Before you grab that overpriced water bottle at the airport on your way to a conference, answer this question: Do you know how to generate leads at events? You might think you do. After all, you’re a pro at networking. That might net you a fistful of business cards and new contacts, but it’s not the most efficient use of your time.
When It Comes to Event Lead Generation,
Speaking > Attending
Leading a session or giving a presentation accomplishes every step you need to complete to generate leads through events. When you talk to an audience, you:
- Showcase your authority
- Establish trust
- Create an ideal world for your listeners
- Leave a positive impression
- Prove you have solutions
- Call the audience to action
It will take effort, but your work will pay off when you see the volume of people who reach out after you give a dynamic presentation.
Emphasis on dynamic.
If you don’t captivate your audience, you don’t pass go. You won’t collect new leads. Before you howl that this is another complication and throw your hands up in surrender, wait.
You already have everything you need to pull together a presentation your audience finds valuable. You’ll start by assessing your target market.
How to Generate Leads at Events: 3 Simple Steps
- Find a topic using your target market
Don’t be a victim to voices in your head like What on earth will I talk about? I don’t have enough to say and will come across as foolish. Your target market and their problems are all the ammunition you need to give a talk that generates leads.
Double-check you have the right B2B target market
This sounds basic. Because it is. But people choose the wrong B2B target market all the time. Then they wonder why they aren’t getting leads.
Pick a problem with urgency
You need to draw people to your presentation, and the easiest way to fill seats is to center your topic on an issue people are experiencing right this minute. Using a framework from our Get to Yes! Faster sales training, we’d define it as having scope, severity, and value. A problem that’s widespread, acute, and worth solving.
- Make people feel the problem – then give them the tools to solve it
You have a real problem that your target market is experiencing. They want to solve it. That’s not enough.
Think of all the work-related headaches you’d like to fix in any given day or week. You’re competing for attention with dozens of other complaints.
Connecting on an emotional level automatically engages your target market. It’s an opportunity to show you understand what they’re experiencing. You stop being someone peddling a product and become a person. You break through the noise.
Really agitate it in your talk without going overboard. You aren’t acting out a Greek tragedy on that presenter’s stage. Devote a few sentences to it, or maybe a short client anecdote. Then pivot. Express empathy for their situation, and start to show how they can fix it.
People don’t want to hear about how great you and your services are. They want to know what your services will do for them to solve that frustrating problem they’re grappling with right now.
This applies to:
- End your presentation and start a conversation with 2 calls to action
If you’ve heard me talk about writing emails, you know I always say you should only give people 1 call to action. That’s not the case when you’re presenting. You’ll give 2 calls to action.
- One is for people who are interested in what you’re saying, but aren’t ready to sign their names on a
contract with you.
- The other targets the group that’s ready to commit, now.
We’ll call the 2 groups casual and committed.
Some people in your audience will know who you are. Many won’t. And they won’t be ready to engage with you. No matter how fabulous your talk is, they aren’t going to set up a meeting or book a consultation. They need more time to get to know you. Give this group at least one option that lets them explore your solutions and gives you a way to gather their contact information. This could be a:
- Resource, like a guide, checklist, or ebook
- Recording of a previous webinar or event you spoke at
- Free offer, such as an assessment
Something they’ll linger over and want more of. Showcase the value you bring to relationships with clients. Add a link to book a meeting with you in resources, but don’t leave it up to your prospect to reach out. Follow up with each lead. Start conversations.
Other people in your audience will be ready to get started, immediately. Probably because they:
- Knew about you and your company before attending the event
- Desperately need a solution
Give them a way to book a meeting with you, like through a Calendly link. Share your email address. Tell them where on your website they can go to set up a time to talk. Give them your phone number.
Whenever I give a webinar or speak at an event, I give the audience multiple ways to follow up. At least one is for people who want to casually learn more about KLA Group. The other is for people who are ready to commit.
You can see how I do it at OutBound 2021. You can also see how 20 other speakers do it and imitate our approaches. Get your ticket to OutBound and attend virtually. (Use Kendra100 to get a discount too!)
And, plan to attend one of our Coffee with Kendra webinars – see what’s up next here.
Watching how others use calls to actions in different styles of presentations will show you techniques you can use to present and adapt your own.
How to Generate Leads at Events When You Aren’t Speaking
Don’t passively wait for leads to roll in after you speak. Come out from behind the potted palm and say hello. Engage with people. You never know where a conversation will lead.
- Network with other speakers.
- Get to know everyone at your lunch table.
- Spend a coffee break together.
- Make small talk around you at the lunch buffet.
- Attend all the after-hour events.
- Introduce yourself to your seatmates in sessions.
- Ask questions during workshops.
- Take some selfies with new people to post on social media.
- Volunteer to be the group spokesperson during session exercises.
- Invite people to your presentation.
Be sure to swap business cards and share mobile contacts so you can connect on LinkedIn and continue the conversation after the event.
You may not be at a point in your career where you’re regularly invited to speak at events. There are still ways to generate leads and work your way toward being a thought leader who is invited to speak.
- Contribute articles to industry publications
- Comment on thought leaders’ posts on LinkedIn
- Appear as a guest on relevant podcasts
- Host webinars
Early in my career, you wouldn’t spot me anywhere near apresenter’s stage. I’d be sitting in my hotel room or awkwardly standing behind a potted plant. This behavior wasn’t helping my career, and I forced myself to
change how I approached events. Along the way, experts and peers provided advice.
Speaking at events can transform your business too. You don’t have to juggle all the moving pieces on your own. Leverage our do-it-for-you lead generation solutions to:
- Maintain your public profile as a thought leader
- Invite clients, prospects, and new lists to your talks
- Reuse the material you created after the event
We can’t stop you from spending too much on snacks at the airport, but let’s
meet. We can talk about how your expertise, paired with our fully managed lead generation strategies, can take your business to new heights.