Business Travel: Triaging Marketing Events to Your Advantage

When you sign up for an SEO and marketing event, you write the check and make your travel arrangements, but you can’t expect to sit through it and wait for the genius advice to fall into your lap.  It’s true, you’ve got to look at the events you plan to attend as investments–investments in time and money–but you’ve also got to prepare to make the most of the events you attend even if it’s just one a year.  By following these tips, you can ensure that the experience wasn’t just a break from the office and that you fully incorporate any gained knowledge and exposure into your business.

What Can This Event Do for You?

Signing up for an event means you’ll have to put your current workload on hold; it always seems to disrupt your schedule so it’s important to make sure that it is worth your time to attend.  Of course, with good preparation, event participation, and thorough follow-up, it often is well worth the time, effort, and expense to attend these events that can impact your business in many transformative ways.  Of course, not all events are created equal so you’ll need to carefully assess which ones can benefit you best.  One show may offer great networking possibilities while another offers an excellent training opportunity; on the other hand, there may be one that offers both.  Chances are you can’t attend them all, so consider only those that have the most to offer and are the best value for your money as well as your time.

business travel

What Should You Get Out of an SEO or Marketing Event?

Today’s businesses have all sorts of savvy alternatives to underscore their marketing initiatives.  Working, for instance, with online marketing agencies like Yodle means you might have to show up less at trade shows than ever before.  Yet just because your online marketing campaign and direct marketing lists are doing well doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attend events.  On the contrary, you can get a lot out of the trade show experience or the marketing event you plan to attend.  According to an article in Tradeshow News Network, trade show attendees are still able to find out considerable information that they can’t from the internet alone.  Perhaps it’s a technology-related demonstration or a workshop experience, but there are elements that make it worthwhile to attend.

Some of the things you can and should expect to gain from attending a marketing event relate to networking.  Not only will you meet your peers face to face, but you have considerable potential to meet potential clients and customers.  While email lists are essential in today’s digital climate, that face-to-face interaction is also immensely effective.  Of course, while you drum up new clientele, you can also get other important things from the event.  A great speaker may inspire you to revamp your entire marketing department for a successful outcome.  Viewing your competitor’s display may give you a new perspective into your own products and services.  How much value do you place on these elements?  In some cases, what you get out of an event is far beyond the cost of an airplane ticket.

Choosing an Event to Attend

When considering the events most worthy of attendance, find out the takeaways associated with each one.  Do they support your primary goals?  Is it worth your time to fly all the way across the country to hear a speaker or would it be more cost-effective and business-savvy to attend an event nearby that offers greater exposure to potential clients?  Moreover, is your motivation to attend that Vegas conference entirely business-related or are you hoping to enjoy just a bit of extracurricular fun?  Most executives can’t attend every show they want to so it takes some careful research and consideration to determine the best of the bunch.  Who knows–that Vegas show may, indeed, be the most business-savvy event to attend after all!

Careful Preparation and Good Follow-Up

You’ll enhance your participation at an event by prepping well for it and following up with your networking circle afterward.  It often happens that event attendance is a valuable experience, but you can add to that value by preparing adequately for it and by following up through discussion with your own staff, continued networking, or simply employing some of the ideas you brought back with you.  You have to make the most of the experience, but when you do, you capitalize on your investment and you demonstrate to yourself and company how important attendance at these events can be.

Eric Bryant is a business owner who travels quite a bit. When he is not on the road, he is busy blogging about business and marketing on the Web.

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