
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3 Big Take Aways
- How to engage with your potential clients without disrupting the event
- How to geo-target people with Facebook ads during the event
- How to leverage events to create content through collaborations
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Melissa: It looks like Cathy is next.
Cathy: Yay. So my question is how you leverage yourself at live events that are not necessarily like not necessarily conferences.
So I'm, I will be at New York Comicon this weekend. And since my target market is writers with ADHD, we'll be out in droves. And it's always a big networking event for me, even though it's not explicitly a networking event.
I'm planning to print out some business cards with a QR code and doing a kind of like flash sale for my membership. Like it's closed, but it's, since you're here, you know, like only, only people who are at NYCC can join for the next however many days. So that's what would I have in mind, but this is my first con actually having a membership.
So I would love to hear from folks that there are other thoughts and ideas of how you, how you leverage that, whether it's like your online versus in-person presence, the kinds of things that you do in, in person.
Okay. So has anybody leveraged in-person events where you're not necessarily speaker or have a booth per se, but you're in the crowd and there's a similar audience in that crowd that is similar to what you want, but ethically you're gonna be bound by the rules of the conference.
You're not going to work, go around and, and directly solicit people. But how do you create awareness so that you can have people engage you in conversations? Hope I navigated that correctly. Does anybody have any opportunity? Yeah,
Shelly: The last conference I went to us like in-person was pre COVID and what I did or what actually happened is we went to like some lunches or dinners, like during the lunch break and dinner break. And that's so we bonded with people. So you kind of know whom you need to connect with later and whom you don't need to, so don't play, go and pitch there, but just get to know them a little bit.
So essentially you're kind of sorting them out. Yes, no, yes, no kind of a thing.
Paul: Okay, great. Right.
Melissa: And then Kiva.
Kiva: Hi. So my experience . Has Been if you go to some of the panels and workshops that are related to the content that you're interested in, and you answer questions or ask questions of the people up front, you come across as an authority as well, and people will seek you out afterwards.
Melissa: It's great.
Paul: Love that. Thank you.
Melissa: And then Patty
Patty: this isn't from personal experience, but what occurred to me is you could even have a button or something saying I'm a writer. Are you? And just so you can sell, start identifying who is and who isn't just get a conversation going.
Melissa: I love that too. And David
David: yeah, totally use social media.
And beyond it ahead of time, make sure you're using all the hashtags that everyone's using, interacting and reacting. I mean, go all in on it. You know, make sure there's images of you in social media so people can recognize you when you get there. You could create something interesting.
Whether it's something you're wearing, you could wear a t-shirt or some outfit that, you know, you can play around with that you could have come see me and I'm handing out stickers or something silly like that, but totally. Don't wait till the last minute to be on social, start doing it earlier. Make sure you're using the, the event. Hashtags.
Paul: Love it.
Melissa: Love it.
Paul: Love it. Thank you, David. And. Have we done this before?
Melissa: We have done this before.
Paul: So a years ago we had a different product called "Insta posts", and we knew that the majority of people that our conferences have a hard time networking. And they always think that everybody's in a clique and really what it is is everybody's around people that somehow they already met and that's their comfort zone.
So there's always that external perception. So we created t-shirts that Melissa had that had the logo on the sides. And do you remember this, Cathy? And but the front part had a very . Simple word on it. It was a two letter word.
It just said hi. And it broke the ice. So now I I'm more a gorilla marketer. So I would wear a shirt that would say like desperately seeking introverted writers. And I would walk around with that because it would make people laugh. They'd want to get a photo with it. You know, like I w I would make it Instagramable.
Like people would almost want to go out of their way. To, you know, they would self-identify and they would go over and like high five and say, that's me. Oh my gosh. You know, they would react. Like I would know the people immediately. We normally put a Facebook ad together on events like that, that are live events.
We normally drop a pin right over top of the convention center and serve an ad to people that are in that space during that period of time. So they ended up seeing a video from us in normally we'll shoot the video while we're there. So we'll go right. The registration, we'll put the video on and be like, Hey, it's Paul, it's Melissa.
And we're here at traffic and conversion. We're so excited that you're here. Make sure you come up and say hi to us. This is what we are. This is what we do. You know, if you see us in a hallway, you see someone on the breakouts, please come up.
