The purpose of a sales conference is to convert people into customers by educating them on all the benefits that your product/service offers. A well prepared and well-delivered conference can be very profitable. A badly prepared and badly delivered conference could have the opposite effect.
To make sure that your conference is roaring success and not a flop, here are ten tips to follow.
Select A Memorable Venue
You can host a conference anywhere – and yet most people choose boring conference halls in community centers. Choosing a unique venue could help to make your conference more interesting – helping to attract people and helping to make the event more memorable afterward. Even if they don’t convert to customers there and then, you attendees may think back to the event at a later date and reconsider signing up to your product or service.
You’ll likely need access to electricity, which could be something to think about in an old building or when hosting an outdoor conference (the weather can also be an issue with these – although you can always hire a marquee). Renting a generator could be a way around this. Hotels, bars, and restaurants meanwhile can sometimes have conference spaces and could allow you to provide food and drink to your guests.
Send Out Personalized Invites
You may be able to get people to sign up to your conference by advertising the event on your site or by using flyers and social media ads. However, the most effective way to get people to come is to invite people personally. This could be via email or it could be a physical invitation that you send to their address in the post. By specifically targeting specific companies and individuals, you’ll make it feel like an exclusive event to which they’ve been honored the privilege of attending (even if in truth anyone can sign up to it).
Offer Exclusive Promotions
When encouraging people to go to your conference, offering an exclusive discount to all those that attend could be a great incentive. Many people interested in your service who are looking to save money will be more inclined to come along. Just make sure that you’re still making a profit off of these customers.
Allow Time to Mingle
Many people attend conferences as an opportunity to network. You too could benefit from this by being able to build contacts.
Before the conference begins, allow some time for everyone to mingle. You could provide a table with free food and drink on it – this could include anything from coffee and cookies to champagne and canapes (dependant on the people attending). You can then invite people to sit down and start the conference – even people don’t commit to buying your product, they may still value the experience and be more willing to recommend you to associates.
Demo Your Product
A sales conference can be a great chance to demonstrate your product. This can show that you have trust in your product.
This may not be possible with all products, but with software and tools, it can be a useful way of winning people over. Even if you’re not able to demonstrate the product in person, you may be able to create a walkthrough video to play at the event on a screen.
Avoid Death By PowerPoint
PowerPoint presentations can be a great visual aid for spicing up the content of your conference – but avoiding boring people to death with fifty slides of text and stock images. There’s no reason to use more than twelve slides. These slides should also be reserved for graphs and useful visual aids.
It’s worth also noting that Microsoft PowerPoint isn’t the only presentation software out there. Using other software could allow you to gain access to lots of smart templates that could make your presentation feel more unique and state-of-the-art. Shop around online and see what you can find.
Work On Your Stage Presence
You don’t want to spend the whole conference standing still and reading off notes. Connecting with your audience will help them to trust you and your product – this means keeping eye contact, using enthusiastic hand gestures and interacting with the audience.
This can be a skill that some people may feel they don’t possess. Hiring a salesperson to lead your conference could be a way of dealing with this. Alternatively, you could get some lessons in public speaking.
Allow Enough Time to Answer Questions
Your attendees are likely to have questions regarding your product/services. Make sure that you leave enough time at the end of your conference to go over these questions. Keep at least an hour free afterward – Q&As can often run on for a while.
Get Your Facts And Figures Right
In order to trust you, you also need to know your product inside out. This means having a thorough knowledge of all the facts and figures.
Make sure to do your homework well in advance so that can memorize all the essential facts and figures. If you really struggle to remember certain figures, you can always scribble down some notes to refer to in case you need them. This could be especially useful during the Q&A when people ask for specific facts and figures that you may not feel are worth mentioning during the main part of your conference. Always be honest – admit if you don’t have an answer and tell them you’ll get back to them.
Keep In Touch With Those That Attend
After the conference, it could be worth chasing people up that attended and didn’t purchase your product/service. This could be another chance to convert them into customers. You could also use it as a chance to gather feedback and improve future conferences.