Generating leads and making new connections are still paramount for getting more eyes on your product, service, or any other offering that you’re trying to promote. While there are countless opportunities online, and many that are valid in their own right, in-person networking is still one of the best ways to showcase a product, develop more personal relationships with potential customers, and allow everyone to get more hands-on experience and get to know you better. As you look to engage with your community, audience, and potential customers, here are a few reasons to consider going to in-person events for lead generation.
Connecting on a deeper level
Nothing beats face-to-face interaction. Emailing, video calls, and messaging are fine and all, but getting to see how someone works in-real time allows you to gauge their reactions, keep eye contact, control the conversation, and see if there’s any potential for a relationship, rather than the potential customer just humoring you. It’s like a dating site; being “pen pals” only goes so far, but getting out there and getting a drink will let you know if it’s worth pursuing or not.
Showcasing your products in the real world
Pictures, videos, and blogs can only go so far in explaining how your product works and why it’s the solution to their problems (we say as we’re writing a blog). But like any product, seeing it and playing with it in person is almost always going to be the best way to get a feel for something. Think of a laptop – it’s a big purchase, and watching videos or reading reviews will do a great job, but actually typing on it, seeing the screen, and getting an idea for weight will allow you to put all the pieces together. Do that for potential customers, and they’ll be closer to saying yes than no.
Networking & meeting people
Sales aside, growing your network organically will increase your overall reach. If you meet one person at a networking event and vibe, then you indirectly get to know their entire organization. You get to know their sales team, their marketing team, and other decision-makers. If you get along in-person, then it’ll be easier to follow up with them. Get personal, find common ground, talk about your passions & hobbies, and then use that as an intro when you follow up via email later on. Friends support friends, right?
Check out the competition
Let’s be real, you want to know what the competition is up to. If you’re selling an AI chatbot, then you want to know what other chatbots are capable of. If you’re a vendor at a conference, then make sure to not go alone. Let your colleague handle the booth for a while, and play the role of attendee for a bit. Ask questions of other vendors, learn from their marketing techniques, see what they’re offering, and use that as your own market research.
Establishing a presence
Not every event can be a home run. Startups, younger companies, and companies looking to make a presence in a different market from what they’re used to can all benefit from at least getting their name out there for recognition. If you’re at a convention and you’re competing against heavy hitters in your industry, it may be hard to stand out at first, but by making yourselves known, companies looking for something different may opt for something new, unique, and possibly more approachable than the usual companies they’re used to. Maybe I’m biased, but I like a local cafe more than a Starbucks.
Learning & workshops
Lastly, conferences and conventions are a great way to learn more about your respective industry through training, workshops, talks, and panels. It’s rare for an event to just be a convention floor now, so be sure to check out the schedule for anything relevant to you. While these may not be opportune networking times, they’ll be good sources of information to learn new skills from people who’ve already found success in the industry.
There you have it, six reasons why in-person events are still kind for lead generation. As the world recovers from the pandemic, more and more events are popping up, so there’s plenty out there to keep you busy.
If you’re interested in data science or artificial intelligence, with topics like how you can build automation in-house, find ready-to-use AI services, or connect with other organizations also implementing AI, then be sure to check out ODSC West 2023 in San Francisco this October 30th to November 2nd. At this event, you can attend the Ai x Summit, focused on business leaders and decision-makers like yourself, so you can learn how to use AI and get ahead of the competition.
Do you already have a product that you want to show off? Learn more about partnering with ODSC at ODSC West here and showcase your product in front of more than 5000 data scientists, other decision-makers, executives, AI evangelists, field marketing professionals, and more.