We attend business events all the time: networking do’s, seminars, conferences, trade shows and so on. But how do we know whether it was worth it or not? Naturally if we went to learn something new the value comes from the quality of the new material but if we didn’t how else can we measure value?
I mean sure, we might emerge with a new client or a piece of work in much the same way that we might emerge on the arm of Pierce Brosnan or Katy Perry. Possible but unlikely.
Here are the 7 tangible benefits you can get from an event each of which are easy to measure; you got them or you didn’t: -
- New contact: you made contact with a new potential client or intermediary and secured their contact details and preferably agreed a next contact.
- Informal meeting: with somebody you have been communicating with via the telephone, email or social media. It might just be a DBC (Drop By Coffee) but it’s also a step forward.
- Formal meeting: repeated DBC’s does not constitute progress. At some point you must arrange to meet at your or their offices and talk turkey – get to know more about them and tell them more about you heading towards doing some business.
- Latch-key opportunity: you are promised the opportunity to deliver a latch-key offering.
- Referral: somebody says “You must meet so and so. Give me a call over the next couple of days and I will make it happen”. Fine but make sure you get the introducer’s contact details and a semi-appointment to speak with them.
- Opportunity for work: that means they explicitly say they have some work for you or you can bid for some work, either is fine. Agree when you can get the instructions and make sure they know you’ll be following it up.
- Showcasing opportunity: you are offered the chance to write for a magazine or blog your prospective clients read or to speak at an event that they might attend. A vague promise doesn’t count – follow up action must be agreed.
So come away empty-handed and most likely the event was a waste of time.
Don’t get fooled by the old “you have to be seen at these kind of things” or “I was building my profile” and certainly not that tired old “I got loads of useful information”. Meh!
Meet new prospects or advance existing prospects or stay at home with the family – a much more worthwhile use of your time.
Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net