Thursday, May 26, 2005

B2B London conference

Another networking event

Yesterday I went to the B2B London conference. All about businesses selling to other businesses, it seemed perfect for us to learn a lot, spread the word about our business and make some new contacts.

Unfortunately (depending on how you look at it) I was tied up in client meetings all morning on Tuesday and Wednesday (24th and 25th) so I only made it to a couple of the seminars. I was hoping to see Simon Woodroffe (founder of Yo! Sushi) and some of the other high-profile speakers. In the end, though, I only saw a seminar from Google on their adwords program, another from an email marketing firm (whose advice was so bad they don't merit a link) and a speed-networking event.

The Google advice was obviously useful, seeing as it was so relevant to our core business. I picked up a number of tips that could well be useful in the future.

How not to do email marketing

I couldn't believe some of the advice coming from the email marketing 'expert'. He was recommending sending an email to your database of contacts containing a link to a downloadable executable containing a brochure about your business. I have never heard such bad advice from someone who is supposedly in the industry and knows about the dangers of downloading executables (particularly those sent to you in emails!).

Speed networking

The speed networking session, on the other hand (a little like speed dating, but it's a lot easier to get phone numbers), was perfect for a business like ours. I think I can come across very well in a one-on-one situation and tell people detailed information about our business and our USPs.

In these kind of events I always try to show my interest in them first - by asking what they do and thinking about people I know or things I could do to help them. Many people open up a surprising amount and are generally a lot more receptive to what I then tell them about my business.

At this particular event, I met a number of people who do very interesting things that are aimed at companies bigger than WandD currently is. All was not lost, however, because many of our clients ask about things like team-building sessions and it is always useful to have a big network so you can recommend someone.

In the 'directly relevant' category, I also met a bunch of people who either need a website or need help with their existing site. Naturally, I took their contact details and will get in touch to see where I can help them more.

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