If you are working in B2B sales, there is a pretty good chance you’re going to get an opportunity to pitch to prospects in person. Conferences are a huge way to get in front of potential prospects and perfect your pitch for future prospects as well.
If events are a battle, more than half the fight is won or loss before the event even starts. You need to be reaching out to prospects attending before the event even happens.

Today, let’s show you how to find prospects that are attending the same events as you.

How To Find Your Prospects Before An Event

If you have trouble finding out who is attending the event, the first thing to eye ball are the sponsors attending. Whether you target sales, marketing, or technology folks, the theme of the conference you are attending could have your prospects there.

Image sponsor list attending sales conference

Sponsor lists are a great place to look when attending a conference.

In the event you sell to sales teams, sales reps will often be the ones manning the booths. They also may just be attending without a booth. Another target buyer you can usually find at events are marketing contacts. Marketers will be there overseeing their event since they likely had it come out of their budget, so check sponsor lists.

Lastly, whoever the conference is targeting will be there speaking if they are sponsors, since many speaking spots are including with sponsorship.

Speaker list for Flip my Funnel event

Your prospects could be speaking at the event. You definitely need to go to their talk and try and schedule a face to face. Watching a prospects talk could also give you content to bring up after the conversation.

I’ll give you a good example. When I was at Dyn, I really wanted to prospect one the network operations guys at National Geographic. I remember back in college, my friends and I used to just throw on National Geographic on the TV and have it in the background to past the time. We even would bet on what animals would get away from predators, or win in a fight. So I obviously really cared about this account.

I was going to SurgeCon and saw one of my target buyers was going to be there. Thanks to researching ahead of time, I blocked off time to go to his talk on scaling content for NG. After the talk, I approached him and shared my many tales of nature’s greatest battles. We instantly got along, and an opportunity was born.

How to get a Speakers Contact Information

You can actually do this with a LeadIQ account. Here’s a quick GIF showing you how to do it.

Gif of LeadIQ Chrome Extension

Highlight your prospect’s name then right click to send it into LeadIQ.

Update the company domain to be their company’s domain and we’ll do the rest to find their info and send it to your CRM.

How to Find Conference Attendees

So we talked about working sponsor lists, and looking at the speaker line up. Let’s dive into finding event attendee lists.

Spreadsheet of attendees

This is a much more difficult task. I’ll start with some business relationship stuff you can do. Often times, if you work with the person/company putting on an event, you can tell them you are interested in sponsoring. If this is the case, you can ask them to see a list of the companies and titles attending before pulling the trigger. Some will even show names and companies without the contact data.

If you can score either of these things in a CSV file, you can upload it into LeadIQ as a CSV and find the data in bulk.

Just remember if you book enough meetings doing this, do the right thing and sponsor the event. Event companies are people too!

Image of sales machine list in LeadIQ

Using LeadIQ’s CSV upload, I captured some of the the online community of people at the Sales Machine conference last year. I started with the attendees names and companies.

Some conferences will make an online portal of attendees. If you have access to something like this, you can copy and paste the attendees into a CSV and upload them into LeadIQ, or send them into the extension similar to what we did with speakers, one by one.

If there is no online portal, and no sample list missing some of the data, there is one last place you check, and that’s party apps!

Usually at conferences, companies will throw their own after parties that require an RSVP on a website like EventBright or DoubleDutch. These attendee lists could be a cookie crumb to who will be at the conference.

Image of sales machine list in LeadIQ

Looking at applications like EventBrite and DoubleDutch can be give you ideas of what companies are attending events. This is me searching the Dreamforce party app out of DoubleDutch.

Leveraging Social Media with Events

The easiest thing to do is just search for the event’s hashtag on LinkedIn or Twitter.

On Twitter, just go up to the search bar, and type in the hashtag, or use this link.

Example of Flip my Funnel hashtag on Twitter

As you browse search results for contacts and accounts, you can get a glimpse into people attending the conference.

With LinkedIn you’ll want to put in the conference hashtag or keyword, then click the Content tab after you search. Here’s an example:

How to search event hashtags on LinkedIn

Of course another option you can do with social is deduce that people who are following a conference’s Twitter handle are likely attending the conference as well, so don’t be afraid to prospect those people as well.

Flip My Funnel Hashtag

Prospecting followers of a conferences to setup some meetings.

Between speaker lists, sponsors, social media followers, party registrations, and potential attendee lists, these should enough for you to get started.

Don’t forget to do personalization with your outreach. Earn the meeting.

Posted by Ryan O'Hara
Ryan O'Hara
Ryan O'Hara has been an early employee at several startups helping them with marketing and prospecting tactics, including Dyn who was acquired by Oracle for $600+ million in 2016. He's had prospecting campaigns featured in Fortune, Mashable, and TheNextWeb. Ryan specializes in branding, business development, prospecting, and coaching people on how to make good digital first impressions. He also mentors two accelerators, The Iron Yard and The Alpha Loft, and hosts The Prospecting

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