Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Dos and Don'ts @Conferences

Conferences are a great way to do some networking, to gather new insight in a domain you're interested in and so on and so on. Recently I participated in one of the most acclaimed business conferences in BraČ™ov (and maybe even Romania) - Business Days, and during those 2 days I felt extreme disappointment and excitement,both of which led to this post. Let's start with the don'ts.

A more than appropriate example in this category would be a real-estate company's owner, who was a speaker at the conference and in his available 10 minutes he chose to "play a game" with the audience. He told us to give his team members one 10 lei bill, from our own wallets, in one minute, without asking any questions and other limitations. After the bills were collected he gave 4 rules in sales, one being ask the price of your product/service with courage (with which I do agree), and another would be to not let the customer to ask questions (yes, this did take place in the 21st century). Afterwards, he gave each audience member a printed out "infinite" bill (which supposed to represent the infinite amount of wealth you can gain)...and then...that was it. Me and some of the people I'd talked to were outraged, even more the next day when they announced that the "infinite" bill can be exchanged at their stand, where you had the possibility to reserve a patch of land (if you payed another 50 lei, of course).

Another do not example would be when speakers advertise their product/service or make everything they speak to you about their product.

But do not despair! There were conference/seminar/workshop speakers who did provide value or at least new information to their listeners, who answered their questions in a direct, concrete and applicable way, not just reciting theory megalomaniacally.

So the take aways from this experience can be applied in marketing in general as well:
1. ALWAYS provide VALUE, not only in your daily activities, but in situations, like conferences, where you indeed have the possibility to make your brand knowledgeable, but this part is done with the fact that beside your name there is the name of your firm written as well. The hard part is getting the audience interested enough to read what is next to your name, and that is easy only if you offer value.
 2. Do not be an upstart, nobody cares what you did or who you are, if you do not provide insight in your experience/expertise. If not they will forget about you the moment you walked out the room.
3. Do absolutely not try to scam people, because they will remember you and keep away from you. You might fool them once, but you won't fool them twice, and which is worse, you won't even get to fool their acquaintances, not even once.

So I guess, you have three choices, to fall into one of the extremes (to be hailed or to be scorned ) or to be just not worthy to remember. Which do you chose?

No comments: