Who doesn’t love a good sales conference? They provide a great opportunity to network, gain new knowledge, and level up your selling skills. While some sales conferences and industry events are staying virtual for 2022, some are leaping to meet back in person.
Whether you’re looking to hop online or on a flight, plan to invest in yourself (or your employees) and capitalize on these top sales events for the upcoming year.
Why Should You Attend Sales Events?
For companies and individuals looking to invest in professional development, the statistics are staggering. No matter what level you’re at, the most successful sales professionals say they are always looking for ways to improve. And with very little to no formal education specific to the sales industry, conferences and events are some of the best ways to invest in your professional career.
Not convinced these events, conferences, or trainings are worth your investment? Take a look at these sales statistics on why you should attend.
(Or you can jump to our list of Top Sales Events and Conferences for 2022 here.)
- Professional Development
According to a June 2020 survey conducted by Glint, a human resources software company (owned by LinkedIn) reported that 97% of surveyors “want to expand, or at least continue the amount of time they spend learning.”
Additionally, these professional opportunities to learn and grow have emerged as the strongest driver of work culture with 94% reporting they would stay at a company longer if they feel their growth is being prioritized. And it doesn’t stop there.
The Rain Group discovered clients who had their sales teams join industry-specific conferences closed 15.2% more deals and improved their margin profit by 12.2%. Professional development is the key to growth and engagement within your sales department and your entire organization.
Another benefit of attending a virtual or in-person sales event is that they offer a chance for business networking. Networking at just one event could help you land a new client, gain a word-of-mouth referral, or give you a new perspective on a challenge you’ve been facing. Especially in the sales industry, where professionals tend to gather and share information – these events are a great place to network.
It doesn’t matter if you connect with old acquaintances, meet collaborators face-to-face for the first time, or have a thought-provoking discussion with a panelist or industry thought leader, – those connections and conversations can help you maximize your time at these events.
Sales events provide a great platform to make more genuine business connections, which can help your lead generation and prospecting efforts. Upcoming event? Don’t wait to reach out. Use the knowledge gained about the event to strike up more personalized conversations.
Find out who is going to be there and request a short block of time to meet up during the event. Or, when prospects visit your booth, ask to schedule a meeting. You can even start a chat or DM with someone by mentioning a specific fact or some sort of knowledge gained about the event to help personalize your conversation.
- Find New Partners, Vendors, and Connections
Looking for a new partner or vendor? Just ask. Put it out there. People ask for help on Linkedin all of the time, so you can only imagine the behind-the-scenes information being passed at these types of events. (FYI – It’s happening with or without you there.) So make the most of it! Believe it or not, people really do want to help, and most likely, they also probably know someone who could use your help too.
Meeting online or in-person at an event makes it easier to connect with a larger group and share this information. Not to mention, there are always conference sponsorship opportunities to help your brand stand out from other competition.
- Get the Latest Industry News
Use your time at these events to gain new knowledge and perspectives about the latest in industry news, trends, and market research. In the sales industry where selling methods, techniques, and technologies are constantly evolving, it is important to have a community you can trust.
Sessions and workshops at professional development conferences typically cover a variety of topics ranging from career growth and self-awareness to development and crowdsourcing technology. Many sessions and workshops provide tips and resources that can be instantly adopted and implemented within your team.
And when you’re trying to come up with the ideas or test theories to help close more deals, you can really benefit from some fresh inspiration.
How to Maximize Investment…
If your Event Is Virtual…
Online opportunities give equal access to some of the best experts, industry leaders, and other potential advantages for professional development or networking. Expert Networking Concierge Ashley Owens notes, “It is important to still be creative and strategic in building relationships from virtual events.”
We had to share her top advice on how to Network Like A Boss (Virtually).
- Have a Goal:
Ashley suggests you begin by establishing your virtual networking goals. “Be intentional in planning and strategizing your way through to a conference. This will direct your focus and effort in networking that drives professional advancement.”
How many people do you want to connect with? Will you begin to spend virtual time weekly with certain connections? As you begin to brainstorm the target profiles of your connections, Ashley advises you to network with 3 main groups:
- Potential strategic partners – people who share the same target audience as you; someone who fits into the sales cycle – either before or after you
- Subject matter experts in your field – people who inspire you to be better and question your own perspective to help you grow in experience; and
- Current network – nurturing relationships with people you already know and trust.
