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13 Steps to Dominating a Tech Conference with Jon Birdsong

3 min read
December 14, 2015

2015 has been a crazy awesome year of events and conferences in the B2B tech industry. From the first annual Rainmaker conference in Atlanta, to AA-ISP meet ups across the country, and another amazing San Fran Dreamforce week on the books — we’re already tapping our toes for the first big tech conference of 2016.

But before we dive into registration forms and pick up those badge scanners, we want to reflect on the past year in events, and learn how to supercharge our conference presence in 2016.

Jon Birdsong, CEO of Rivalry and communicator-extraordinaire, jumped in with advice on how to prep for the next year of conferences so you’re ready to kick ass and take names (and emails and phone numbers, of course). Here are 13 of Jon’s key steps to dominating a tech conference in 2016:

1. Get in the conference mindset. Take the focus off of yourself –Think, “How I can I make them look their best in this booth?” not, “How can I look my best in this booth?”

2. Body language is key. Arms open, never crossed. Big smile, chin up.

3. Try to get a crowd around you. Group people together. Have one person organize and the best presenter, present.

4. Profile like crazy. Attire, gear, dress, logos. Be like Sherlock Holmes in your visual discovery and find your prospects.

5. Connect on commonalities or friendly banter. Talk sports, colleges, the game last weekend.

6. Break the ice with flattery. “You look like you’re a decision maker. Let’s talk.”

7. Figure out what types of problems they are trying to solve by attending. “What brings you to the conference?” is the most sincere conversation starter.

8. Come prepared with at least 5 key customer case studies you can pick from when storytelling.

9. Remember (just like on a call) you’re there to learn about them. Ask for their business card first.

10. Continue the conversation. “Are you going to be around for a while? What time will you be at happy hour?”

11. If anything, ask them for something. Your personal drip should be your lowest ask.

12. When there is lull, get on social. Look at the conference hashtag and tweet to people stop by.

13. Remember, above all else, you represent the brand, your co-workers, and the current state of technology sales. Represent them well!

These tech conference tips are not just for surviving, but dominating events and upping your networking game in 2016. In arenas where there are hundreds of booths and thousands of prospects, you want to come prepared; not only stand out, but to excel. Forget being a big fish in a small pond… it’s time to be a BIG fish in a BIG pond.