Work Exhibit Halls for Writing (and other) Leads

Now that conventions and conferences are scheduling in-person meetings, you may have some unique opportunities to position yourself as a speaker and author! Have you considered all the opportunities you might find in working the exhibit halls to find publications that would value your posts and articles?
When I first began my career as a Human Resources consultant and speaker, I often was a speaker for the Society for Human Resource Management’s conferences, and I discovered the power of walking the exhibit halls to find leads for writing (which created leads for speaking and consulting).
Here are some of the things I learned in generating interest for future writing assignments.
  • Study the Exhibitor guide and identify your prime targets. Look for associations, publications, and companies who use content marketing to sell their products.
  • Work the exhibit halls in off-peak times. Exhibitors don’t want to talk with you when they could be generating leads for their products or services, so show these folks the respect they deserve. If a potential customer approaches their booth, offer to return at a later time or schedule a call after the conference.
  • Ask the powerful question, “Are you looking for content articles for your newsletters, magazines, or other publications?” More times than not, the answer will be, “We are always looking for content.”
  • Ask to speak with or meet the editor or meeting planner, or find out who that contact is. Your best follow-up may be in an email or call to that person after the conference.
  • If you’re speaking at the conference, let your contact know you are a thought leader. This contact may have an interest in attending your session or having their education department or communication group cover your program. You may also note that your topic is a “hot topic” for this group of professionals, so your article or post will be of interest to their readers.
  • If you’re already the author of a book, take your book with you to show or to gift to the right contact. I was once able to find an opportunity for a paid writing gig based on the fact that I was already a published author.
For more ideas about generating opportunities to write when you speak, check out The Speaker Author: Sell More Books and Book More Speeches.

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