An EdTech conference isn’t a place to sell, it’s a place to network for later sales.
As EdTech trade show and conference season heats up, it might be time to rethink your strategy regarding your conference participation and subsequent follow-up with new contacts you made at the last conference you went to, or contacts you will make at upcoming conferences.
Reflect On Your New Contacts
When you return from a conference, take some time to go over all the new contacts you made at the show. Lay out a plan for which contacts are the right contacts to follow-up with, how you are going to follow-up with those contact, and when.
You also need to figure out if you made the right contacts to actually boost sales of your product or service. If you connected with someone is not the right contact (not a decision maker) do you have a way in place to strategically get to the decision maker in that person’s ecosystem.
Find the EdTech Decision Makers
For instance, you connected with an educator. Think back to your conversations with that person. Did you find out who in their district is the buyer or decision maker when it comes to purchasing new education technology products or services? Did you ask about their procurement process and budget restrictions? What about their willingness to run pilot programs to test new tools in the district? Hopefully, you learned most or all of this, and when it is time to pitch to the right person at the district level, you’ll have a personalize pitch with the right vernacular and enough specific information about the district to get attention.
So, what if you didn’t get all that information? Maybe it is time to reconsider your trade show strategy.
Network, Don’t Sell
Contrary to what nearly every EdTech vendor thinks, a trade show or conference shouldn’t be about selling. It is about intelligence and networking. Don’t make your sales pitch as soon as you meet a potential buyer. All this does is give them an immediate opportunity to say no.
Get to know your any new contacts you meet. Ask questions and listen. Actually listen to what they have to say. Take note after you part ways. What are the district’s pain points? Are they happy with EdTech products and services they currently use? Are they open to big changes or do they take a more conservative approach?
Rethink Your EdTech Conference Strategy
Use this strategy of networking and listening to follow-up at a later date with an informed pitch or presentation tailored to their state or district. Using this approach, instead of being in sales mode the whole time, will change the way you approach EdTech conferences. You’ll get much more out of them.