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How to get the most out of Conferences

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.

How to get the most out of Conferences

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.

Keyways 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 for 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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