When existing and potential clients attend trade shows and conferences, they often look forward to professional development/learning opportunities such as speaker sessions, roundtable events, and workshops. Be aggressive and propose a relevant topic for one of these client-oriented conferences and create a plan for your technical professional to become the expert.
Benefits of Public Speaking
Speaking opportunities are usually free and can sometimes be paid. Oftentimes an added benefit is that at least the presenter’s conference admission is paid for and/or discounted. No other marketing activity establishes credibility or elevates the speaker as an expert. Once you have an opportunity to speak once, you are typically contacted for future topics. Where else can you be in the room with hundreds of potential clients? Not only that, but being in the room with your clients and potential clients helps you gain first-hand knowledge of their needs.
Tips and Tricks
- Make an annual calendar of conferences for participation, organized by market sector. Add them to your market sector agenda so the opportunity for speaking or sponsoring is not overlooked.
- Develop a speech series for each market sector that can be utilized several times with minor adjustments per target market.
- Post videos and/or promotional materials on your firm’s website/social media.
- Turn your speech into a white paper and use in SOQs or proposals.
- Interview attendees to learn of areas of interest and concern in their industry. They will accept a call from you if you explain that you are gathering their input for a work session at a relevant conference.
- Schedule other appointments with potential/existing clients during conference.
- Have a booth so you can stay visible during the conference when not speaking.
- Obtain attendee lists for future marketing efforts. Try to get the list prior to the conference for promotion of your session and/or booth number.
- If speaking is not an option, offer to host and facilitate a panel discussion with other industry experts.