11 Vital Tips for Preparing for Marketing Nation Summit and Doing It Right!
Before you head to Marketing Nation Summit 2017, think about the end result you’re looking for. Does that sound backwards? Focusing on your goals will help guide your approach to the Summit experience from the start. Everyone has their own guiding reasons to attend including:
Attending dozens of sessions led by Marketo professionals
Discovering solutions with other tools compatible with Marketo
Showcasing your expertise to potential new clients
Meeting a ton of new people and existing industry acquaintances
Enjoying the featured entertainers and speakers
And hey, bringing home some cool swag!
No matter what your goals are for Marketing Summit, we’ve got some tried-and-true tips for making the most of a conference.
3 Tips: Before You Go
The best way to get the most out of Marketo Summit is to first sit down and create a plan. Once you arrive, it’s truly a whirlwind, so think through the following to get yourself ready for all the action!
1) Review the schedule and territory.
Get to know the agenda
Use the Marketing Nation Summit Agenda to devise a plan specifically tailored to what you want to get out of Summit. First of all, don’t miss the keynote addresses. With new Marketo leadership and direction, you’ll want to be a part of any exciting introductions and announcements. And don’t miss out on the special guests. Queen Latifa and James Corden will offer great discussion ice breaker topics with new acquaintances – and maybe some good laughs!
When it comes to sessions, consider both the speaker and the subject matter. Choose topics that would be more interesting to learn about in person rather than a recording, and where discussions will take place. Also keep in mind any speakers you’d enjoy meeting or connecting with.
Get to know the territory
Become familiar with the layout of Moscone Center so you don’t get lost. Key to getting in to some sessions and getting a good seat is to know where you’re going and arrive on time. Grab a map at check-in and access a version on your phone to reference between events.
You’ll also want to get a layout of the Summit booth spaces. Find the ones you definitely want to visit, in case there’s not time to make it around to all of them. If you are networking, figure out where a couple quiet spaces are where you can have a great discussion with someone. Also key to the lay of the land is to know where the coffee spots and water stations are…which tend to run out later in the day.
2) Figure out who will be there.
The people in your sessions are as important as the sessions themselves. There’s no better time to network with your peers, connect with new prospects, or touch base with customers than at Marketing Summit.
Visit the social event pages set up for the event and note the Summit hashtag #MKTGNATION to share experiences and connect with like-minded Summit-goers. This is a great way to reach out to acquaintances and scope out people you’d like to meet.
However, don’t count on hoping to run into prospects at Summit. Instead, reach out to them ahead of time to let them know you’ll be there and see if there’s a way to meet up.
And don’t forget those you leave behind!
Though you may check your work email during the conference, responding quickly will be difficult and interrupted. Make sure prospects and customers know why they might not hear from you for a few days by setting up your out-of-office reply.
3) Pack the right stuff.
For Summit, you’ll need to be prepared for a few days of events where you’ll be booking long hours each day. To be best prepared for anything, make sure you’ve packed the right items:
Comfortable shoes. Don’t let your footwear hold you back. After standing/walking all day, you’ll still want to socialize the night away!
Chargers. You’ll be on your devices most of the day, so don’t get caught with dead batteries. Pack phone and device chargers!
Business cards. Make sure you have enough business cards on you and packed for all the people you’re going to meet.
Materials for prospects. If you’re able to have a prospect meeting that turns into a real sales opportunity, be ready to provide a walkthrough on the spot.
Couple snacks. If you are working at a booth or attending non-stop sessions, you will want to have a snack on-hand to keep the energy up.
5 Tips: While You’re There
Now that you made it to Summit, the next few days will be a whirlwind of activity. But have no fear…you’re armed with a goal and a plan — there are just a few additional things to keep in mind to help you make the most of your time.
1) Get an early start.
Don’t get stuck in the registration line while everyone else is off to the races. Get checked in if you’re staying, get registered as soon as possible, and use those maps to get your bearings on.
2) Divide and conquer.
