Offline business events are a great way to boost your business’s profile and take your business to the next level. Offline business events are often called seminars, workshops, masterminds, intensives and/or inner circles. It doesn’t matter whether you have a solely online business or a bricks and mortar business, hardly anything can match the marketing power of offline business events – whatever they’re called.
You can learn more at an offline business event, meet more influential people, and even influence a few yourself more than you may have thought possible. It’s hard to replace the human touch element of offline business events with online business events. Even though the online business event arena has exploded in recent years, don’t discount the importance of in-person business networking for the success of your business.
There are three ways that you can participate in offline business events: attending, presenting, or hosting. Any of these actions will be successful if you first ensure that you’ve studied the potential audience of any event. Every event will not be successful for you. An offline business event must either serve your niche in some way, or teach you to serve your niche. This is where you need to do your due diligence before signing up for anything.
Once you decide on a particular event, it’s imperative that you go in prepared with written goals of what you want to achieve depending on your function – whether attendee, presenter or host. Each role has something to offer you, so try to do all three at least once a year. Try attending an event, then find ways to present at an event, and finally plan and host your own event.
When attending an offline business event, go in prepared by dressing appropriately. Don’t underestimate the value of first impressions. You don’t want to overdress at a casual event or underdress at a more formal event. If you’re not sure what to wear, ask the host or try to connect with other attendees.
Always take your business cards with you, and remember to listen more than you talk. Make a goal of connecting with just three to five new people, then follow up with them after the event is over. The follow up is the real key to success with attending offline business events. If you’ve done your homework and the attendees are within your target audience, you should be successful.
Once you are comfortable with attending offline business events, it’s time to take it to the next level and offer yourself as a presenter at various offline business events. Create a presentation that matches the audience of the offline business event host and send it to them offering your services. You can also create something called a “one-sheet” that is used by speakers’ bureaus to identify appropriate speakers for various events. This can be found on the following website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_sheet
Marketing yourself as a presenter for in-person events can push you out of your comfort zone, but once you’ve done a few you’ll become known as an expert in your niche. That expert status can take your business farther than you’ve ever imagined. People will eventually start knocking on your door to seek you out as a presenter.
Finally, when you think you’re ready, host your own offline business event. To make it easier, enlist others who offer products and/or services to your target audience but do not compete directly with you. By creating a joint venture such as this you’ll be able to leverage other people’s connections (and they yours) to create a really powerful offline event that won’t soon be forgotten.