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Creative promotion ideas for a conference.
August 17, 2010 3:51 PM   Subscribe

How do I promote my web design freelance business at a conference I am attending (unrelated to web design)?

I asked a week ago some general questions about promoting myself. Now I have some specific questions. I am going to a conference for aquarium hobbyists in a few weeks, and I thought it might be a good place to get my name in the hands of small businesses. I'm going to do the obvious, and print some business cards, but also looking for some other things I can do. One thing I thought about doing is printing up t-shirts that say something along the lines of "I make web pages" so I can go about enjoying the conference, but also make myself a big advertisement. I'm looking for more ideas and thought the hivemind could help.

I'm not a vendor, and I don't have a table. The conference will consist of talks on the various subject matters, and a vendor room where manufacturers and retailers will have tables set up to show their wares. I'm also on a somewhat tight budget, so only small-ish suggestions please.
posted by [insert clever name here] to Work & Money (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I would try for something more clever than, "I make webpages". I'm sure it would be an awesome aquarium pun, but I can't think of it.
posted by allthewhile at 4:03 PM on August 17, 2010


"I make web pages" is too vague. The point isn't that you make web pages. It's that you:

* Help their customers find them online
* Establish a presence for them online
* Clean up crappy design (use the word "mulm" for bonus fish geek points)

In other words, instead of saying WHAT you do (create web pages) say WHY you do it. Skip right to the benefit to the person who's looking at your shirt.

You can also offer a "show special," like a 10% off discount. This is a great way to encourage people to come up and talk to you, rather than thinking "I'll have to look that guy up" (and not doing it).

If you can afford a special-purpose shirt, your logo plus
Give your customers a place to find you online!
10% off for conference attendees
will do the trick nicely.
posted by ErikaB at 5:34 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Absolutely talk to people non-stop. Ask them genuine questions about their business and their web presence. Business cards with a special limited time discount for conference attendees would be a great investment. Definitely talk to all the vendors about their web presence. If it's a multi-day conference or you have access to a list of attendees/vendors ahead of time, look them all up on the internet. See how they rank on various search engines and write that information down. When you talk to them the next day, review your note about them briefly and bring up specific things. This will let them know that you care about their company and are willing to do background work. Above all - be proactive. Don't expect that because you're wearing a t-shirt people will come up to you. Instead, you need to be prepared to do all the legwork.

Personally, I wouldn't wear a t-shirt to a conference. Then again, I generally go to more upscale conferences. I wouldn't take someone seriously if they weren't dressed appropriately for the setting. Be very sure about it if you choose to dress down.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:40 PM on August 17, 2010


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