It’s that time of the year where most funds are evaluating budgets for the next year. We are a big proponent of traditional methods of marketing that drive results on investment. One area I want to focus on is conferences / smaller events.
Conferences are a great way to network and build relationships but they tend to be very expensive and time consuming. In the last few weeks, we have had numerous conversations with funds about conferences. Here are some observations.
Key ways to maximize event ROI:
Especially for larger conferences, understand the audience and/or try to set up meetings before the event.
Talk to as many people as you can and follow up right away. Make sure the follow up message is customized and relevant to the investor.
Connect via social media during and after the event.
Biggest mistakes we see made:
Spending money and time on conferences with the wrong audience. I have seen funds under $25M in AUM attending conferences with only big institutional investors.
Assuming that signing up for a conference is all you need to do to drive results.
Some things to consider in evaluating an event:
Audience – Are the same people attending year after year?
What is the quality of attendees – Are there too many service providers? Are decision makers in attendance?
Are there enough opportunities to network at the event?
How many meetings do you think you can generate at the event? Is the cost per potential meeting too high?
Are you making direct connections that make a difference?
Is the time spent at the event worth it to you to attend?
Some key figures and metrics to consider:
Total cost (event, travel, time).
Cost per contact (e.g. measure by # of business cards).
Cost per meeting and corresponding conversion rate.
How much of your time was needed to convert into a meeting? Make sure to factor in both attending the event plus time to convert to a meeting into the cost.
Cost per investor and corresponding conversion rate.
Only attend if the event is relevant and the audience is right for your fund.
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