The buzz you feel after a big networking business event is always great. You leave feeling full of optimism following all of the great conversations you had, notepad overrun with erratic scribbles of jumbled contact details and organisations. But when you get back to your desk, you most likely feel a little bit tired after your socialising stint. Your list of contacts to reach out to and an overflowing inbox can easily cause a feeling of overwhelm and before you know it, those leads and opportunities are lost.
Big industry events such as BBSW are an essential part of many organisations' calendar year and open up the door to so many amazing opportunities to expand your network. However, knowing how to manage this can seem a little daunting once the initial event buzz has worn off and your day-to-day responsibilities kick back in, pulling you further and further away from those promising leads.
Having an effective CRM can make all of the difference in these instances, and really helps you to feel like you are gaining more from your annual events, without the added load of manual work.
Here are some of my top tools for making that post-event communication and follow-up a lot more manageable and effective….
For more personalised communication, sequences are perfect for smaller niche groups of contacts who may need slightly different variations of an email template. Sequences provide you with the ability to enrol individuals or lists of contacts and slightly tweak each person's version of your email template. This makes the tool perfect for following up with a niche group of people.
If your organisation consists of a mixture of contacts, it’s best to ensure these are confirmed from an early stage to enable personalised communications from the beginning. Simple segmentation can be introduced as early as an event sign up form, or, if you have met new contacts at an event, confirm which information would be best to capture or establish in an early conversation. This can be as simple as confirming if the contact is a parent, pupil, supplier, agent etc. You can also create custom properties to segment the level of opportunity the contact is such as tiers 1,2,3.
Creating meeting links to be included in your follow up comms is a great way to track conversions. This could be a separate meeting link altogether or a booking via an event form to easily identify the leads directly from the event.
Snippets and notes
One of the most simple, yet effective HubSpot tools. Snippets are particularly helpful in event follow ups for adding paragraphs of information to follow up emails paragraph. This may include your more general introductory links such as company info pages, services, upcoming evens etc. Pulling this informative paragraph into an email will save a lot of time and allow you to give that time to adding 2-3 personalised sentences in that email from your meeting notes. The notes tool is also great to add a few bullet points or to pin a particularly important piece of information to a contact record after meeting a contact at an event, which needs to be included in the followup.
These are super handy to have in advance of an event to remind you to capture those important bits of information on that first meeting such as business goals, challenges, background, team structure etc. I would recommend noting 3-4 key pieces of information you need to successfully follow up with any connections made at the event. The smaller details logged in your initial meetings are a good ice breaker and great for adding a personal touch to follow ups that ensure you stand out amongst others and act as great topics to discuss on a follow up call.. Some may prefer to use these rather than snippets!
Automated communications are a game changer when it comes to post event follow ups. How many times have you found yourself dreading battling a mountain of business cards or badly written notes after an event? Workflows are a great way to automatically reach out to any contacts you have met at an event. Ideal enrolment triggers could be as simple as a property update on the contact record to state the contact attended the event or meeting with you. For any who were marked as attending but didn’t meet, you can then use alternate communications with if/then branches and emails to invite to meet with you another time via a meeting link since you missed each other at the event. Utilising the time delays are also a great tool for event follow ups - perhaps adding a slight delay before following up after an event could prevent your email getting lost in a sea of other attendee’s follow ups. You can also use your workflows for internal property updates such as if a contact who you met at the event enquired about a niche service you provide on your event forms and requires specific information about this.
List segmentation is a great way to organise attendees from an event. Static lists are the perfect tool to bring together all of the attendees from a past event which you can then easily enrol into a sequence or workflow. Lists can also be used for any smart content segmentation when sending out any marketing emails as part of your automated workflows.
Event report dashboard
One of HubSpot’s stand out tools are customisable report dashboards and when it comes to event follow ups, this is crucial for overseeing the impact of your meetings. Prior to the event, create an event report dashboard which will clearly show the conversion rates from attendees, to booked follow up meetings or email engagements. This is a great way to see which marketing emails from your event workflows were most successful in securing follow up meetings. This is the perfect way to gain real insight into your efforts and identify time frames for conversions for future reference and to also clearly see any other insights that may not have worked so well that you may need to adjust for next time.
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