Do a quick Google search of your industry, plus the word “event” or “conference” and it will soon be clear: there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of events that are potentially applicable to your company. Events are expensive endeavors, we have found that the median spend for B2B companies on sponsorships of a single event is $20,000. And this doesn’t include the cost of travel, or the time spent away from the office and in the auditorium seat!

But events keep us on our toes and allow us to think about our business in a new light, often presenting with opportunities, introductions, or challenges that would never have been possible outside of the event atmosphere.  Take the $500K Crypto Bet made at last year’s Coindesk Consensus Conference, a wager made on the premise that a certain type of app based technology would grow exponentially in the coming years. Brave? Definitely. Foolish? Perhaps. But one thing is certain, press, publicity, and motivation is  intensified by the conference atmosphere.

Despite the financial and time commitment and potential for a wild card, events are increasingly more relevant to get the name of your company in front of investors, clients, or brilliant minds who want to work for the same dream your company is pursuing. In fact, over 40% of marketers believe that events are the single-most effective marketing channel, and are more effective than digital advertising, email marketing and content marketing.  So if events are important (and pricey) it is critical that you choose the right events for your company. Tenor evaluates events on four specific criteria to ensure your company is getting the biggest benefit from events and conferences, and not wasting time or funds on conferences that do not adequately represent your brand.

Criteria 1: Presence of Media

One of the primary reasons companies choose to attend events is to be seen! Many high quality publications, such as TechCrunch and Forbes, host several events throughout the year, and you can rest assured that those in attendance are featured by the editorial teams of these  publications — what speakers say at their events is considered news. This media coverage amplifies your brand beyond the walls of the conference center. Other events may exclusively state that no media will be in attendance, and it will be your job to assess if attending an event that won’t be highlighted in the press will still provide the desired benefit

Not only is your attendance in the event and the resulting media coverage relevant for the duration of the conference, but it can have lasting effects after the event, as well. Many conferences and their associated publications list past attendees to encourage future participants to join in, and your company’s name on that list helps to position your company as one of authority (especially if a member of your team has the chance to take on a speaking role!)

Criteria 2: A Speaking Opportunity is Available

If you are willing to put the time and the effort into your conference, this must mean you believe in its mission. So why not share that mission, and the innovative ideas that formed it? Many events present the opportunity to speak: whether that be on a panel, as a moderator of a panel, in a fireside chat, or even as a keynote speaker. The easiest way to step out of your comfort zone and assert yourself as a thought leader in the industry? Speak to a crowd. 

More than getting your company name out there, there are additional benefits to committing to a speaking opportunity. Thought leaders often equal a more reputable company. If your company’s name is on the keynote speaker list, they must have some credible backing and something important to say. Furthermore, feedback after a speaking engagement can help even the most well practiced executive hone in on delivering a company’s messages succinctly.

Criteria 3: Strong Executive Attendance

Pay careful attention to the attendee makeup of any conference you plan to attend! With a wide range of conferences come a wide range of participants, and sending your CEO to an entry level conference doesn’t do anyone any good!

Many companies list the attendance breakdown on their website- highlighting the percentage of executives – and the industries they represent – that will be in attendance. Our general rule of thumb is this: if you are going to spend money and time to be a part of something, make sure that the best and brightest in the industry are going to be there with you.

Criteria 4: Are my competitors attending?

As the old adage goes – keep your friends close; and your competitors closer! If there is an event or conference that your competitors regularly attend it may be time to see just what all the hype is about! In the same vein – if there is an event where you see your closest contenders are participating, there may be some highly sought after benefit that you are not aware of – this is a great place to start doing your research!

But conferences aren’t only a place to get the inside scoop on what your competitors are learning: it is also a place chalk full of investors, portfolio companies, and potential clients and employees. Come to a conference with the intention of who you want to meet, and make it your goal to seek those people out. Don’t know where to start a conversation with your newest partner, entrepreneur, or CFO? How about starting with this showstopper icebreak, “Who is the most interesting person you have met here?” You never know who you may meet!

So… what’s next?

The business world is inundated with business opportunities across the globe. Choosing which events you attend, getting invited to those events, and applying for speaking opportunities can be overwhelming. With Tenor’s Strategic Communications Plan – you not only get a leg up on your competition, you learn how to present your best self to the media, to your future customers, and to the world.

Interested in considering how Tenor can help you navigate the complexities of speaking roles, lead generation, and ensuring you have your top content published before your next big event?  Let’s chat.