Once you have these profiles in mind, seek out events that have those people in the room. Her favorite sites for event searching? Eventbrite, Meetup, and HIO Social.
- Comment and Engage:
Ashley says, “Share relevant comments and thoughts on topics to showcase your expertise. Be visible on the event platform and community or event app. Post questions, insights, reviews, and ask to hear from others. This strategy helps you find your way to connections with shared professional or educational interests, causes, and contacts.”
Her advice: The more that you give, the more that you’re able to ask for!
- Follow Up to Establish Relationships & Create Personal Conversations.
Follow up with the people you met at your event. “After the event, follow up with the folks that you’ve met!”
Ashley continues, “When you follow-up with your new connections, understand that conversations at this time of our life may become personal and use that to create more valuable connections and relationships.”
Try sending a message asking for a fifteen-minute introductory call to find out more about them and their business. Try personalizing the message as best as possible and keep it short and sweet. Try for just two sentences!
“This is a powerful way of building trust while sharing both our growth and challenges – personally and in business,” says Ashley. “You should plan for your initial call to last 15-20 minutes, tops. During your conversation ask them if they have any contacts that they could potentially introduce you to – an easy way to continue growing your network! You should also be thinking about how to reciprocate, is there anyone within your network that you could introduce them to?”
While some conferences are free, some can be costly, especially if you are a vendor or sponsoring the event. If you’d like to be there to meet your ideal clients at conferences and events in person, here are some ideas for maximizing your investment.
Just like we talked about with Ashley and virtual networking, in-person events call for the same types of preparation. Having a clear goal and knowing who you want to connect with are two of the most important aspects of attending any sales event.
Unlike virtual events where you can just exit out of your browser if you aren’t satisfied, in-person events can often require more planning.
Are you planning a booth or preparing to sponsor an event? This ROI checklist can help:
- Reserving your stand or booth
- Exhibition graphics
- Printed collateral
- Salary/wages for staff running your stand during the entire event
- Salary/wages for staff setting up and packing away your stand
- Lost revenue for the non-chargeable time
- Other miscellaneous travel or hotel costs
Don’t want to plan a booth? There are plenty of other ways to connect with your ideal people at any sales event or conference.
- Arrange extra staff at your chosen conference/event
- Use ongoing follow-up via email to those conference/event attendees
- Create a solid foundation for trust and building relationships
- Create targeted advertising to reach everyone within the event on social media
Looking for a great sales event? Here are some of our top-ranked in-person and virtual sales events and conferences for 2022.
Top Upcoming Sales Events & Conferences
RevGrowth Virtual Summit
Taking place December 2, 2021, get one last sales event before the new year. At this sales event, you can learn about increasing pipeline, coaching high-performing teams, aligning marketing and sales departments, and everything you could ever know about collaboration.
Sales Enablement Summit
Running in multiple locations throughout 2022, the Sales Enablement Summit is a series of events where Sales Enablement leaders worldwide share their experiences, challenges, and success stories. There will be 35 speakers from large companies and exciting startups in each of the locations.
Leadership Summitt 22
Hosted by the AA-ISP, the “Sales Transformed” Leadership Summitt 22 takes place March 8th- 10th, 2022 near Chicago. Thought-provoking workshops, distinguished keynote speakers, panels covering industry trends and challenges, and breakout sessions that give attendees the opportunity to engage in deeper conversations around specific topics. Invest in yourself and your team by utilizing their group discount.
The Sales Innovation Expo
Dubbed, “California’s leading sales event,” it provides thousands of the most proactive sales professionals with the tips, tricks, and techniques they need to transform themselves and their companies into the biggest names within the world of sales. Join in person at the LA Convention Center, on April 6-7th, 2022. Register your booth now! Tickets are FREE!
Unleash, Outreach’s sales engagement conference that draws thousands of sales, operations, and marketing leaders each year, is taking place in San Diego, April 4-7th, 2022. Here, they bring together all the Fortune 500 leaders, thought leaders, and influencers you know and love.
Check back for more information on other events to be scheduled:
- CS100 Summit
- Seismic Shift
- Hard No Tour
- Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference
- OutBound Sales Conference
- Sales Success Summit
- Be the Change Retreat
- Tenbound Sales Development Summit
- Surf and Sales Summit
- Sistas in Sales Summit