After two long years of being stuck at home with Zoom as our only way of meeting people, it’s so exciting that live events are returning. Research from TravelPerk shows that 88% of companies are getting back to planning and attending in-person events and that 79% of people are looking forward to being able to build meaningful connections in person once again. There is nothing like an in-person connection, and it’s an important component of your business success that shouldn’t be ignored.
In this article, we’ll explore the key benefits of attending live events and then look at how you make the most of the ones that you go to.
13 Benefits of Attending Live Events
1. It can dramatically increase your sales.
Going to live events is a great way to meet potential new clients who can either become customers themselves or refer you to a new business that you otherwise would not have had the opportunity to go after. There’s a certain magic that happens when you’re live in person, and as long as you’ve chosen the right events, these serendipitous connections can be wonderful selling opportunities. Be genuine, give first, and you’ll be surprised at what a physical presence at a live event can do for your sales.
2. It increases your access to new segments of customers.
A live event brings together a wide range of people who all have a common interest, but often come from different perspectives. This means that there is a big opportunity to engage with new segments of customers that you might not previously have considered. Perhaps your offering has wider value than you realize and a chance encounter with someone at an event can unlock entirely new revenue streams if you play your cards right.
3. You can create awareness about your brand.
Live events are fantastic ways to brand your company and show the world what you’re all about. Even without a booth, the way you handle yourself, the conversations you have, and the image you portray will go a long way to instilling a specific brand experience in the minds of people. As humans, we connect with stories, and live events give us the opportunity to tell our brand story in an authentic way which can then attract the right people into our ecosystem.
4. You can attract top talent.
Another thing that can happen at a live event is that you might just meet that one person who would be a perfect fit for your organization. Starting conversations with people and putting your name out there is a great way to attract top talent who might not necessarily be looking for a job at that moment. It’s all about building relationships and sharing your mission, which will attract the right people who want to be a part of that.
5. Revive existing relationships in your industry.
Live events tend to bring communities together, and it’s always a great way to reconnect with people in your industry whom you haven’t seen in a long while. This is especially true post-pandemic, and we’ve all been shut inside for so long. Use this as an excuse to get out and invest again in your existing relationships, and you might just be surprised at the opportunities that are unlocked because of it.
6. You can accelerate your learning and professional development.
Being in group situations where you can interact with different people creates lots of opportunities for you to learn. Just by tapping into different conversations and listening to different perspectives, you can hear some amazing ideas that can be implemented in your organization and in your professional life. It’s a safe space to explore new mindsets, new ways of thinking, and new technology, and all this can contribute to you taking the next step in your career and in your business growth.
7. Hear top thought leaders sharing what’s coming next.
Building on the point above, live events typically include professional lectures from key figures in the industry and you can leverage these to absorb new data and ideas that are relevant to you. This helps to keep you on the cutting edge of what’s going on so that you can adapt to changing circumstances within your industry. A live event could also be an opportunity for you to share your industry expertise as a speaker or panelist building your brand, credibility and access to new contacts.
8. Hone your communication and messaging.
As much as video conferencing has become our de facto communication method, face-to-face is still superior in so many ways. Our ability to read body language, tone, and energy goes a long way to understanding the subtext within conversations and this can make a big difference in how we engage with customers. Attending regular live events allows you to hone these skills and that can be a key differentiator between you and your competitors.
9. Breaking the office routine.
We all can get stuck in a rut if we have the same routine day in and day out for too long. Attending a live event is a great way to break out of that and replenish our energy and passion for what we do. It gets us up and on our feet, socially engaged, and away from our laptops. This change in setting and atmosphere can often spark new ideas, and new perspectives and this sets us up to go back to our business and make innovative changes to how we do things.
10. It opens up new networks.
For most live events, you’ll get access to an app, a portal, or a list of attendees that show you who is there to meet and interact with. This is invaluable as it gives you a warm introduction to meet anyone that you’d like in a way that is much more effective than a cold email. Take advantage of this and you can tap into an entire community that previously would not have been reachable.
11. Opportunistic meetings.
Getting a meeting in the calendar of a very busy person can be incredibly difficult, but at a live event, you can take your chances and leverage the in-person nature to meet with someone directly. You still need to be tactful and thoughtful, but often these opportunistic meetings are the ones that can get through the gatekeepers and move things along in an efficient way.
12. Open up more of your personality to key contacts.
A live event is often a more relaxed environment that allows you to share more of who you are as a person. Whether it’s over dinner, entertainment, exercise, or something else, the ability to share more of your human side goes a long way to growing stronger relationships. People tend to do business with those that they like and that’s where this can be so helpful. You’ll build more of a personal connection and they’ll be much more likely to remember you as a result.
13. You can leverage human touch.
We know this can sound strange, but there is something really powerful about being able to shake someone’s hand or give them a hug. This human touch can break down barriers between people in ways that simply can’t be accomplished via Zoom or email. It helps to build trust and connection, delivering better relationships that ultimately can move your company forward.
As you can see, there are lots of benefits to be had by attending live events and it just might be the thing that you need to do to take things to the next level. Don’t buy into the mindset that everything can happen remotely these days – doing things in person still is unmatched in terms of its serendipity, personal connection, and capacity for changing the course of your organization.
How Do You Make the Most Out of Live Events?
There is an art and a science to maximizing your impact at live events, as not all of them are created equal, and it’s often up to you to make the most out of them. Here are some principles to keep in mind to get the most bang for your buck:
- Select your events thoughtfully. Your time is valuable and so you want to be selective with the types of events that you attend. Pick those that are aligned with your business plan and that will expose you to meaningful and high-quality relationships. This doesn’t necessarily mean the biggest events out there, but rather the ones that can push you forward as a business.
- Prepare and plan early. Proper planning for an event can occur months ahead of time. Develop your email, Inmail and text content early so that you can send relevant communication at the optimum time to schedule meetings, dinners, or booth visits. Do your homework for each of the meetings in your calendar so that you can provide the most value to face-to-face contact. Establish clear goals for the event so that you can maximize the return on your investment.
- Be genuine and give value first. Too many people go into events with a selfish mindset, thinking about what they can get out of it. You’re much better off trying to be helpful to other people and giving value out without any expectation of having it returned. This authenticity is key to building real relationships and branding yourself as someone who wants to contribute, rather than just as someone who wants to take for themselves. Trust us, you’ll see the rewards as a result.
- Be proactive. Don’t be shy when you’re at an event. Everyone has tacitly accepted the social contract that it’s okay to be approached, just by the fact of being there. Make the most out of your time there by going first and introducing yourself to people in a friendly and open way. You’ve got to make things happen, they are not going to fall into your lap.
- Follow up. It can be exhilarating to make new connections at live events, but if it ends there, then you’re missing a big opportunity. After the event is over, take some time to draft thoughtful personal follow-up messages that can be sent to those people you met so that you can place yourself at the top of their minds and set the stage for continuing business in the future. Don’t make it generic though, be sure to inject those relevant anecdotes that showed how and why you valued meeting them.
Hopefully, you can see just how powerful live events can be if you go about them the right way. Here at The Renaissance Network, we’re so excited to be getting back into these, and we’re doing everything we can to maximize the potential for new opportunities. We’re attending Education and Technology events such as ISTE, FETC, ACTE, ASU GSV, and many more. And we’d love to see you there!
In the meantime, you can Contact TRN today to learn more about how we can help you to hire world-class talent that can take you to the next level.