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Six Tips for Success at the OSAE 2018 Annual Conference

How to garner the most attention from your exhibit dollars

Conferences are prime locations for exhibitors to gain leads and increase business. Although driving traffic to an exhibit is part of the equation, simply getting bodies to attend is not the pinnacle of a successful conference experience for an exhibitor.

Vendors often use tactics such as drawings for giveaways, competitions, or other methods of reeling people in. These tend to be followed by a hard sell approach, which is likely to be a turn off for people. Exhibitors would be smart to be more strategic and purposeful in their actions to generate legitimate business leads, and come away from conferences with successful return on their investment.

Here are 6 tips for successful lead development at this year’s OSAE 2018 Annual Conference:

  1. Preparation is the first step. Make use of technology prior to the event by using the OSAE event app to establish the company profile and logo. Also, have your organization’s representatives add profile details and a picture in the app.  This will help attendees know who to look for. This sets up the exhibit as a known quantity and provides a level of familiarity that is appealingHELP setting up your exhibitor profile.  Your Exhibitor portal can be accessed here:
  2. Send out invitations to current and prospective clients. This can be as simple as an email to a contact within the organization or an in-app connection request, alerting him or her to your anticipated presence at the conference. Do your homework! Look-up attendees via the conference app. Are there potential clients who you know are looking for a service or product that you can provide? Add these to your invite list. Keep the invite simple, friendly, and direct; you can also suggest setting up a time to meet while at the conference for prospective clients.
  3. Consider setting up a happy hour or VIP dinner, including current clients and colleagues and prospective leads. Conferences can be long and tiring; give people a chance to relax and unwind a little in a more social setting. Conversations between and with current and prospective clients can be a valuable tool to driving business; according to a study done by WOMMA, word of mouth is the most effective form of “social media” advertising.

  4. Make strategic use of the OSAE app while at the event. Lead retrieval tools are neat but only useful if you use them.  Do the legwork ahead of time. Search the directory for your prime targets at the event and add them to your priority contact list.  Then, as you engage with each contact, use the lead tool to capture their info. This will help you determine your ROI for the conference as well by keeping track of prospective targets as well as captured leads. Go to FAQ and select “How do I capture a Lead in the app?” for more details.

  5. Have fun – play the game. Most conferences offer a game that includes exhibitors in an effort to increase networking! Make sure you participate in the Famous Pairs game with attendees at the Annual Conference this year.  A great opportunity to meet new prospects.  Interact with prospects via technology as well as face to face for a more robust experience.

  6. Offer freebies, but of the useful variety: free demos. Swag is fun and can be a good way to draw people to your exhibit as long as it is purposeful. However, a demo of your product or service is an even better idea. Most people want to experiment with products or technology before making a decision. Exhibitors who offer free hands-on demos can see greater success in gaining new business leads.

With these tips in hand, exhibitors can ramp up their conference experience and make the most of their investment.

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