The Meetings Mean Business coalition held a survey that helped emphasize the importance of events. Their survey showed that 82 percent of the surveyed senior executives considered meeting face-to-face extremely important. 92 percent of those surveyed said their 2016 investment in events and meetings would be twice as large as it was the previous year.
This shows that events that encourage face-to-face meetings are going to be a big deal this year for start-ups and big companies alike. Rightly so. These meetings help generate business opportunities, as well as, expand networks which are two areas that every start-up needs in order to grow.
It is clear that meeting others at events is extremely important for start-ups. The question now is how best to use the events to grow their business.
Generate Business Opportunities With A Great Pitch
Have you ever asked someone just what their business does? One of two things happen. One, you get a clear, understandable response. It might even stir up interest in their business so you follow up with additional questions. The second possibility is that they drone on for several minutes and you find yourself bored with the conversation. It usually ends there.
The same two possibilities are present when you promote your start-up by using a pitch. Ideally, you want to deliver a clear response that stirs up interest. You should be able to deliver this pitch in under thirty seconds.
How do you perfect such a pitch? By practicing as much as possible. There are several ways to practice and improve your pitch. Start by explaining your business to friends, family, or new acquaintances who do not know what you do. If you see their eyes glazing over and they ask no further questions, then your pitch needs a lot of work.
If it generates interest, then you are ready to take your pitch to phase two of testing. This requires testing your pitch on actual entrepreneurs. There are likely many events held in your local area every month. Try to visit at least one each week and test your pitch as much as possible. Use the responses to trim and refine your pitch before using it on a serious prospect.
Expand Your Network By Making Yourself Valuable
A start-up needs a growing network to become a growing business. Networking in person can be difficult for some. A strategic approach with clearly defined goals can make it much easier promote your business and expand your network.
Start by outlining a networking goal for your next event. You do not want to arrive at the event with an "I will take what I can get" attitude. Know what you expect to gain and what you need in order to consider this event a networking success.
Next, prepare yourself by knowing what makes you valuable. Why would someone want to be a part of your network? You need to be able to give something in order for them to consider you valuable. That does not mean giving them a gift in order to expand your network.
What do you have to give? Are you an expert in a particular field? Do you have useful contacts? Can your business do something to help their business grow? You are looking for people like this and so is everyone else. Know what you have to offer and make yourself valuable.
No Event Should Be A Failure
Meetings create a system of give and take between like-minded individuals. Make it a point to take away something beneficial from every event you host or attend. At the same time, you need to be a person who gives something beneficial as well. If you can accomplish this, then every event will promote your business and help your start-up to grow in some way or another.
Matthew Long is a successful businessman and event specialist. He is co-founder and CEO of Gigcentric.Com, a company that provides professionals with event planning software designed to help run and grow their business.