We're very approachable. And then we send that as an ad, right over top of the conference center and with a pen drop so that everybody that's actually tending while we're there.
Well, actually go out of the way and say hi, and it works. Cause they get the ad, you know, when they're dosing out on what's going on, they look at their phone. Now the pre as was already mentioned, the pre that if you know, a hashtag for the, for the actual event itself, you just go on ahead of time and own that hashtag you know, in advance because everybody will be seeing you.
Now, if you remember, cause it, Cathy, I know you were at some of the events that we have been at. What do we do? A lot of, what do we seek out? Selfies, selfie, selfie, selfie, selfie, selfie, selfie, selfie, everybody, anybody, and everybody selfie, selfie, selfie. We're putting it right up on Instagram, tagging the event because what's going to happen.
Those people are going to follow us and, or comment on their photo during the event because they're in the photo too. Does that make sense? So if it's on Facebook, they're going to friend request. They're going to tag the photo. If it's on Instagram, they're going to comment about the photo also because they're in the photo.
So we leverage that by getting selfies with everybody. So we're very approachable. We grabbed selfies with everybody. Like, that's the goal? How many selfies can we get today? Yes.
Melissa: And the other thing I would say is that if you have the energy to, to hang out at the after hours, right.
Cause that's where really like all the conversations happen. So where people congregate, hanging out there. You know, have those conversations with people. So, you know, drink your coffee or your energy drink in the morning and just, and plan to just like, hang out and just maybe find an area where everyone's kind of hanging out and just start the conversations.
If you have people too, that are already like in your membership that you know, are going to be there, like you could even extend, say, Hey, I'm going to be here at this time. Like, let's like almost like a little informal kind of get together with them, but they'll come meet. You that'll create like a little crowd around you.
They might have a friend with them. And so that's where you get to meet more people. So it's kind of like, almost like your own little gathering. Two of you have members or friends and getting together and just bringing more people around to tickets.
Paul: Yeah. And we've done that before at live events, we'll do a member happy hour and it causes them to bring other people like themselves that they meet during that conference.
And it's like an indirect, you know recruiting and social proof because they're happy member. They'll bring other people over that our friends are there so that they just met. So it's, you always want to be respectful of the, you know, the, the event owner. And if they do allow certain things, there is a concept.
I think it's called backpacking an event where if it's allowed or it's not frowned upon, you could hold like a hospitality suite. That's the writer's lounge and you can open it up, you know, after the conference closes each day and openly invite on all the social channels. Hey, if you're a writer, you know, we're all meeting together to network and to share ideas and to brainstorm and get to know one another.
If you want information, just hit me up. It's a private invite, so I'll give you the suite number and then you just open up the room, have light refreshments in there, and everybody just hangs out and chills and, and talks in networks during it. That takes a little bit more coordinated effort.
Melissa: Yeah. Or even to like, if, if you wouldn't, if it's coming up, you could even just like, we're going to meet here for like, at this place here at this time, if it's not like a restaurant or something like that to hang out. So that's near the center.
Paul: what I'm telling you is the pre engagement.
I think David said it, but it's the pre engagement. It's more important than anything it's like, because then you have people that'll go out of their way to find you. Is if you don't wait until, cause if you notice, if you ever go to any type of conference or event, you can see the people that are in the suits that are like, they're, they're the big money people.
They already have meetings lined up. They're like back to back, back to back, back to back, they're already scheduled meetings. Now they didn't wait for the event. They leverage the event.
Now I'm going to give you one last thing. I know it's not something that you thought about. When we go to events, when you have a membership, you might als o need content in the future.
This is a great opportunity to do collaborations, reach out to other influencers that are going to the event as well and say, Hey, would you like to sit in, I'm going to do an on the spot podcast, or I'd love to record maybe you do a teachable in our something where you can leverage the opportunity where all these people converging for the same reason, the same time, the same space that you could line up opportunities to record and capture content that could be a value for your members.
That's when you're really thinking out the extra opportunity that you have because you went to that event because other people that you normally don't have access to face-to-face, you know, would be there.
Melissa: Awesome. Well, keep us posted on how the event goes. I'm going to follow your social channels
Cathy: Thanks so much. That was so helpful. I pen fast enough to keep up. Thank you all so much.