If you’re attending with coworkers, divide up and attend a variety of sessions to increase the value to the company. Plan to get lunch or dinner each day to regroup on key takeaways, as well as schedule a mutual training session when you get back to the office.
Dividing up will also help you all meet and speak with more people. Discovering how your business fits into the larger industry and how other companies run their sales divisions are invaluable insights. Use Summit as an opportunity to pick the brains of your competition and figure out what the biggest needs are in your area of the market.
3) Connect with customers and prospects.
Enjoy your current customers
You may have reached out to your customers in the last couple months, but nothing beats the face-to-face interaction. Checking in will not only re-inforce your relationship — it’ll also be fun! Enjoy spending time with customers in a more laid back environment, share more about your company aspirations, and listen for upsell opportunities.
Shine for new prospects
Hopefully you’ve been able to set up meetings with prospects. Listen to their struggles and pain points, and demonstrate how your product/services can help address those issues and bring their business to the next level.
Don’t go into these meetings expecting to close deals on the spot. Like you, your prospects are attending this conference to learn and gain expertise. Use these conversations to set yourself up for future targeted conversations addressing specific challenges and possible solutions. Close each conversation with a list of key takeaways, and let prospects know you’ll be following up with relevant materials.
4) Participate in the larger conversation.
Again, use the Marketing Summit dedicated hashtag #MKTGNATION for properly tagging your tweets and Instagrams posts. Monitor other posts and join conversations to connect with people you might not have met in person yet.
5) Stay organized.
With all the information flying at you between sessions, speakers, one-on-one conversations, social events, and lunch breaks…you will have more notes, names, and details than you can possibly remember. This wealth of information could benefit you greatly going forward, but don’t save the organizing until after you get back. Do it as you go.
Whatever your preferred method, start from the beginning of your Summit experience. Write on the back of people’s business cards or digitally capture the cards and take notes in an app (such as FoxCard, CamCard, WorldCard Mobile). Include details about where you met and anything that will jog your memory a day or a week later about your conversation.
For session notes, you can organize in a binder by hand, or digitally by using an app (such as Notes, Evernote, ColorNote, OneNote). Whatever route you take, do not overestimate your memory as there will be so much to take in, and possible a couple cocktails involved.
3 Tips: Once You’re Home
Just when you thought you were done with Summit, your work will just be starting! The days and weeks to follow are when you’ll be able to put everything you’ve learned to use and turn your short meet-and-greets into fruitful business partnerships by executing on a few key steps.
1) Bring the relationships home.
All the people you met and information you gathered from customers and prospects needs to find a place to live and grow. Transfer the data into your CRM and note everything you can remember from your conversations.
2) Follow up with new prospects or partners.
Connecting with people you met during the conference is best done in the days immediately following your return. Send follow-up notes and LinkedIn requests while the conference is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Include a personalized message to accompany your request on LinkedIn. Remember, everyone’s inbox will be flooded, so make yourself memorable by reminding your new connection what you discussed.
Now is also the time to make use of the insights you gained from your prospects. Whether it’s sending them content or scheduling a demo, make use of what you learned from your one-on-ones to get them closer to signing on with your company. Make sure your follow-ups are appropriately tailored to what you discussed.
Don’t forget the discussions you had with fellow professionals who seemed like a great partnering opportunity. Bringing each other in partnered relationships or mutual recommendations is a great way to grow any business and to grow the networking tree. Reconnect with those businesses so they know you were serious about working together.
14) Teach your learnings.
The insights you gained at the conference are likely to be useful for your team, so make sure to set aside time to pass on what you learned. Whether it’s leading an in-person session or writing an email or post to document the most valuable information, proactively sharing your learnings will help your colleagues do better work while establishing you as a leader on your team.
Final Tip: Come Visit Us!
There’s no better place than Marketing Summit to connect with our fellow industry professionals and grow our knowledge. And I hope that includes you coming to visit me at the ShowMeLeads booth #E856!
Make the most of your time there, and have fun!