Selling Through Experiences: How to Impress Clients at a Conference

With a massive conference like Dreamforce, comes fierce competition from every sales rep vying for the attention of prospective clients. Especially, when these potential clients consist of executives, CEOs, and decision makers. So, how do you get facetime and generate more leads? The trick is to make these meetings less transactional and to build meaningful relationships instead. By providing a unique experience, clients will have a lasting impression long after the convention is over.

We put together a list of ideas that take prospects away from the chaos of the trade show floor and offer an elevated experience.

Book a private yoga studio  

During a massive conference, the most exercise most attendees get is from pacing around the convention center Scheduling a midday yoga session to replace your standard sales meeting will break up the day and leave your clients feeling refreshed. Browse our list of private studios in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and more.

Hire a private chef

Most clients travel a lot for work so their meals consist of airport food, hotel room service, and dining out. Give them a home cooked meal by organizing a cooking class with a private chef.  Not only will clients have the opportunity to let loose in the kitchen, but they’ll also have the chance to engage in meaningful conversations over a shared meal. 

Pair your wine with paint  

Another nontraditional client event is to host an after hours paint night. This gives clients a fun way to unwind and get creative, all while enjoying wine (or their beverage of choice). Because so many of these conferences are focused on the latest tech gadget or software update, doing something artistic will be a welcomed surprise.  

Create a personalized happy hour

Clients will receive an onslaught of happy hour invitations during a conference, so make sure yours stands out. From choosing the drink name, recipe, and menu design, craft the cocktails to represent your brand in every detail. While these craft cocktails are important, the location might even be a bigger draw. Instead of your typical bar or hotel lounge, book a private happy hour on a rooftop overlooking the city or somewhere else unexpected.  

Go big with concert tickets

Nobody can turn down a live show, right? Check Ticketmaster or JamBase to see who’s playing during the conference and buy tickets in advance. To elevate the concert experience, think about renting out a VIP section for top clients so they’re not brushing shoulders with the masses.

Host a memorable dinner

Traditional restaurant banquet rooms can be pricey and often stuffy so think about hosting your dinner “off the grid.” Renting out a venue overlooking a rooftop and bringing in a caterer will make for a more memorable experience than going the traditional restaurant banquet route. Salesforce recommends you should, “Show up for the first thirty minutes or so to welcome everyone and make sure they have everything they need. Pick up the check and leave them to their own conversations! You will be amazed by your return on investment.”

Have a night at the museum

A lot of museums have evening events that make for a unique backdrop to any client meeting. Look up the city’s local museum’s calendar to see if there’s an event that is right for your audience. You can also rent out an art gallery for a private happy hour, panel discussion, or networking event.  

Plan a curated local experience

Give your clients a chance to explore the city of the conference’s location. You can find curated experiences in major cities by using services like Peek to book private tours with your clients. USA Today calls Peek a “travel guide -book-meets-hotel concierge” where you can book wine tasting, sailing tours, beers and biking, and more.

Look out for unexpected meetings

An unconventional approach is to look out for meetings that are already happening in places you’d least expect. Check the conference hashtag and Instagram geolocation to see where prospects are congregating. Then find a way to receive an invite and get ready to mingle.

Need space to make one of these ideas come to life? Impress your clients with one of these unique venues