This weekend we have republished two recent editions of our Sound Marketing for Bluegrass newsletter, written by Barry Silverstein. Both focus specifically on the upcoming World of Bluegrass Convention in Raleigh, NC at the end of the month.
Last time, we covered marketing tips for those who will be exhibiting at the IBMA Business Conference during World of Bluegrass Week, September 24 – 28 in Raleigh, North Carolina. This email covers tips for attendees.
1. Use your time wisely.
There’s nothing wrong with going to World of Bluegrass Week to hear some great music and have fun. But as someone who markets to bluegrass fans, you should also be thinking of how to maximize your investment as an attendee. Determine which sessions at the IBMA Business Conference you want to attend. Arrange meetings with business associates and prospects. Think about what you would like to accomplish from a business perspective: What do you want to learn? Who do you want to meet? Which exhibitors are important to see? How can you use your time at the event to make contacts and generate business?
2. Practice your “elevator pitch.”
An “elevator pitch” is a concise statement about what makes your business special. (The term is derived from the notion that someone should be able to effectively describe their business in a minute or two – the time it takes to go from the top to the bottom of an office building in an elevator.) We talked about this in the last email from the perspective of a conference exhibitor, but it’s just as important to have an elevator pitch as an attendee. Your interactions with people are often limited, so you want to be as relevant as possible in telling them about what you do. Prepare an elevator pitch that doesn’t just describe your business but makes it so interesting that anyone you’re talking to would want to hear more. Practice and keep refining it until it’s second nature. And don’t be afraid to “customize” your pitch on the fly to make it even more relevant to the person you’re addressing.
3. Get your business cards ready.
Despite today’s emphasis on digital marketing, business cards are still essential tools at face-to-face events, so make sure you have plenty on hand. A business card can be a kind of mini-brochure if used properly. Your business card should carry all the basic contact information, of course, but why not make it work harder? For example, you could use the back to include a version of your elevator pitch. Or consider using a business card with an extra flap where you include bulleted information or even a photo or two. Maybe you could try orienting your business card vertically instead of horizontally so it stands out. And don’t forget to include URLs for your website and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
4. Take notes.
There are so many things that occur at a major event like World of Bluegrass Week that you wish you could remember – so make it a point to take notes. Bring along a slim notepad or take notes on your smartphone or tablet. Make note of statistics or interesting points you hear at conference sessions, companies you might want to research later, people’s names and numbers, information about prospects, action items for when you return, and so on. Some note-takers find it helpful to organize their thoughts by the day of the event. Taking notes will help you do a more effective marketing job following up after the event and recalling key things about it.
Bluegrass Today will be reporting throughout World of Bluegrass Week, doing interviews and production in a high visibility special glass room, and exhibiting at the IBMA Business Conference. Please come by and say hi!
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