April 18, 2018
Imagine 2018, one of the largest eCommerce events of the year, is almost here. Are you ready? The hot Las Vegas desert will host businesses from over 50 countries to come face-to-face for networking and sessions with commerce experts. The Marketplace will be packed with the technology providers and solution implementers that help power the world’s leading online merchants, such as the retailers sharing their stories onstage. We can’t wait to catch the Marquee keynote from Jamie Foxx and see what’s in store for this year’s Legendary Party.
With so much going on, it’s a good idea to have a game plan before you go. Here are my tips for making the most of the event:
Schedule Your Meetings Ahead of Time
50% of the work lies in reaching out to your client and prospect list to arrange set times for meetings. Imagine presents an incredible opportunity to solidify existing partnerships and lay the groundwork for future business dealings, but if you walk-in cold and expect to reserve time in person, you may miss out on some key opportunities.
Plan the People and Booths You Want to Visit
The Marketplace is much bigger this year. By having an idea of the company booths you want to visit you can maximize efficiency instead of walking in a wayward fashion, stopping at whatever catches your eye. If you group your targets by industry category, you’ll be in a consistent frame of mind when meeting potential opportunities. Leave room for exploratory strolling to meet some of the unexpected businesses you didn’t plan for.
Check Out the Attendee List
This is a no-brainer. Knowing the players attending—whether you’re a retailer, technology solution or agency—is a huge advantage, and we should all be grateful to have access to the list. In the age of LinkedIn, we can be certain we’re getting accurate information of positions that prospects fill within companies. Now, I’m not advocating sending spam, but there are many software tools that can provide you with contact information, so why not shoot a quick note or build a personalized campaign? Email is still the most effective and cost-efficient means to deliver your message.
Save Room in Your Schedule for Sponsored Events
You probably received a number of personal invitations from sponsors to attend dinners, activities, and other events. There is no better way to know who you’re doing business with than when the sun sets, people begin to unwind, and you get to see the true colors of people in their natural element. What do they value most? Are they crazy about their family life, do they have a unique hobby, are they a sports fanatic, or is their passion their company? Our philosophy at dotmailer is: business is all about relationships, starting with customer service.
Avoid a Hard Sell
Nobody likes a pushy sales pitch. Opt to distribute your information when you feel it’s natural (or when it’s requested) while letting the conversation flow like a ten-year-old chianti. If there is genuine interest from a lead, then try to book a meeting on the spot. Most people have their calendars on their phones. By locking it in right there, you don’t run the risk of being forgotten down the road.
Build, Don’t Bill
As a technology provider that powers the lead nurturing of thousands of businesses around the world, we see that relationship building is far more effective than selling. At its core, relationships are about getting to know the other person—not selling yourself or your products. When meeting prospects, don’t try to go in for the kill right away. Get to know them and their businesses first by asking questions. If they see you as helpful and knowledgeable, they’re more likely to take your business seriously and consider it for their needs.
Being active on social media is a great way to share your expertise and get noticed. Before the event, make sure your profiles are up-to-date (especially your LinkedIn), and follow the profiles of Magento employees and community members (just look at who Magento is friends with on their profiles). The Magento social team will be retweeting and reposting great content on their Twitter (@Magento) and Instagram (@magentocommerce) channels, so don’t be shy. To maximize your views, likes, and clicks from the Imagine audience, be sure to use the hashtags in both channels: #MagentoImagine and #RoadtoImagine. We’ll also be tweeting and ‘gramming up a storm on our channels: Twitter @dotmailer and Instagram @dotmailer
Wear Comfortable Shoes, Stay Hydrated, and Get Rest
The Las Vegas sun is hot in April (you are in the desert after all) and destinations are farther than they appear. Therefore, do bring a pair of comfy kicks and always carry around a bottle of water with you if you plan on doing some evening exploring. It’s also important to get a healthy amount of sleep particularly for multi-day conferences which can be quite demanding. Oh, and don’t gamble away all the new business you sign!
Las Vegas Livin’
There’s so much Vegas has to offer. If you’re staying an extra couple of days or arrive on the weekend before Imagine starts here are some suggestions:
For the adventurer – ATV/Dune Buggy Rides, Go Karting, Hiking, Cycling, Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour
Shows – Cirque Du Soleil, David Copperfield, Blue Man Group, Penn & Teller
Evening Activities – Pre-dinner drinks at Cosmopolitan Hotel, XS Poolside Lounge at Encore (sister property of Wynn), Wynn Casino, Encore Beach Club, Top
Post-Imagine Follow Up
Don’t let all of your networking go to waste! Have a solid post-event followup plan to reconnect with the people you met at Imagine. Start by simply reaching out to say, “It was nice to meet you (or nice to see you again). I really enjoyed our conversation about (fill in the blank).” Keep your message brief and genuine, and don’t send product info unless they specifically requested it. With a brief follow up message, you can at least make sure that they have your contact info in case they lost your card.
If this is your first Imagine and you have any questions, stop by the dotmailer booth # 513 and we’ll help point you in the right direction.
See you there!
dotmailer is a marketing automation platform that empowers B2B, B2C and eCommerce businesses. The software enables marketers in 156 countries to use advanced data to design, test and send powerful, automated campaigns. As well as being a Magento Premier Technology Partner, dotmailer is the exclusive built-in automation suite for Commerce 2.2.2.