What I Learned About Lead Generation at Dreamforce

Oct 15, 2016 | Events, Lead Gen, Networking, Sales

Last year I wrote Dream or Nightmare What I Learned at Dreamforce. It was my first year and I was completely overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to expect and it was all brand new. I met a lot of people but didn’t generate a lot of leads.

This year I was ready. I did a lot of planning in advance. I RSVP’d to all the event invitations, made my list of who I wanted to meet with and planned those meetings in advance. I made an exhaustive schedule of all of the potential events I could attend and mapped it all out on my calendar.

I returned from Dreamforce in a much different place. It was a fun week with tons of great meetings with people I knew and tons of serendipitous meetings with people I met there. The planning paid off and I want to share what I learned about lead generation from Dreamforce this year. #GreatLeadGen

Stay On The Edge

For me, the best events were going on around the main event. Just on the edge but close enough to walk.  These events worked well because they were invitation only. What’s tough about any trade show or a large event like this is that there are so many people and most of them are not your ideal prospect. When you have a booth, you get traffic from anyone who walks by. When you hold your own event, you invite only those who are already clients or are ideal prospects. Now the room is filled with the right people and the relationship building can commence.  #GreatLeadGenjim-dickie-csoinsights

CSOInsights (part of the Miller Heiman Group) and Smart Selling Tools held a lounge in the lovely Hotel Zeta. I enjoyed seeing CSOInsights founders Barry Trailer and Jim Dickie. They made everyone feel comfortable and created great opportunities for in-depth conversations.

While I was there, I had the opportunity to introduce one of my new clients Philip Schweizer of Saleswings to Nancy Nardin, founder of Smart Selling Tools. It was a fruitful meeting and everyone appreciated being able to sit and talk in this lovely venue away from the maddening crowd. Looks like Philip and Nancy may do some business #GreatLeadGenalice-philip-cso-insights-saleswings

Sales Hacker hosted a fabulous breakfast with several sponsors including RingLead and HireView. I got to see Max Altschuler and Kenny Greene, along with friends Matt Behrend and Jake Reni from Consensus. I also caught up with Rob Jeppsen and learned about his new venture Xvoyant. I saw Rob as several other edge events and we decided we had a lot to talk about. “Hello, Rob, I’m calling you!” #GreatLeadGen

Our friends at Prezi invited us to their lounge which was in their office. Great digs, great fpreziood and great conversations! I found my friend Rich Blakeman, author of the Hybrid Sales Channel, there and we caught up.

These events happened on the edge and provided great opportunities to meet people in a quieter, smaller venue. Great conversations lead to great things.

[bctt tweet=”#WhatILearned – If you want to generate high quality leads Dreamforce, stay on the edge!” username=”AliceHeiman”]

Draw Your Own Crowd

There’s nothing better than captivating an audience of the right people, especially when they are delighted to be there and engaged. Wjon-milller-engagio-insideviewith all the craziness of an event like Dreamforce, how do you get the attention you desire? Hold an invitation-only event in a place where people can network and listen to some great speakers. The events were happening on the edge also but they were more than a gathering place. They used the venue to provide relevant content to invitees.

InsideView and Engagio (and a few others) found a very cool location for their Open Lounge in the One Kearny Club. This club had a fabulous lecture area where several different speakers presented throughout the day.  Tracy Eiler, Chief Marketing Officer at InsideView, lead a panel called Women on the Rise and had her book, Aligned to Achieve available. Jon Miller, CEO and Co-Founder at Engagio, gave an excellent presentation on “Account-Based Everything.” Did you know he majored in Physics?

Brian Carroll author of Lead Generation of the Complex Sale, hosted an invitation-only B2B Marketers breakfast where I was honored to be one of the experts available for questions. I met several interesting people who had lots of questions. I will keep in touch with them and I know that some of those connections will lead to sales.

[bctt tweet=”#WhatILearned – If you want to generate high-quality leads at Dreamforce, draw your own crowd!” username=”AliceHeiman”]

Stand Out

My sister, Liz Heiman, and I were daring enough to walk the exhibit floor. It was a bit of a mob scene. If you are going to have a booth at this crowded expo, you simply have to find a way to stand out and let people know immediately what you do. In this case, a picture is worth 1000 words.
alice-at-expoaircall-boothfairwarning-booth

Which booths stand out? Which would you be attracted to?

It’s obvious which attracted us. Our choice for Best of Show! Very engaging and we know what they do! Congratulations FairWarning!

 

ppl-boothfourwinds-interactive

veterans-to-work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fairwarning-captivating-booth

 

[bctt tweet=”#WhatILearned – If you want to generate high-quality leads at Dreamforce, you have to stand out” username=”AliceHeiman”]

Make Your Own Fun

We made our own fun everywhere we went. We had great conversations and enjoyed the people we met. They were happy to hang around with us and will be happy to take our calls this week because instead of trying to sell to them we built relationships and had fun. #GreatLeadGen

@LizHeiman @Octiv @appdataroom @thesaleshunter @millerheimangroup @gerhard20 @jwdcomm @richblakeman @sellingtools @gabevillamizar @jakereni @robjeppsen @bridgegroupinc @barrytrailer @jimdickie @phswiss @luckyadam @jasonrjordon @odroz @prezi @jonmiller @engagio @kokasexton @scoremoresales @socialsalespro @localatlast @greggthaler @kennethsgreene @keenan and many more.

[bctt tweet=”#WhatILearned – If you want to generate high-quality leads at Dreamforce, make your own fun!” username=”AliceHeiman”]

This year’s Dreamforce was a fun week filled with great meetings with people I knew and tons of serendipitous meetings with people I met.

I hope these ideas I’ve shared have helped you prepare for your next big conference and if you need some more specifics download my ebook Exhibitors Guide to Trade Show Success ,or call me 775-852-5020, and I’ll help you prepare for success at your next event.

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