by Ashley Wilson

Smart businesses know that they have to take the most advantage they can when those real lead building opportunities come in. As far as lead building opportunities go, live events are some of the most valuable. The face-to-face interaction is one of the best ways to make sure you build a real connection to your customer. Your calendar should be full of speaking opportunities, conferences, and trade shows. Whether you’re launching a product or just touching base, these can be vital for enhancing your brand to new levels. But you need just the right ingredients to make that happen.


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First impressions count for a lot at any live event. When you’re face-to-face with people, a lot of that impression is going to be down to the aesthetic appeal. Dressing well and using tools like branded name tags are enough if it’s a networking event. Personal appearance takes a back seat to brand appearance if it’s a larger event like a conference or a trade show, however. That’s when you need a real booth. Size matters as far as booths go, but so does location. You want to try make sure that you’re situated in a place that’s just ripe for lots of foot traffic. This might mean focusing near the entrance or beside one of the more publicly prestigious attendants at the event.


Making an impression is all well and good, but even more important is ensuring that the impression is going to last longer than the event. People might seem all kinds of interested when talking to you, but you don’t know how long they’ll remember you. That’s why it’s important to give them an added reason to keep you in mind. Follow-up emails with those you exchange addresses with is a good way to add a little attention after a show. If you really want your brand to stay fresh in their mind, however, then you need to consider something a little more permanent and tangible. Swag, like notepads and USB pens from places like Lanyards USA, give you the opportunity to do that. Choose swag they’re going to have reason to use and look at in future to burrow your brand deep into their memory.


Of course, you need people there. The right people to make the right conversations and drive both sales and added publicity. We’re not just talking about bringing the best salesmen and friendliest faces amongst your team. We’re talking about devotedly going after your target demographic before and after the event. Make sure you have a full-fledged marketing campaign convincing interested people, like your social media followers, to attend the event. You can sweeten the deal by highlighting some live event exclusive deals. Even if they’re existing customers, it’s good to invite people who are going to be definitely attending your booth. Build some buzz around your presence and more are sure to follow it.

You need to make an impact and you need it to last. Build up with the right people, impress with the right display, and keep them coming back with the right swag.

Ashley Wilson is the Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer, as well as the latest addition to the Zenruption team. This INTJ has made her home in Boise, ID, New Delhi, India, Los Angeles, CA, Dallas, TX and, most recently, Portland, OR. An infovore and passionate in her quest to understand the world and all who inhabit it, she can usually be found engaging in heated political debates, listening to TED talks, quoting Christopher Hitchens, checking out the latest Wikileaks release or watching C-SPAN with her favorite feline, Molly. Say hello on Facebook and Twitter!