How to manage successful sales meetings at events

Part two of a mini-series on scheduling meetings for sales at events and conferences. How to ensure prospects show up on-time and leave happy.

Welcome back! In the first part of this series, we laid the foundation to properly integrate one-on-one meetings into your event strategy: identifying key prospects and customers attending the event, securing the optimal meeting location and aligning sales and marketing teams with a centralized event management platform. At this point, valuable information can be obtained from meetings that contribute to your sales pipeline metrics and event ROI.

Ensure prospects show up on-time

Once conferences or trade shows have begun, attendee schedules frequently change last minute and you’ll want to make sure your pre-arranged meetings actually occur. You can help minimize cancellations during the meeting planning process both from the logistical and strategic aspects. To keep the meeting details fresh and top of mind for your prospects and customers, automate meeting detail reminders through texts and emails.

Make it easy for your attendees to find your meeting location by providing directions from the exhibit hall or a well known event location such as the registration desk. When booking meetings, set clear communication goals with your customers and prospects about the intent of the meetings. It's important that all key stakeholders from both parties and subject matter experts are included on the invite and present for the meeting itself.

When everyone is aligned on meeting expectations, the more likely the meeting will occur and be a success for your organization.

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Capture intent data from sales meetings

As mentioned above, defining the meeting’s intent sets up the meeting for success. You’ve also set the stage for proper note taking and data capture from the meeting. During the planning process, designate a stakeholder -- whether it be an executive or sales representative -- to take notes during the meeting or immediately following the meeting with a recap.

Cover basic questions such as did the meeting occur and what topics were discussed. Most importantly, take notes on meeting details that can be actioned during follow up after the event such as further marketing campaign nurturing, what steps sales should take to accelerate the deal in the pipeline or what is required to maintain or improve account health.

Give event-based meetings the credit they deserve

After an event, there are a wide variety of actions that can be triggered based on notes captured and meeting engagement data. Most likely these actions will be from your CRM or marketing automation platform.

You’ll want to make sure that all meetings, their status and relevant data is synced from your event management platform and entered properly into your CRM--meaning they are attributed to the event. For example, in Salesforce, events are best represented as “Campaigns”, leads and contacts (your prospects and customers at the event) as “Campaign Members”, meetings as “Tasks” and meeting notes as “Task Comments.”

Event marketers can then track and analyze opportunities sourced and influenced after the event. By properly tracking your event and meeting data, you’ll be able to provide your executive team a clear picture of event performance and accurate ROI reports.