Whether you have been around for many years, or just starting out on the UAE market, you will always need to find new ways to market your company as best as you can. Given an ever-increasing competition, especially in more tech-oriented fields, making your business stand out can be a real challenge. You have probably tried just about every trick in the book, but here is one that you may have overlooked: conferences. But we are not just talking about attendance. We are talking about speaking opportunities. You may have already attended conferences without seeing much direct improvement in your marketing targets. At best, you may have struck a few deals here and there, and you may have added new people to your Linkedin network. How about really making your business steal the show by signing up to be a speaker? UAE conferences can be an excellent opportunity for your business to attract attention because they have a large number of attendees from around the world. From the oil and gas industry to the ITC field, and everything in between, there are countless UAE conferences, exhibitions, and trades shows for any industry.
Why consider speaking opportunities?
Here are two powerful reasons to share your insight at a conference:
- More legitimacy, more business. When you decide to step up as a speaker, the assumption is that you are an industry expert with something important to share – perhaps a new discovery, an innovative idea, some best practices based on your experience, or a great value proposition. People will sense that you must know what you’re talking about and that you are brave enough to speak in front of them. In fact, your expertise will be associated with your company, and vice versa. Who wouldn’t want to do business with a credible partner that is both experienced and knowledgeable?
- Free advertising for your business. Your name and your company’s name will be on all the advertising material created for the conference. As UAE conferences are attended by a high number of international participants, you will most likely be remembered in several parts of the world. Even if you are just catering to the needs of the UAE, you never know what promising opportunities for international expansion await. Besides, any opportunity to meaningfully advertise your products or services at no cost to you should be taken into consideration.
Want to boost your impact even more?
- Don’t just tell people what you do, show them. As many UAE conferences are coupled with exhibitions and industry trade shows, you can consider enhancing your presence by setting up a great exhibition stand. Thus, you will be able to showcase your expertise and your product portfolio in front of a targeted audience. To make the most out of your experience, you will need to carefully organize and manage your exhibition stand.
- Connect with keynote speakers ahead of time. Try to learn as much as possible about the other keynote speakers and connect with them several weeks before the event. You can either email them, or call them (if you already know them) to schedule a meeting before or after the conference. If that is not an option, you can also try to get to the conference venue 30 minutes before their scheduled talks. It is better to try to talk to the speakers before their sessions start, because there will most likely be many other interested participants waiting to talk to them after the sessions.
- Make the most out of the first days. The first days of a conference are usually the best time to connect with other conference participants. This is usually when everybody’s enthusiasm and energy reach peak level, especially when conferences also feature an exhibition. Also, top-level representatives are usually present during the first days of such events. Last but not least, if you make sure to contact people early, you will be left with enough time to follow up on your initial discussions.
- Let your network know you will be there. To make sure that your partners and potential clients are aware of your attendance, use all relevant communication channels, such as e-mail, websites, newsletters, and social media. Another way to raise your profile and establish a reputation as an industry expert is to take advantage of any speaking opportunities. By registering as a speaker, you can share your unique real-world insights and the results of your industry research, if applicable. It is likely that peers and potential business partners will approach you with questions afterward. Obviously, this is a great opportunity to extend your business network.
- Share live updates. During the various sessions of the conference, use social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to gain more exposure. Provide live updates that can be inspired by a speaker’s interventions or by audio-visual material that might be interesting to learn about. A catchy Facebook status or tweet can get you connected to other fellow attendees. Use hashtags to create or follow conference-related discussion threads.