This past month the eShow 22 was held in Barcelona. The largest ecommerce trade show in Europe that takes place every year where incredible awards are given to companies and managers.
The Oscars of ecommerce, we could say. The best opportunity to develop networking in Barcelona.
I didn’t remember that the event was being held until it had already opened on May 4th.
That same day I was resting my lunch meal on the sofa while I was taking a look at LinkedIn, where I saw a friend’s post showing the inside of the event and I could already see some exhibitors’ stands.
Wow, the eShow….
At that moment I remembered that I had read something about the event in one of my emails and I quickly closed LinkedIn to open the Gmail search engine… BINGO
I had an invitation to the eShow and I wasn’t planning to miss this opportunity not only to practice, but also to document it and teach you how to network at events.
And I couldn’t be happier with the result, I’m going to show you ALL the networking points and ideas that we have prepared and that made it a HUGE success.
Here are some tips on how to network at events and develop a network of contacts at congresses, exhibitions, fairs and any face-to-face event you can take advantage of.
Are you ready?
Why is it a good idea to attend an event?
The main reason is always or almost always for Networking.
To meet, talk and strengthen ties with people like you.
Competitors, suppliers, influencers, clients …. In short, they are important people whose conversation can bring you new ideas, strategies, collaborations, new buyers and many other unimaginable benefits.
How to Network in events
For these events it’s very common to prepare your own event and have a stand where your whole team is going to be. It’s an amazing option for your branding if you can get the stand, believe me.
But if you go Bootstrapping, or if you just don’t feel like all the hassle of preparing an event you don’t even have to worry about it.
I’m going to give you some tricks and tell you in detail what I do for things like networking at events without any previous preparation or booth, pure Growth Hacking at events, let’s get to it:
Get ready to get out of your comfort zone
The typical comfort zone speech, a pain in the ass, yes, but it’s reality.
In my case, I went to the event totally out of the blue and just, believe me, it’s possible.
Be prepared to talk to everyone, just as you go there to network, they go there to do the same. Self-confidence here is key.
You’ll find people at their booths ready for a conversation, either they stop you or you stop them.
Send photos to the email
Don’t be stupid and don’t be a jerk, be nice and treat them the way you would like to be treated. Be the creator of the good feeling.
Take pictures, selfies with everyone and at the same time ask them for their email with the excuse of passing them the photo, and pass them the photo.
It’s super important that you do it at that exact moment.
At night or the next day follow up and mention to him some topic you have talked about.
This was the basic email I sent him:
Yesterday we were talking about the books that have influenced us the most in our lives and how well you talked to me about “The Purple Cow” by Seth Godin.
I’m telling you: I couldn’t resist buying it!
[Photo of the book]
As simple as that!
Take pictures of the speakers
In most fairs, congresses and other events of a sector there’s a main space for presentations where there’ s a program of Speakers talking about a specific topic.
In the great majority of the cases these Speakers are very important people of the sector who already have several achievements behind them.
Or simply people who are very good at what they do and have something unique and very important to say to the audience.
It’s in bad taste to talk to other people while someone is trying to present something, but that doesn’t make it any less useful for such an important task as networking at events, let me explain:
Take pictures of the speakers during their presentation and send them directly to their email, they will surely like them and consequently, they’ll answer you.
You can also share them on Social Networks. I don’t have a lot of engagement in my social networks and I love emails, so I prefer that option.
You may be wondering, okay, I think I can take a picture of them with my cell phone or any camera, but…. How do I find their email?
Well, there are several methods to get someone’s email. The optimal method is undoubtedly to take advantage and trying to talk to the speaker as you have talked to the other attendees of the event, but this isn’t always possible and it’s to be understood.
In the APP or web of the event, searching on Google or on their LinkedIn maybe you can find their email, although I personally like to use FindThatLead to do it.
Use the event’s APP (Pre or Post event)
The event’s own APPs always have super important and valuable information that we can use both to know what people are going and what activities you’ll find.
Here is the link in case you like to do some of these actions.
But I like to give it a hidden use. Attention because here comes a super hack to make contacts in events.
And this case is great for me, because just this event had an app that is super easy to automate.
Send a message through the app:
The first step in order to start taking advantage of the APP is to start contacting everyone without hesitation
Put a general message, with which you can make COPY PASTE and that can be use with everyone. It isn’t soooo important, it’s just to make an appearance and that your name appears.
In this case I wrote something super simple:
I thought it would be a good idea to create a telegram group with the top people from all the eshow to chat about ecommerce.
Are you up for it?
Out of 200 messages I got about 19 replies, so the ratio is really low and people are not really looking at the fairs’ apps, but better than nothing, isn’t it?
Remember to do things with love, to have a product that improves society and be proud of it.
Now comes the good part… I’m going to explain you why we lost time on the app!
Download the APP contacts.
Precisely this APP is a treasure, it isn’t so easy usually, but here we go.
We download the emails of the speakers and attendees.
For each group you’ll have to create a different and specific message.
Creativity and briefness, keep it simple!
How to download contacts from not so easy APPs:
Well, the truth is that I have no idea! But I have an amazing team that is able to do anything.
