an abstract blog hero image for a post on conference booths and field marketing at major tech events

Unlock the Power of Booth Sponsorships at the Next Big Tech Conference or Event

While on the floor at Salesforce Connections in Chicago, I was reminded of some field marketing best practices on how to show up that can get lost in the shuffle of event planning and execution. It’s hard to believe that Salesforce’s Dreamforce, AWS’s Re-invent, and other key tech conferences are just around the corner.  I thought it was a good time to share a few simple guidelines to consider when planning your sponsorship. 

 

Developing your conference booth 

Your booth is what draws attention to your brand, your team, and your message during these on-site events. Whether you are a well known brand or still building initial brand awareness, how you show up visually is key.

 

Conference booth design 

  • Each conference is different and has their own graphics process for your booth. 
  • Make sure that you pay attention to the design restrictions including what will be covered by a TV, podium or chairs. 
  • Ensure your logo is large and clear. People should know who you are.
  • Align your booth branding with your website and marketplace listing. If someone sees your booth and then visits one of those sites, will they connect the dots?
  • Selecting a theme that ties to your brand can be a draw to the audience, don’t forget to have fun with it.

 

Messaging on your booth

  • Events are your chance to let prospects and partners know what you are focused on as a company.
  • Keep your messaging short, sweet, and to the point.
  • Pass the 10-second test – if someone walks by and looks at your booth for 10 seconds, will they know what you do?
  • Have a clear elevator pitch for the event that everyone working the booth knows by heart and has practiced. Tailor it to the conference audience (persona, industry, ecosystem). 

 

Your field marketing team and staffing the event booth

  • Creating the perfect booth staffing plan can be difficult. Take time and understand the audience of the event, your internal resources and willingness to participate. FinServ conference? Bring your financial service gurus… 
  • Staff with 1-2 “crowd pullers” –  friendly and open individuals that stand at the front of your booth, make eye contact, and welcome people who are walking by. The best crowd pullers are usually BDRs, marketers (especially field marketers), and new sales reps ready to try out their new pitch. 
  • Come with a clear and meaningful general demo ready and someone technical to demo it. Consider staffing with an SE or product owner. Create a demo path that they will follow highlighting your use case targeted at that audience. 
  • Keep your booth clean and inviting. Seems basic, but no food or visible drinks out in the open. You want an open and welcoming space, which does not include garbage. 
  • Advise your team to limit the inter-company chitchat. Too often I walk by a booth where the team members are caught up in their own conversation and not paying attention to curious conference attendees walking by. With so many remote workers it could be the first time your team has been face to face. Encourage getting to know each other, but not at the booth. Host a dinner for the team the night before the event so people can meet and talk. Or have the team decide together what post event they want to attend. 
  • Limit phone / laptop use. Things come up – encourage your team to take calls and texts away from the booth and make sure you have breaks scheduled so not everyone is expected at the booth the full day.

 

Know before you go to any tech conference

  • Track which of your customers, prospects and partners will be onsite at the event. Even if they aren’t going to attend, sending an email or asking on LinkedIn if they plan to attend is a great way to let people know you’re invested in the ecosystem and to see who will be on site to meet face to face. 
  • Pay attention to social media for happy hour, as well as other pre- and post-event activities. Many sponsors and non-sponsors spend money around the event, not just inside. Happy hours and meet ups are a great way to connect with prospects, customers and partners outside of the show floor. 
  • Ask who from your network is attending. A simple LinkedIn post letting your network know you’ll be there could unlock potential connections you didn’t even know would be in attendance. 
  • Know who else is sponsoring – do you have customers, prospects or partners sponsoring or speaking at the event? Make time to visit their booths or their sessions to learn more about what they’re up to and show support. 
  • Identify the competition. If your competition is going to be sponsoring, you have an opportunity to craft your elevator pitch or even booth message to highlight your strengths vs. them. At the very least, you should coach your team on how to answer “so how are you different than X”. A quick browse past their booth will also give you insight to their high-level message and possibly their demo flow. 

 

Swag: The event marketing extras 

  • If you plan to have swag at your booth, I think the best idea is to think of what’s useful. 
  • My favorite swag items are the ones people can bring home to their kids or aimed at the kid at heart. At Connections, that included a stuffed moose, sloth and dragon. I don’t have kids and still two of those three made it home with me (long with a functional workout hip bag, a travel charger and some mints). 

There is no way around it: events are an investment. Whether it’s generating brand awareness or driving leads in person events can be a big pipeline driver for ISVs. As you think about your next event, we hope these tips give you a few new things to think about that will help you see the most bang for your buck on the investment. 

Need help preparing for event season and measuring your ROI? Check out our blog post on the topic to learn more. 

 

Choosing Invisory as your cloud GTM solution 

Looking to learn more about how Invisory’s event playbooks, automated GTM deliverables, customer support model, and other features can help drive your business to cloud marketplace success? Schedule a time today to discuss how we can help you drive success at Dreamforce, AWS re-invent, and other major tech conferences. 

 

Share our post on social media and tell us what you think!

Resources to help you grow & scale your business

So you want to get listed and sell your app on the Salesforce AppExchange…  There are a few distinct tactical steps that

While on the floor at Salesforce Connections in Chicago, I was reminded of some field marketing best practices on how to show

In the world of cloud marketplaces and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), a strong Customer Success (CS) team is a cornerstone for achieving