Conferences bring together some of the greatest minds of real estate to consume knowledge, share insights, comment on new trends and network. The thing about real estate conferences are that they typically occur during standard work hours, so trying to keep your business moving forward while doing all the above can be a juggling act.
Your smartphone can be your best ally, but if you’re spending 95% of your conference with your head craned downwards, you’ll miss the entire experience. But with a little preparation and strategy, you can master the real estate conference game to solidify your brand – and fuel your pipeline with fresh leads.
Whether you are a speaker, hosting a booth or an attendee looking to peruse the events, take a step back and determine what your ultimate purpose is, and what you would like to take away from it.
- Map out your objectives
Understand the schedule of seminars, speaker line up, workshops, panels, parties and networking sessions, and make a plan in terms of importance. Understandably, it can be difficult to attend everything going on, so it’s wise to prioritize.
Once you’ve gotten a lay of the land for the next few days, break down specifically what you want to accomplish. Again, if you’re a speaker, host or attendee, your objectives will differ – but you might want to learn about harnessing big data in real estate, or reconnect with five acquaintances, or acquiring the contact information of new twenty people.
IXACT PRO TIP: Start to think about the type of social media strategy you would like to implement. How active will you be on Instagram? Will you take advantage of their stories feature? Will you join the conversation on Twitter? What about gathering notes to draft a follow-up blog? Will this content be primarily to enhance your brand in the marketplace or to add new leads to your funnel?
- Research, Research and Research
So you’ve got a solid understanding of the itinerary, now it’s time to break it down even further into the granular and dissect what your social media strategy will be. To gain exposure and market your brand, it starts with having a strong digital presence, and no one has ever succeeded without executing their due diligence.
Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Research who the speakers are so you can tag them directly in your posts. Or if you want to pose a question directly to them, you should know their social handles.
- Geotag the conference location on Instagram and Facebook. Instagram can be a lucrative ground for content and connecting when following that thread.
- Research the conference’s website and check out their social handles and hashtags used.
- Follow along with the popular hashtags and photos posted during the event and join the conversation.
IXACT PRO TIP: Use the notes application on your phone to keep all of your hashtags in. Then when you post on Instagram, you can copy and paste your hashtag list in the comments section of your post for an extended reach.
It would also be a good habit to optimize all of your social media profiles with your proper branding and URL links back to specific landing pages, so when users click through to your pages, you direct them where you want them to go.
- Make your content share-worthy
The research groundwork has been done; the strategy is set, it’s now time to tactically execute on your content. Again, this goes back to planning out your content, because having to strategize on the fly can be difficult. In order to position yourself as an expert to let fans, friends and followers, you want your content to be educational or entertaining to elicit a powerful response.
Here are some great examples of conference content:
- Use Instagram stories to tell quick, snackable soundbites. They could be of the exquisite food that’s put out, the after party or just fun, random selfies.
- Leverage your captions wisely. Tell an extended story in the space provided. This isn’t like the old days of Twitter with 140 characters or less – it’s encouraged to make good use of the space.
- Use social media to promote your booth (if you’re sponsoring one) or to promote the booths you’ve been to.
IXACT PRO TIP: If you can, sit as close and centre to the front of the stage as possible. It will not only help you feel engaged with the speakers, but you can take high-resolution pictures of the presentation screen that typically boast great slides. The best presenters know they can’t bore their audience to death with a million numbers and bullet points. The wise ones opt for the ‘less is more’ route and share a snackable and powerful quote, because they know it can be digested easier – and has a greater chance to be shared on social media more.
- Prepare your copy ahead of time
Advertising legend, David Ogilvy once said, “on the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.”
So much of our time is spent agonizing on the perfect headline to pull people in, whether it is a blog or social post. Instead of standing off to the side labouring on the perfect Instagram copy while valuable networking time slips away from you, draft if out ahead of time. You can even create the template for it to fill in the blanks later.
IXACT PRO TIP: Use your camera on your smartphone and your notes pad to snap quick pictures and jot down key notes from the presenters. It will also help you plan out a recap blog on the event if you want to push it live that evening or as a follow up to the event.
- Join the conversation
Remember when you went over the itinerary and broke down the event list? There will inevitably be sessions that might not pique your interest and will allow for some down time. This is the opportunity to pour through your content and get engaged in the social conversation. Say something caught your attention during the speaker session and you wanted to ask them a question. The fastest way to get their attention is to include their username in a post. Like, share or comment on what’s going on will have others interacting with your content. The whole point is to be social!
IXACT PRO TIP: Today’s cutting-edge events will usually have their own apps so you can tap into the attendee list easier. They also have interactive ways to connect with each other to collect points by way of scavenger hunts. If the conference does have an app, you can connect with the attendees and transfer their contact information over to your personal database as well.
- Take advantage of your Real Estate CRM app for networking and follow-ups
IXACT Contact’s cloud-based technology and Mobile CRM allows you to manage your business effectively from any device – it’s basically a personal assistant in your pocket! Conferences can be hectic, especially while trying to manage your day-to-day tasks while out of the office. Having a real estate CRM in the palm of your hand allows you to always be connected and manage your business – while continuing to hunt for more.
IXACT PRO TIP: It’s easy to respond to leads, keep in touch with key contacts, and stay on top of your “to do’s” – all in the palm of your hand. So when you just finished a positive conversation with a new prospect or contact, you can have an automatic prompt to make a note or create a follow-up task for them, leaving you more time to get back out and continue to network.
Take your real estate conference game to the next level in 2018 by starting your FREE 5 week free trial of IXACT Contact now.