I sent it to Cristian Vitales, he executes it with some internal script and then enriches it with an API so that this way we have a lot of data for each record.
If you want to download contacts from other APPs and don’t know how, send an email here and we’ll do it for you (if possible, of course).
Build community with attendees
Leading a community is an AMAZING opportunity to make a name for yourself.
Take advantage of talking and contacting every attendee to propose them to join a community on a common topic in which you are an expert.
In my case, I have several groups on WhatsApp, Facebook and Telegram where I talk with acquaintances from events about Outbound Marketing and Growth Hacking.
You share your knowledge, make a name for yourself and learn from them. Isn’t it great to network at events?
How to prepare Scrape lists to optimize results with FindThatLead
I’m lucky to have a wonderful tool for lead generation and Outbound Marketing, and…. It can be perfectly extrapolated to other tasks such as networking in face-to-face events (and online, if you do a good scrape)!
It’s very easy, I’ll show you how we do it in the team
The first point is to prepare the list so that it has the largest number of correct emails associated with business professionals. How are we going to do this? Inside Spreadsheets:
The first step to optimize our scrape list is to separate and split the columns into First and Last Name. (We can use the Split formula from the Screenshot to separate them all much more easily).
If there is a compound name, the best is to remove it so that only two fields remain, try it.
FindThatLead finds the domain through the company name, but if you’re able to indicate the domain itself, the ratio will always be better. In this case, we have some emails in the N column.
To separate the domain simply do a Split after the @, it will look more or less like this:
Once we have separated the list by First Name, Last Name and Domain, we are going to upload it to the “Search by domain” tool, inside FindThatlead.
This is done to adapt the format to a later verification and the sending of a cold emailing campaign.
This list will give you a complete database with Name, Last Name and Corporate Email:
Now we are going to verify the emails to see if they are correct and thus reduce the Bounce Rate (a VERY important fact. Reducing the Bounce Rate also collaborates to reduce the chances that our emails appear in the SPAM folder).
We use the “Verify” tool, also inside FindThatLead and import the .csv file.
There are three options: Correct, Catch all e Incorrect. Column L (Pre-verification) y M (Post-Verification)
In the case of Catch-all or incorrect emails we delete them. Always remember this step!
(Catch-all does not mean that it’s a correct email but it has a probability that it’s not, I recommend discarding these emails and use them to create ads audiences).
Now we have the database ready to send!
Let’s start sending emails!
This is the distinguishing feature when it comes to competing in things like networking events. From this point on, our name will appear in the inbox of ALL our contacts.
To do this from FindThatLead, we simply need to enter the “Send Emails” tool, upload the document in .csv format and configure the cold emailing campaign.
As I mentioned above, by segmenting and dividing three groups we get a little more personalization, which is absolutely KEY when sending cold emails.
I’m going to show you here the template I used so you can get inspired and motivated to take that step for things like networking events. (Don’t copy me you lazy, I see your ideas 😝)
Note: The part inside the [square brackets] are Custom Attributes, from “Send Emails“. We can use these custom attributes that will change depending on the person’s data.
Remember the groups of the event that you have segmented, in my case they were these three.
Subject: [Name], I loved your presentation in Eshow
[Name], Congratulations for the presentation, I loved it and I would have appreciated talking to you.
There is a topic regarding [Your Company] that I would like to discuss with you, what time is good for me to call you?
We can also schedule follow-up emails directly from “Send Emails” for those who have not replied us, in this case:
Did you get a chance to see my last email?
I’d love to talk to you in 10 minutes.
Receiving answers in your email is the nicest thing in the world, we made a test on Friday afternoon and here are the first fruits
Not bad, huh? 😎
Subject: [Name], I was looking forward to seeing you!
Hello [Name], too bad I couldn’t see you, I really wanted to talk to you. It’s about [Your company].
How about a call tomorrow?
Within the FindThatLead tool you also have the possibility to view results
Now it’s time for the hardest work, answering all the emails and making the calls, which I do along with my team!
I get a lot of calls everyday! 📞
Done! 😜 Now you know the best way on how to network in events like Eshow and how to prepare a scrape list for FindThatLead, great, isn’t it?
But as I love to “squeeze” (although I prefer to say OPTIMIZE) my lists to the maximum, I’m going to show you a substitute and/or complementary method on how to network in events with LinkedIn and Scrab.in.
Let’s do a little bit more of Growth Hacking! 😎
If in the list that we have generated we also have our contact’s LinkedIn… We are in luck.
I always like to make the first contact by email and have an alternative method of contact if there is no response in the first email or in the follow-up.
This second contact method I use is LinkedIn, and for this I use an amazing tool like Scrab.in.
There is a subtool that allows you to upload a CSV, which is exactly what we’ll do.
Then just use “Visit Profiles“, also on Scrab.in, with a personalized invitation message. And if you still have doubts… Right here I leave you a video tutorial !
And with this we’re done for today, you already know a new method on how to do networking in events. Are you up for it?
Do you already know how to network at events?
Here and here are two sources where you can find events near you, check them out!