Launching new products is never easy. One way to increase your chances of success is taking advantage of all opportunities for networking. Working with industry associations, crafting an events strategy, or even hosting your own events can pay huge dividends in the long run by building presence awareness, creating valuable content for your community, and increasing the social media spotlight on your product.
For Celtx, E3 2017 was our first chance to take Gem into the wild of the gaming industry. With dozens of meetings, a little press coverage, and over fifty new business opportunities, we’re comfortable declaring our attendance a success. As we start preparing to attend this summer’s DevCom/GamesCom in Germany, we thought we’d share some best practices to help you hit the floor with confidence.
Goals for your event participation need to align with your existing business goals: are they based in awareness? Revenue? Leads? Contacts? Possibly a combination of many? Here’s how we’ve defined ours for our upcoming mission to Europe: contacts, meetings, content, and pipeline. Since Gem is a brand new product targeted outside Celtx’s traditional customer base, we have to use our existing leads to get attendees familiar with our company, introduce them to our product, and then determine how to best position Gem to them as a valuable tool.
A stitch in time saves nine. One of the things we learned from E3 was to give yourself ample time to develop your goals and leverage any contacts you may have in the region. In preparation for our trip to Germany, we worked with both the IDGA and the DevCom/GamesCom staff to review options for sponsorships that fit our budget. We also made contact with a government agency that helps Canadian companies (like ours) secure space and arrange meetings at industry events. Many journalists will have their dance cards full months before they arrive at a conference, so if you have any contacts in the press it’s best to get their attention early.
Once you have your on-site plan laid out, you can begin preparing some additional tactics to get you closer to your goals. In our case, we’re looking at using content and social media as a way to prime the sales pump. For example, craft 2-3 blog posts announcing our participation and highlighting exciting event sessions we hope to attend. On the social side, daily status posts can be used to drive meetings and increase attendance for our speaking session.
With a little elbow grease and buzz-building, we’ve already been able to finalize a solid event strategy weeks before we’ll arrive at DevCom/GamesCom, including interview sessions and demo meetings. With this existing cushion in place, working to find more opportunities becomes much less stressful.