Marketing Events Are More Valuable than You Think

I thought I’d do something a little different with this post and tell you about a recent trip I had which took me all the way to Manchester for the UK Marketing Summit. As the name suggests it’s an online marketing event where marketers from all over Europe and further afield come to listen to the Expert Speakers on show and network with other like minded individuals.

The main benefits of going to these kind of events are the people you meet, the idea’s you pick-up from the speakers and the possible business relationships which form down the line. But really in all honesty these events are just good fun!

I went to last years Marketing Summit and so knew a lot of my friends would be going again this year. Knowing how these things run my intentions were to go to as many as the talks as possible and then hang out with my marketing buddies for the rest of each day, and boy did I have a good time. It was definitely one of the most fun weekends I’ve had in a long time.

The speakers were second to none and gave some really good, actionable content and tips that has my head spinning with idea’s already. There were a lot of Big Names on show and also some more “Underground” guys that you may not necessarily have heard of. But some household names in the IM Space that were there included :

Peter Garety, Leah Butler-Smith, Steve Benn, Soren Jordansen (IM Wealth Builders), Fabian Lord, Michael Christon, Andrew Fletcher plus many, many more…

I also got a chance to meet up with a lot of guys who’ve helped me in the past and it’s also good to meet people face to face because I don’t know about you but I like to know who I’m doing business with, meet them in real life, see what kind of a person there are first-hand. Generally when you meet people in real life you get a vibe of whether they’re the kind of folks you want to work with or not and going to events is a great way of doing this.

But no matter how great the presentations were some of the best tips and advice I received over the weekend were shared off the cuff whilst out eating dinner or having a quick chat with someone at the bar. All of a sudden some golden nugget of information may be dropped into your hand that can give you a totally different perspective on what your doing online. Good events are like that, you meet a lot of cool people that you have a lot in common with and the tips and advice that you can come away with are really invaluable to your business.

So lesson learned : if you can try and get to at least one of these Marketing Events over the coming year I highly recommend it.

Here are a few tips that I’ve learned from other marketers about how to get the best out these events so that when you come home and get back to work you will really drive your business forward from everything you’ve learned. Hopefully you’ll find them as helpful as I have….

Marketing Event Tips – Do’s and Don’ts

Do – know what you want to get from the Event before going. Do you want to listen to the speakers, meet-up with your friends or network with possible business partners? It’s always best to have a “Plan of Attack” in mind before you head off to one of these things so you can get what you want out of the experience.

Don’t – be pushy or overbearing with people. Most marketers who go to these things are there to have fun so don’t approach them and go right into your sales pitch for your latest product. It won’t look good and you’ll get blacklisted by them straight away.

(Note : I had this happen to me at the event I’m just back from, it was awkward, made me feel uncomfortable and didn’t leave a good impression of the person in question in my mind)

Do – connect with as many people as possible. Walk over to someone at the bar, shake their hand and introduce yourself. Let people know who you are and share a few words with them. It doesn’t matter whether they are smaller guys or big time players everyone should be treated the same and given the same level of time and respect.

Don’t – be the Event Jerk. There’s always one guy that everyone remembers from the event, but for all the wrong reasons. Don’t be that guy that gets too drunk or too pushy when talking to other attendees. You will make yourself stand out from the crowd but not for the reasons you’d like.

Do – your homework about the main people that you want to connect with. If you really want to chat with a certain marketer then make sure you do some research before showing up. Know what products they’ve launched and have an idea of what they’ve got coming in the future. If you know a few details about them you’ll be able to strike up a conversation a lot easier and distinguish yourself from the countless others who just say “hi” without knowing much about the person at all.

Don’t – make everything about you. People love to talk about themselves but it’s a good tip not to spend too much time telling everyone your life story. You should be asking the questions  and listening intently on the answers so you can really get into a cool conversation with whoever it is you’re chatting to. People who make everything about themselves don’t make a good impression and can often come across as self-serving and not a great people person.

Do – be friendly and use humor to connect. It’s a no-brainer that the friendlier you are the more approachable you will become and the more people you’ll be able to connect with. Don’t be too serious and be ready to have a joke and laugh with other attendee’s, remember these events are supposed to be fun so go in there with the right frame of mind to enjoy yourself.

