Research techniques to help marketers discover the perfect event opportunities for themselves, their organization, and their clients.
No matter the industry, events ( conferences, expos, whatever you want to call them) are an unfading avenue which provide one of a kind networking opportunities. Additionally, you can seize the chance to get your product or service in front of influencers, peers, accomplished individuals and, most importantly, potential customers! However, taking the time to dig through the internet to discover events relevant to your business or client is something that no one is jumping up and down about. You may ask, “Where do I start?” If this is the case, don’t fret. I’ve sacrificed my own eyes in front of a computer screen to make your life easier. Below are a few simple ideas that will jump-start your research and help you make the most of your hunting and gathering.
Start Big, Finish Small
Keywords are important for any type of research, and this situation is no different. For example, if you are looking for events pertaining to the marketing industry, you would want to start with the obvious search terms, such as “marketing events” or “advertising conferences.” Although these types of searches will yield some decent results at first, it’s important to dive deeper and narrow your criteria, (i.e., “content marketing expo,” “digital media industry events,” or “mobile marketing summit.”) Write down the words that best describe what you are looking for and don’t be afraid to expand your horizons. Also, make sure to combine these words with synonyms of “event” such as conference, expo, summit, seminar, forum, convention, etc. You should take into account your ideal geographic location as well and include this in some of your search phrases.
What’s Yours Is Mine
Use other references and sources of information to gather leads on events that could be of interest. Visit websites and locate publications that focus on the subject matter at hand to find out if there is a list of upcoming event dates or something of the sort. Unfortunately, there is no one source that will list every get-together, but if you are able to pull together several of these types of lists, they will definitely lead you in the right direction. Furthermore, use any past research you have conducted and ask colleagues for useful knowledge in order to cross-reference with your current goals. Startup-focused events can be just as beneficial as digital marketing events in terms of networking and acquiring new business leads, so make sure to keep an open mind and collaborate.
Keep Calm and Get Organized
Stay consistent in the way you organize information and make sure to gather specifics when you land on an event page. Nothing is worse than coming across an attractive opportunity only to get caught up in something else and forget what you stumbled upon. Information such as dates, deadlines, locations, links, prices, descriptions, contacts, and any other miscellaneous notes are all critical when it comes time to decipher the good from the bad.
Are We There Yet?
Limiting yourself is the last thing you should do when trying to find opportunities for exposure, so it’s best to possess plenty of options. In deciding a course of action, think about whether you want to send in a speaking submission, create an exhibit, apply to become a sponsor, or simply attend and network. It’s important to have a general idea of your end goal throughout your research. Once you are satisfied with the number of possibilities at hand, you can then compare and contrast your choices — the most satisfying part of this process.
But the work is far from done. When analyzing your options, you must be able to answer these three questions:
1) What events are most relevant to your business and its goals?
2) How will you gain exposure in these settings?
And, 3) What do you need to accomplish beforehand?