How to Make a Networking Event Work For You – Part 2
Our first breakfast at the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce is in the books. It was a great experience!
The drive from Sedona takes about 45 minutes. In “Los Angeles terms” that is an average drive. What is not part of the LA experience is that there was light snow falling!
We arrived 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the networking event and since we were new, made sure we met the staff and who was running the event (Kat Ross, who is the Vice President of Investor Relations for the chamber). It’s always good to let the MC know who the new folks are. As it turns out, we were just 2 of 12 new attendees. I asked if they needed extra raffle prizes and handed her two copies of our book, The Hows and Whys of Social Media – TheMarketing Checklist 3.
We then took a walk around the perimeter of the room where the Chamber had 8 sponsors exhibiting. Each of these sponsors get a minute to speak to the room in addition to strutting their stuff at their tables. Each table offers a giveaway, which helps them build their list when each attendee drops their card in the box, hoping to win the prize. Note to self: the better the giveaway, the better the participation in the drawing.
After we got started, the table top networking took place in four rounds. You begin at table A and each person gets 30 seconds to share what they do and pass around their information. They then have a simple system that assigns where each person at the table goes next. Sharyn and I made sure we never ended up at the same table, and in the course of the 25 to 28 people who each heard our elevator speech, we had about a 1/3 overlap.
Sharyn passed out our newest book, Small Business Human Resources Secrets, and I passed out TheMarketing Checklist 2. Here is something very important that we noticed: MOST oft he people who had an opportunity to get a book from each of us, did not pay attention to the fact they were not getting the same book from each of us. In fact, a person who won our raffle prize, gave it to a friend, thinking that I had already given her that book. I emailed her an electronic version of the book. Marketing Checklist tip: Always be free in giving away your books. They have REAL perceived value by the recipient.
We had joined the chamber prior to this networking event at the lowest level, and were rewarded with the ability to put a flyer into the giveaway bag. Here is a Marketing Checklist tip that we will follow next time: Make whatever you put in the bag stand out. We put a freeticket to The Small Business Marketing Plan Bootcamp into the bag, but I think next time we will put our flyer INTO or ATTACHED TO a promotional product so that it stands out. Yes, that costs extra money, but standing out from the crowd is your main objective.
We met with Kat Ross afterwards and improved our membership to the next level which awards several benefits of putting us in front of the membership more.
We also took a sponsorship of a table for the remaining 3 networking breakfasts of the year because we want to make a point of speaking to the group with the 3rd party validation of The Chamber. Yes, you PAY for that validation, but it is validation nonetheless.
If you have been to The Small Business Marketing Plan Bootcamp, you have heard us talk about the additional ways to put yourself ahead of the crowd. We are doing those things, too.
Do you want specific tips on how to market yourself to a chamber of commerce? Or in any networking situation? Head to www.FreeMarketingConsultation.com, sign up for a free 30 minute breakthrough call and we will get you on the right track.