Do – be ready to keep the connection going when you get back home. Now when you return home you can reach out and reconnect with your new IM Friends through Skype/FB etc. Don’t let the event be the end of your relationship with these people, you’ve done the hardest thing by getting the ball rolling so don’t let the momentum stop. Keep it going and chat to these people every so often and what you’ll find is that naturally overtime you’ll become genuine friends with those who you met. And in the end of the day it’s those genuine friendships that you build that will go on to become great business relationships.

In my opinion online marketing is all about 2 things : the Relationship you have with your Customers and the Relationship you have with your Business Partners.

And going to Live Events is the best way possible of building great business relationships that will help your grow your business long into the future.

I know I’ve gotten a lot from the past events I’ve gone to and hopefully have given you some insight into what really happens at these things and how you can get the maximum benefit if you attend one yourself in the future. If you’ve any comments, thoughts or idea’s feel free to leave them below – I’d like to know what you think about all this….

Thanks for reading,

Noel.

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12 Comments

  • Glenn Shepherd

    Reply Reply March 21, 2014

    Hi Noel,

    Great synopsis of the fantastic event. I was there too but I didn’t get chance to meet you, unfortunately.

    This was my first big event and you’re right, people really need to get themselves to one of these. I didn’t connect with anywhere near as many people as I should/could have but I did get to know some people better whom I’d previously only met online and got to know some great new people too.

    The content that was delivered was out of this world and there were many, many gems that I found I could take away and apply. Honestly, on some occasions I got more value out of just a couple of sentences than from some entire WSOs!

    Anyone who hasn’t been to one of these really needs to get to one. I can’t wait for my next. It’s unlikely that I’ll be able to make it to Fuerteventura for Summit in the Sun but I will definitely be at Dean Holland’s event in June. It’s going to be awesome!

    Regards,
    Glenn
    Glenn Shepherd recently posted…23 Useful Internet Marketing ToolsMy Profile

    • Noel

      Reply Reply March 23, 2014

      Hey Glenn,

      Sorry we didn’t cross paths at the event, hopefully we will at a future one.

      Couldn’t agree more, I got more out of a few minutes with somebody at the bar that I could from 10 WSOs! I think it’s because you’re talking with real people who really know what they’re talking about and a simple piece of advice from them is worth it’s weight in gold.

      Good to hear you got a lot out of it too, now onwards and upwards…

      Cheers,

      Noel.

  • Jon Crimes

    Reply Reply March 22, 2014

    Nice to hear that the meet went well Noel.

    I was a bit gutted that I couldn’t go and have promised myself ‘definitely next year’.

    I think these sort of networking events are a fantastic idea and like you said, as long as you have a plan on what you want to do and achieve whilst you’re there, and you’re not the ‘Event Jerk’ then everything should be good!

    Any chance on a future article about the ‘Jerk’? Only joking..

    Cheers

    Jon
    Jon Crimes recently posted…5 Tips for increasing traffic to your blog – Tip 5My Profile

    • Noel

      Reply Reply March 23, 2014

      Hey Jon,

      Ya, it’s well worthwhile going to these things if you can. I think there’s another one by the same people being held in London in September and a bigger one over in Fuerteventura in December. So keep an eye out for them ;)

      I could definitely write a post about the Jerk, maybe call it “How Not to Network at a Networking Event” lol Ah, you couldn’t make it up really, it was just crazy the stuff he was coming out with…

      But that’s a story for another day…

      Cheers,

      Noel.

  • Sky Nealon

    Reply Reply March 24, 2014

    Hi Noel,

    Thank you for sharing with us your experience and excellent tips about socialising and networking at marketing events. It’s great to hear that marketing events are not as scary or intimidating as I thought they would be. Then again, I’m quite an introvert person and would have probably fitted in the “Jerk” category immediately. Would love to hear the “Jerk’ story one day.

    Kind regards
    Sky
    Sky Nealon recently posted…P2S – Week 7 – Complying with Legislations, Acts and PoliciesMy Profile

    • Noel

      Reply Reply March 25, 2014

      Thanks Sky,

      I’m sure you’d be fine if you go to one of these events because there will be a lot of people there, all at different stages in their IM career so you’re bound to find a few buddies that you can hang out with.

