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Why You Need to Start Booking Meetings BEFORE Your Event

by Ravi Chalaka
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Events don’t look or work like they used to. Six years ago, surveys revealed that event technology (like a meeting scheduling app) could help increase attendance and productivity by 20% and 27% respectively, and reduce costs by as much as 30%. Since then, technology has evolved, significantly enhancing the potential of these gains.

Attendee expectations have changed just as much. They seek personalized experiences with fluid agendas that they’re in control of. But how do you best build these experiences? And how does putting attendees in the driver’s seat enhance your success rate?

One of the best ways is letting attendees pre-book meetings with a meeting scheduling app. This lets attendees manage their agendas—but it also ensures that your event guests are engaged, that meetings are personalized, and that you have a greater chance of selling effectively. A robust meeting scheduling app is a game-changer, improving productivity and attendance and reducing costs.

Let’s dive deeper into how meeting scheduling software can supercharge your trade shows. We’ll first explore common pitfalls causing your team to lose out on remarkable sales opportunities, then examine how you can turn this around for a significant boost in event ROI.

group of execs after meeting scheduling app
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Look Out for These Challenges During Trade Shows

Managing multiple interactions in a limited time while prioritizing quality leads can be challenging. Allowing attendees to book meetings with a meeting scheduling app can help avoid the following stumbling blocks.

Not Enough Meetings Booked During the Trade Show

A great concern for businesses at trade shows is generating enough high-quality leads. The pressure is on to attract attendees to your booth and get the right prospects to book a meeting.

Most trade show and event teams focus solely on attracting prospects during the event itself. Often, attendees struggle for the attention of experts they wish to talk to—while sales reps rush through interactions with low-quality prospects.

Ensuring the right strategic connections at these opportune times will boost event ROI. Relying on attracting prospects to your booth and not making meeting scheduling quick and simple is a great opportunity (as well as time and money) wasted. Additionally, precious prospects could be missed if your team has neglected to send out targeted email campaigns with options to sign up for meeting requests before the event.

employees using meeting scheduling app to strategize
Source: Shutterstock

Mismanaged Meetings During the Trade Show

Coordinating multiple touchpoints with hundreds of attendees is no simple task. When manually trying to manage meetings at scale, teams often run into problems such as:

  • Double bookings
  • Scheduling conflicts with other team members’ calendars
  • Difficulty finding a room with the right technology capabilities
  • Difficulties coordinating across different time zones
  • Poor meeting preparation
  • Rushed meetings and time overlaps, causing backlogs
  • Mismatched specialist sales reps and prospects
  • Missed opportunities due to no-shows

Attendees and sales reps become frustrated when your team lacks an efficient and effective scheduling system to coordinate meeting logistics. This reflects on your professionalism and impacts meeting success. After all, if you can’t even arrange a meeting effectively, why should your prospect trust you with a million-dollar deal?

The right meeting scheduling tool allows you to seamlessly coordinate every touch point from pre-event meeting booking and venue availability to matching the most appropriate sales reps with prospects.

With a meeting scheduling app, you can invite your prospects to book a meeting at a time that suits them. The meeting scheduling platform will automatically assign the meeting to the right sales expert and proper venue—ultimately setting the stage for a well-managed meeting.

team meeting together to discuss metrics
Source: Shutterstock

When confirmations and reminders, calendar blocks, and room availability are automated, your team spends less time and resources troubleshooting—and more time building valuable connections.

Smart Pre-booking Strategies Using Your Meeting Scheduling App

1. Turn Leads Into Inbound Meetings Before the Trade Show

With an increased demand for personalization across the consumer landscape, event organizers have to start moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach. Personalization is the foundation of modern event marketing, setting the stage for the overall attendee experience.

With event technology, marketers and event organizers can connect with every potential event attendee on a personal level and create distinctive experiences from the very first touchpoint.

Ensure that your online marketing registration form for the trade show captures relevant information for follow-up engagement. For example, if you receive a registration from an executive at the company you’ve been prospecting for weeks, you’ll want to reply with more than an automated ‘Thank you.’ You can, instead, send them an invitation for an invite-only executives dinner taking place during one night of the event.

In addition, you want to allow prospects to personalize their experience at the event registration stage. Allow them to choose (and book) the topics and session types they are most interested in. These include booth tours, workshops, one-on-one meetings, executive sessions, training forums, and demos. By creating multiple engagement types that relate to the different audience segments, you can maximize every sales opportunity.

Did You Know? Jifflenow’s eEvent lets you customize inbound request forms to include fields that gather all the info you could ever need. Who attendees want to meet with, company names, what products they’re interested in, what type of meeting they’d prefer—get all this info right at the start.

team meeting after trade show
Source: Shutterstock

2. Automate Booking Workflows for Different Types of Events

Managing multiple meetings and sessions simultaneously requires a massive amount of coordination. Venue availability, capacity, equipment, team calendars, attendee registration details—you need to keep this all in sync. Doing so manually quickly becomes a massive headache!

But the right meeting scheduling software will enable outbound and inbound meeting scheduling with the click of a button. Attendees can request an appointment directly via web or mobile app; every meeting type can have its own unique request link within a single event or program.

The meeting scheduling app automates confirmation notifications for every meeting participant, further personalizing their experience and creating a sense of anticipation. Meanwhile, you gain direct insights into who will be attending your sessions, allowing you to prepare accordingly.

The automated workflow saves your entire team time, eliminates error-prone manual tasks, double bookings, and streamlines the entire process—from the first meeting initiation to database management for post-meeting follow-ups.

3. Consider Virtual and Hybrid Events for Those Who Cannot Attend In-Person

While in-person events will never disappear, hybrid and virtual models are here to stay. Although not everyone can attend your event, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want to. A hybrid event experience allows those who cannot attend due to travel constraints or schedule conflicts to be part of the experience.

executive team meeting with clientele
Source: Shutterstock

Event technology lets you stream events like product demos and booth tours to cater to in-person and virtual attendees. Virtual participants can book sessions and request meetings via the meeting scheduling app like in-person attendees, receiving the same automated confirmations and reminders.

In addition, you can easily convert in-person meetings to virtual meetings with a click. If an in-person meeting or live event gets canceled, you don’t need to lose out on a single opportunity.

Boost Your High-Quality Leads With a Meeting Scheduling App

While tradeshows are valuable for generating leads, they require an exhausting amount of coordination to be effective. Ensuring you secure meetings before the event even starts guarantees a minimum threshold of high-quality lead generation and increases genuine interest engagements.

A meeting scheduling app is key to simplifying the complexities between managing multiple calendars, in-person and hybrid meeting bookings, and venues. Automate time-consuming, complex tasks and reduce miscommunications so that your team has the free time to focus on optimizing the customer experience.

Once you realize the value a meeting scheduling platform can add to your event and bottom line, you’ll never attempt another show without one!

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Jifflenow is the world’s most comprehensive meeting automation platform, helping global enterprises accelerate business growth by automating the scheduling, management, and analysis of B2B in-person and virtual meetings. Jifflenow has transformed customer meeting management from an offline workflow to an automated, streamlined and online process with measurable results and actionable insights.

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