Earlier this month, I attended WordCamp Philly for the second year in a row. As what I learned about WordPress and web development could fill my blog post publication schedule for the next six months, I walked away from the event feeling energized to implement the techniques I learned, excited to have met in person those with whom I only had online relationships and eager to attend to WordCamp Philly next year.
As I drove home from WordCamp, I mulled over the value for small businesses in attending real events, in person — in the meatspace — as opposed to limiting marketing efforts to online. During this mental review, I recalled a great piece that I read about the value of holding offline events in connection with online marketing efforts, published earlier this year by our friends and colleagues at Philly Marketing Labs. The blog post, entitled 5 Reasons to Boost Your Marketing Efforts with In-Person Events, set down a very clear and formidable list of reasons why small businesses (and others) would benefit from holding their own events.
In pondering the weekend in connection with that blog post, I thought it worth exploring the value that small businesses can achieve from attending in-person events. In response to Philly Marketing Lab’s post, I came up with 5 Marketing Reasons to Attend In-Person Events.
1. Tell People Who You Are and What You Do
In-person events of any kind are always a great way to talk to people about our work. Of course, it needs to be done with savvy, but people expect to talk about their jobs, their careers, their companies or their employers at work-related events. Small business owners should take advantage of that expectation to promote themselves.
2. Find the Help You Need
While attending local in-person events, let’s make sure that we don’t just talk about ourselves. Listen first. Ask others about themselves and their work. It’s a great way to form a network of professionals whose own services complement ours. By actively inquiring about the skills and services that others offer, we can develop a network of suppliers to support our own small businesses, both internally (helping us run our own businesses) or externally (providing services that benefit our clients.)
3. Put a Face with a Twitter Name
Nothing beats the connectivity power of a face-to-face meeting. This is as true in business as it is elsewhere. Many small businesses rely on personal connections with clients for their steady stream of work. In an age when we have dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of Twitter “friends” and contacts, it’s important to seek ways to deepen that initial online connection.
4. Have Fun!
A great part of getting out to networking events is that we choose the events we wish to attend. More often than not, getting in a room full of people who are as excited as we are to talk about the same topic is fun. It’s invigorating. It can renew our excitement and focus about the topic of discussion.
5. Learn That Little Something Extra
We can always stand to learn a little about about our professional fields or industry. No matter how expert we are, there is undoubtedly some area within that field that we are a bit weak, or where our knowledge is slightly outdated. In-person events can help fill in those blanks.
On a related note, but not directly on point, check out Coreen’s Tossona’s Plan Your Next Event With Inspiration from Philly WordCamp if you’re looking for more articles about WordCamp Philly and In-Person events. (Disclaimer: Coreen and I are friends and colleagues; we co-organize the Philly ‘burbs WordPress Meetup together. We did not discuss or coordinate the publication of our two blog posts at all.)