Tips for writing conference recaps (yes, you should be writing them!)

Would it surprise you to know that some of the most highly viewed blog articles I’ve ever written are event recaps? Or that on Enterprise Software Podcast, some of our highest download numbers of all time are our event recap episodes?

Every time I go to a conference, whether it’s a partner event like Meeting of the Minds or ITA or a user event like Sage Summit or GPUG Summit, I write up a recap of the highlights from my perspective for my company’s blog.

While I’ve pretty much been attending conferences like it’s my job for the past six years, not everyone gets to (or wants to) pack up their business cards and logo gear and jump on a plane every time someone says the word, “keynote”.  Call it FOMO, but people want to hear what they missed, and you should share it with them!

So here are some tips for writing a successful and shareable event recap that will get you lots of views leading to visibility of your brand and coveted website traffic:

  1. Take notes with the article in mind while you’re there so you’ll have something to say without having to try to recall key takeaways later. And if writing’s not your strong suit, you can share your notes with someone who can translate your thoughts into words (or contact DAB Partners to help you get your article to the finish line).
  2. Take pictures – people, their logos, the venue – anything you may want to add as a visual reference.
  3. Talk to the organizers while you’re there to see how they feel about the success of the event, what the attendance numbers looked like, etc.
  4. Mention the event hosts and the other people and other businesses you encountered in the article.
  5. Send these people the article to make sure they know you mentioned them. This is the secret sauce for getting it widely distributed. People like to see their names in print, and when they do, they will often share with others in their own network.
  6. Share your article on social media using the event’s hashtag. This gets the word out to anyone with an interest in the event who may not be in your network.

Below are some examples of high traffic content I’ve published. If you want to learn more about how I can help you get your name out there, contact DAB Partners. And if you found this helpful, please use the form on the right to follow my blog to receive future tips like this in your inbox!

5th Annual Meeting of the Minds – 90 Minds

ITA Fall Collaborative 2015

Microsoft Dynamics User Group Summits 2015

Enterprise Software Podcast Episode 49 – Sage Summit 2016 Recap

Enterprise Software Podcast Episode 52 – Dynamics UG Summit Recap

One simple way to keep referrals coming

“I’ve got a lead for you.”

If you enjoy saying those words, you’ll probably be able to relate to this article. If you enjoy hearing those words, then this article is definitely for you.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love connecting people. I’ve built a large referral network, and all of my customers at DAB Partners to date have come from that network. While I’ve primarily been in the business of receiving leads, over the years I’ve also had opportunities to refer business to my network in many different scenarios. Sometimes I’ve referred people to the same businesses multiple times, and others I’ve stopped referring to after the first one.

Why would I stop referring business to someone? The answer is simple: follow through.

Everyone has good intentions, but how many of us make it a point to go back to our referral sources after the fact and let them know what transpired?

Sure, if you won the business, you may send them a referral fee or commission, but what if you didn’t? What if you were never able to connect, or it wasn’t a good fit? Much like your Marketing team, your referral source wants to know that you valued their lead and gave it your best effort. If it wasn’t a good fit, this is a great opportunity to educate them on how to properly identify someone that you can help in the future.

I’ve experienced every scenario – from someone not even responding to acknowledge a lead I sent them to someone inviting me to join every conversation. Guess which one I never sent another lead to again!

One common cause for this is that the individual receiving the lead is not actually the one in the company who will follow up on it. Imagine you’re a VAR, and a CPA firm sends you a lead (it shouldn’t be hard to imagine, but if it is, let’s work on your CPA network!). You hand it off to a rep to handle. Do you make sure to go back and close the loop with the CPA? Or make sure the rep does?

Another common scenario is when the lead goes cold, then wakes back up months later. Sales people eager to close the deal will jump right back in where they left off in the sales cycle, but will they think back to where it came from in the first place and make sure that person knows it’s been revived?

If you want to keep your referral sources coming back, make it part of your process to inform them of milestones in the relationship. Let them know after you’ve had your first conversation and when a decision is made. Reach out to them after the customer has gone live to let them know that you not only won the business, but that the customer is happy.

Add it to your calendar. Better yet, put a task in your CRM. The moment you hear the words, “I’ve got a lead for you”, make your plans to close that loop!