      I think I’ll definitely tell the Jerk story in the next post (I just hope the guy doesn’t stumble across this blog and read it one day! :) )

      Cheers,

      Noel.

  • Hi Noel,

    It was great to see YOU in Manchester again this year, having met you there last year!

    I went to the first Manchester event last year with the express purpose of renewing existing contacts and making new ones, so the excellent content was an added bonus, especially as it was more like a conference of equals (so the name Summit is actually a good choice) rather than a series of pitch fests from vendor to potential customers, as can sometimes happen at these events (and I think the guy you were referring to may have fallen into that category…?).

    This year the format was slightly different with the lecture theatre rather than groups at tables, for a somewhat larger audience I believe, and as you say, the content was once again excellent.

    I found a couple of the highlights from a practical point of view were Peter Garety and Soren Jordansen (saved me a ton of market research!!).

    Andy Fletcher’s succinct mini-course with practical instructions and “templates” for outsourcing software was also a gem.

    And of course the interaction outside the actual “venue” was the icing on the cake, from Friday evening until Monday morning for those who were there the whole time.

    At this stage I’m not expecting to be in London in September or Fuerteventura in December, but I will aim to attend the next one in Manchester, and perhaps one or other event down south.

    For people within reasonable distance of London, Martin Avis holds a regular “London Lunch” I’ve been to a couple of times, which is well worth attending. (I don’t live within reasonable distance, but I went anyway and stayed with relatives an hour or so away!)

    As the name says, it’s a lunch at a London hotel, then everyone hangs out in the bar for as long as they are able to stay, with the last stragglers usually heading off for a pizza around 8 o’clock!

    This is where I met people like Rob Cornish (who I bumped into again last year checking in at Manchester) and Sarah Staar, both of whom then spoke at Martin’s own “KISS” event, also in London.

    Networking events can also be on a smaller scale, like the ones Randy Smith used to run in Northallerton, North Yorkshire (see the post I’ve linked to above if it doesn’t get eaten by the system), so it’s worth considering organising your own if you can find a few people close enough.

    I’m looking to take the family to your part of the world in a couple of months Noel, so maybe we can meet up there too!

    I’ll be in touch :-)

    Cheers,

    Paul
    Paul D. Chilvers-Grierson recently posted…Make Sure You Test Your Links!My Profile

    • Noel

      Reply Reply April 8, 2014

      Hi Paul,

      Ya it was good catching up with you again in Manchester. Great points about the value of going to these events if you can – totally agree!

      Cheers,

      Noel.

  • Keith Dean

    Reply Reply April 8, 2014

    Hi Noel,

    I was at the Manchester Summit also but am unsure if we managed to chat at all. Not surprising given the amount of people there and how much was on offer with the presentations.

    I am going to Dean Holland’s seminar at the same place in June and looking forward to that one for sure.

    Good to meet you anyway and will keep a look out for your posts!

    Cheers
    Keith
    Keith Dean recently posted…Crazy Work WeeksMy Profile

    • Noel

      Reply Reply April 8, 2014

      Hi Dean,

      That’s great you were there, not sure if we met but there was a lot of people there, hard to meet everyone.

      And it’s good that you’re planning on going to more, hopefully Dean’s one will be just as good.

      Cheers,

      Noel.

  • Pauline

    Reply Reply June 11, 2014

    Hi Noel,

    After reading your post I am sorry that I did not attend. However, your post has inspired me to attend a meeting. Probably the next one in Manchester UK.

    I suppose I was afraid of attending one of these events on my own, but I am sure many others will also have come by themselves. Next year should be very different as I feel as if I now know so many people just by commenting on the posts and action on the facebook pages.

    Take care
    Pauline
    Pauline recently posted…Organize Your StuffMy Profile

    • Noel

      Reply Reply June 12, 2014

      Hi Pauline,

      The first event I went to I knew nobody there only a few people I was friends with online.

      But it doesn’t matter because everyone there has something in common – they’re all marketers so it’s pretty easy to meet new people.

      I’d recommend you go to someday for sure.

      Cheers,

      Noel.

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