Sales and Marketing Conferences for 2017

We all have busy schedules. But no matter how busy you are, it’s important to attend at least a couple of conferences or trade shows a year. Conferences and trade shows help you network and stay in tune with the latest news and trends in your industry.

To help you find the best sales and marketing conferences for 2017, I have compiled a list below from several sites for your review.

Here are the links –

Sales Conferences

From PeakSales Recruiting

The Top 14 Conferences to Attend in 2017

From Sales Summit

2017 Sales Conferences

From Maria Milea

The Complete Guide – Marketing and Sales Conferences 2017

From the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP)

AA-ISP Event Calendar

(I’m an active member of AA-ISP. I attended the Boston event last year. There are always great opportunities at their events to network and learn new skills).

Marketing Conferences

From Brafton

12 Marketing Conferences to Mark on your 2017 Calendar

From OnSpot Social

Top 2017 Marketing Conferences to Book Today

From Digimarcon

2017 Marketing Conferences

From RedStag Fulfillment

Ecommerce Conferences for 2017

Tips for Attending Conferences

1). Register early, you usually get better deals.

2). If possible, obtain an attendee list so you can schedule meetings with key people (Note – not all organizations provide attendee lists).

3). Trade Shows are usually part of the event. Review the list of exhibitors and plan which booth you would like to visit. If there is a vendor that you are interested in, try to contact the company prior to the event and schedule a meeting during the conference. Vendors tend to be very busy, so having a scheduled meeting may save both of you time.

4). Make your airline registration early to receive low fares.

5). When attending an event, especially if I’m walking around during a trade show, I prefer using luggage with skate wheels and a retractable handle. Why? Because besides carrying your laptop, business cards, pens and notebooks, you will also be given a lot of swag and free literature to take home with you.

I’m currently using EAGLE CREEK TARMAC 20 LIGHTWEIGHT CARRY ON BAG (BLACK) (see below).

I hope the above lists and my advice will help you.

Safe travels this year!

How to conduct sales meetings, Part 4

In the previous posts, I shared with you 4 videos from experts offering their advice on how to conduct sales meetings. Below are my tips to help you conduct better sales meetings –

1). Have a clear agenda. As already discussed in the previous posts, everyone should know in advance what the meeting is about. Stick to the plan. If people have an issue to discuss outside the agenda, encourage them to meet privately with the sales manager.

2). Fridays are normally the best time to hold sales meetings. Why? Depending on the industry you are in, Fridays tend to be the slowest sales day of the week. Fridays are also a good time to quickly review the week, and prepare for the following week. I knew one manager who purposely scheduled meetings on Friday afternoons so that his sales staff would not leave early for the weekend. In one video, it was suggested having three meetings a week. Frankly, depending on your industry, I don’t think this is necessary and could be overkill.

sales meeting3). Try to keep the meetings no more than 30 minutes long. Longer meetings tend to make people daydream, get bored and tired. It also eats into your prime time sales calling time. Let’s face it – you only have so many hours in the day. Unless you have clients all over the world (and I’ve been in the situation a couple of times), where you could literary work 24/7 and always have prospects to call, your time is very limited. Use it wisely.

4). Do you really need to meet every week? Can you hold the meetings biweekly? Or, as suggested in one video, schedule meetings only when necessary.

5). Will the meetings help the sales process? Will the meeting help sales people do their jobs better? If the answer to both questions is no, then stop having the meetings or develop a better agendas.

As the old saying goes, time is money. Meetings take up a lot of time. Think carefully about what you do and say before scheduling a meeting.

photo credit: IAEA Imagebank via photopin cc

How to conduct sales meetings, Part 3

In part 2 of the post, I provided two videos discussing how to conduct sales meetings. Below are two more videos from YouTube from other experts who offer their advice.

Jon Petz from Boring Meetings Suck recommends that meetings need to have focus and results. Here is his video below –

 

SalesDNA, an Australian company, recommends holding three meetings a week – one in the beginning of the week, a mid-week meeting along with one-on-ones, and a debrief meeting at the end of the week.

Here is the video –

 

How to conduct sales meetings, Part 2

In part 1, I discussed some of the problems we encounter with sales meetings. In parts 2 and 3 of this post, I will share with you some YouTube videos from experts on how to conduct effective meetings.

Below is a good video summarizing the right way to conduct meetings from Kuza Biashara, a company based in Kenya. Among other things, the company recommends having an agenda and to hold meetings only when necessary.

Here is the video –

Brian Tracy, one of the masters of selling, offered one good suggestion in his video below that I liked. He recommends that if someone arrives late for a meeting, you  don’t waste everyone else’s time by recapping what was already discussed in the beginning of a meeting. Instead, you continue to move forward and try to end on time. Eventually, late comers will get the message. (And I should add, you can always take that person aside later and fill them in on the details they missed).

Here is his video below –

How to conduct Sales Meetings, Part 1

You arrive early for work. You are eager to make sales calls. But before you dial your first client of the day, someone turns to you and says “Don’t forget – we have a sales meeting in a few minutes!”

Your heart stops for a second. All of a sudden you realize that your entire morning is going to be shot to hell. All those clients you hoped to call that morning will probably be contacted by your competitors. And while you’re sitting in the meeting, drinking coffee, and trying to stay awake, your competitors are laughing all the way to the bank.

The sales meeting. It’s one of those rituals we all encounter in our careers. But do those meetings really have to be so bad? Can’t we make them more productive so that you can do what you were hired to do – get sales.

sales meetingOf all the companies that I’ve ever worked for over the years, only a handful of employers offered productive and thoughtful meetings. The meetings were only 30 minutes long and would be held around 8:30 a.m. or earlier. You had a clear idea what the meetings were about. Everyone respected each other’s time. Most sales people got to the point. Why? Because they wanted to quickly return to their desks to make money.

However, those companies were the exception rather than the rule. Most meetings that I have attended have little or no agendas, turn into bitch sessions with sales people complaining about another department, or about each other. While some people may look at sales meetings as a welcome break from doing sales, I usually look at them as an interruption to my selling process.

I’ve attended some meetings that ran so long I almost wanted to slit my wrists. I’ve heard stories over the years how some sales managers would come up with creative ways of reducing the length of meetings. For example, there would be no chairs in the meeting room. Everyone was forced to stand. Coffee or smartphones were not allowed. They would adhere to a very strict agenda. While not related to sales, I heard of a restaurant manager who had a creative way of reducing his weekly meetings with his staff. He would hold the meetings in the walk-in freezer. The meetings didn’t last very long.

While attending a quarterly meeting of my local food co-op, the board actually hired a meeting coordinator who acted as a referee. If someone got off topic or got into a shouting match (which happens often), she would step in, enforce the meeting rules and the agenda, and move the meeting along.

In the next few posts, I will provide videos from YouTube on how to conduct sales meetings. I will then provide you with my own tips and advice.