Have you ever considered a Return On Investment when attending a conference? Or even before subscribing to one? No? Then you should start right away. Why? Because when you go to a conference (or any other major event), you invest important resources: your time and your money. So wouldn’t you like to benefit from a return on that investment?
But how to do it? Here are the four key steps to evaluating your ROI from attending an event.
Calculate costs versus benefits: First you need to get a pretty clear idea of what you actually invest. You may think chiefly of items such as registration fee, transportation and accommodation. Right? It’s a good start, but that is not all you should consider.
Think also about preparation costs. And we are not talking about which shirts to pack (though this is very important, too). You need to prepare a presentation on your business, get those professional looking business cards, know with whom you should be meeting, what to talk about, and how to approach potential clients and partners that will attend that conference.
Take a moment and estimate the financial value of your desired outcome, be it a contract, a strong and promising relationship or just a wider network. What financial value would you attribute to it?
Finally, compare these costs to the value added by the actual meetings (scheduled or spontaneous): new contacts, new business perspectives and basically by all the benefits above. This will be the measure of your success, and based on this you can decide whether the event truly served your purpose. To give you a visual, below is a representation of how to calculate your attendance costs.
Target: Plan out which people you want to meet. Consider speakers, too, as they are usually leaders in their domains and having them as contacts could be an important image enhancement for you, not to mention a priceless intel resource.
Interact: Invest time and energy in talking to the right people. But most of all, listen to them. Learn what their goals are and offer them useful information. For this, you first need to be introduced to them. That may feel scary, sending you right back to high school memories and the ordeal of getting noticed and becoming more popular. The good news is that you can skip the awkward moment. Contact the people you targeted in advance and set meetings with them. Learn essential information about their business. This way, you’ve already broken the barrier and you can focus on how to build a business relationship.
Follow up, or the “after party”: Those new contacts are precious, so make sure you keep in touch. Add them to the social networks you are using. Note important details from your conversations; send them links or information they might find useful. Keep your promises to them, if you made any. Put reminders in your agenda to contact them again.
MeetPrep is a personal attendee assistant that saves valuable time and resources when preparing for any major business event. Promoting your participation, inviting people to meet you and equipping you with the right intel are the key pre-event tasks we take off your plate to increase your ROI.