Getting the most from industry events!

March 4, 2024

We love an event in insurance – conventions, lunches, awards and sporting activities like golf days – there’s plenty to choose from. While these are all good fun, it’s important that both as an exhibitor/host or attendee you get your value from participating because being part of events not only costs money but uses up your valuable time.


So, whether you are an organiser, participant or attendee, keep reading this blog for some great tips on getting the most out of industry events.


For exhibitors 

Preparing for the upcoming Steadfast Convention, or any other insurance event, you must set some goals for a return on investment and tailor your engagement to help you stand out and connect effectively with your audience.


1. Know what you want to get from your participation

Like most other things in business, set realistic goals and know how to measure them. Brand awareness is often a key goal and while it’s highly important that target audiences know who you are, you should want more from an event investment. For example, how many quality connections and real leads will you create? What’s the likelihood of turning leads into clients? How much is each client worth? In what timeframe is a return on investment reasonable?


Remember, when you are setting goals, and calculating your investment in an event you need to include employee time. The time employees are spending on setting up and participating in an event is time they are not working on other business development opportunities.


2. Utilise Event-Specific Features and Technologies

Many conventions incorporate specific themes, technologies, and features unique to its setting and audience. Familiarise yourself with these aspects well in advance. For instance, if the conference theme is “innovation”, ensure your stand, workshop or demonstrations highlight the innovative aspects of your product or service.


Getting familiar with and using the event app is also a must! Use it to promote your business and participation in the event, to connect with target attendees, to schedule meetings or to send notifications to attendees about special events at your stand.


3. Network and Collaborate

Events are an excellent opportunity for networking, not just with potential clients but also with peers and industry leaders. Prior to the convention, reach out to others to discuss potential collaborations. This could be in the form of shared events, social media shoutouts, or even bundling offers that benefit attendees visiting both stands.


Networking opportunities can also lead to partnerships beyond the event, so engage in these. Don’t stand around with the people you already know but get them to introduce you to their contacts.


4. Follow Up Post-Event

Engagement with your target audience mustn’t end when the convention or event does. Compile the leads and contacts made during the event and plan a structured follow-up strategy. This could involve personalised emails, special offers for convention attendees, or invitations to exclusive post-convention events.


For delegates/participants

Events offer a prime opportunity to network, discover new products or services, and potentially find your next job.


1. Plan your Attendance

Just like you might plan your outfit for the Gala Ball or the networking golf event, before any event, do some research and plan your attendance. Find out who are the hosts, speakers, exhibitors or other guests. Particularly, review the list of speakers or exhibitors and identify those that align with your professional interests or could offer solutions to specific challenges you face.
Many larger conventions provide a map or app with booth locations and exhibitor details, allowing you to plan an efficient route. Set up meetings in advance, and don’t forget to check out new exhibitors.


2. Know what you want to know

To make the most of your interactions, think about questions in advance. Ask your team about the challenges they need to be addressed. This helps you gather information that is relevant to your needs and business. Questions could range from asking about the latest trends in the industry, specific functionalities of a product or service, to how their offerings can address the issues you’re facing.


“Getting the most from any event – whether as host, exhibitor, sponsor, attendee – should be considered as part of your marketing, business development and professional growth activities. The time and money attributed to event participation should be seen as an investment. For that to happen, set your goals and take specific action.”

Caroline, CEO, We Are Savvy

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