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Investing In Things Like Conferences, Bring the Energy

Last week, my company sponsored a conference for sales force productivity. As I went into it, I remembered running booths with Body Boss…

I forgot how much fun (and tiring) it was to work a conference, and how important it was for those working the booths and sessions to actively participate. Walking around many of the booths, many people sat behind their booths. Some, even, working on their laptops. Not very engaging.

Perhaps because my company is a startup that I was determined to get as many conversations and leads as possible. Sinking the investment that we did meant we needed a strong return. I felt that my company’s investment was my investment.

As attendees entered and exited sessions, and walked by our booth, I was right there in the middle of everyone engaging with just about everyone. One piece of schwag we gave out at the conference was a green “squishy” stress ball. I must’ve put these balls directly in the hands of 75 people while casually giving my 5-second pitch to see if they’d stop by. I even up put one ball directly in the chest coat pockets calling them “pocket spheres” – new fashion accessories. Hey, I got laughs, and I got serious interest from them.

Okay, maybe I had too much energy – ha! But you know what? I have a stack of qualified leads and ongoing conversations with 20 or so contacts, while no doubt raising a lot of awareness. If a few of these convert, our investment and our enthusiasm will have paid off well. Isn’t that the most important thing? To drive a return on an investment knowing you did all that you could? I made the experience more personal for attendees while adding some ridiculous humor into it. Like making cold calls – you need something to get the receiver hooked and engaged for that initial conversation.

If you’re going to work, enjoy it. If you want a conversation, start it. If you’re going to make an investment, give yourself every chance to succeed and the highest returns.

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