Make the most of CTA’s C-Level @ Mile High

C-Level @ A Mile HighGood news Colorado sales professionals; more than 80 CTO’s, CIO’s, and key decision makers for your Colorado target accounts will be in the same place all at once, on one day; and you can win their attention at C-Level @ Mile High, an annual event put on by the Colorado Technology Association.

C-Level @ Mile High operates just like an auction, with the “lot” being decision makers, known as “celebrities,” from all corners of the Colorado technology community.  We’re talking companies like Arrow Electronics, Crocs, DaVita, Gates, Google, and the list goes on.  So, how do you win some time with your desired contact?  You bid the most!  What’s better is you win more than just their time.  With each celebrity comes an activity that you will join them for.  Maybe its golf, maybe it’s the shooting range, maybe it’s just a fancy dinner.  Regardless, it’s going to be fun and you’re going to get some quality time with that person.  Choose wisely.

ReadyTalk has been a Silver Sponsor of CTA since 2009, and we have participated at this event in all capacities (bidder, sponsor, ambassador, and our CTO is a celebrity).  With this experience comes some valuable advice that I’ll share:

  1. Review the list of celebrities and cross reference it with your current prospecting list.  Determine a handful of organizations that you plan to target at this event – 3-5 is recommended.  Be sure you will be able to recognize them.
  2. Know what projects are planned. On the day of the event, you will have access to current projects these celebrities are focused on or plan to undertake in the near future.  Take your list of 3-5 contacts and see if any of them have projects that align with what you plan to sell.
  3. Be a social butterfly!  What I mean is, don’t spend all of your time networking with the same people or your co-workers.  This is a large event; treat it as an opportunity to have as many face-to-face conversations as possible.
  4. Make an impression by being different.  You may not win a celebrity and you may have a hard time reaching them after the event.  I suggest you find a way to make an impression that will last.  Find common ground, set up a lunch meeting, ask questions about them, and be sure to listen.
  5. Don’t forget to have fun.  This event has delicious food, plenty of adult beverages, and the atmosphere is light, engaging and fast-paced.

Best of luck at the C-Level event and if you are planning to attend shoot me an email or comment below.  I’d love to meet you. Cheers!

Clothes to Kids – ReadyTalk Volunteers in Action

CLothes for Kids - ReadyTalk Volunteers in Action

Today's guest post is provided by Yun Oudaha, Quality Engineer at ReadyTalk. She shares her experience volunteering with other employees. ReadyTalk provides all employees with 20 hours of paid volunteer time to use to support local causes.

2014 started off with a great volunteer opportunity with Clothes to Kids.

Clothes to Kids is an organization in Denver that provides new and quality used clothing to school-aged kids in Denver County that may not otherwise be able to afford them.  Originally started in Florida, the Denver organization started in 2007.  

I met Katie Jones, the Executive Director for Clothes to Kids, at the Volunteer Fest Colorado hosted by Metro Volunteers in April last year.  I was looking around for organizations that had opportunities for groups like ReadyTalk to volunteer with, and happened to stumble across their table.  After finding out about their organization and what their needs were, it sounded like they had the perfect volunteer opportunity for us to help out with.  We set up a volunteer date, and had 9 volunteers sign up.  

We participated in their Undie 500 drive and collected 127 pairs of new underwear and 129 pairs of new socks along with a monetary donation from the Charitable Contributions Committee.  This year we had 11 ReadyTalkers volunteer, 10 being new volunteers!  The great thing about having a lot of volunteers is that they can schedule more families to come in to shop.  With 11 of us there, it allowed them to have 5 shoppers to help 45 children and youth pick out clothes while the rest of us helped in the back tagging, hanging, sorting, and re-stocking clothes.  We also made another monetary donation that allowed them to buy an entire pallet of new socks and underwear. 

An additional plus of the day was that it was fun getting to know other ReadyTalkers.  ReadyTalk has 2 floors in our building and most people on the different floors and departments don’t get to interact with each other much, so it was nice to have the opportunity to change that. 

Everyone had a good time and were excited at the prospect of being able to go back and volunteer again one day.  Our goal is to return every 6 months to help out during their busy back to school time.  We will probably participate in their Undie 500 drive again this year and possibly sponsor their fundraising event.  Hopefully we will continue to get new volunteers to come out along with returning ones.  It is a great feeling knowing we are helping out the community, and especially with Clothes to Kids, knowing they can schedule more families than normal when we come in and how much they appreciate us. 

And we all went out to Larkburger after we finished!  Yum!

If you would like to find out more about Clothes to Kids, visit them on their Facebook page or their website: http://clothestokidsdenver.org/ 

It’s the Day of Your Webinar: Now What Do You Do?

Last week, we talked about the importance of a dress rehearsal or event dry run. Assuming you followed those best practices, you should be all set for your webinar. Here are some best practices and tips for the day of your webinar:

Thirty minutes prior to the live webinar, the organizer meets with the ensemble, including the moderator and speakers to do a final sound check and run through last minute instructions or questions that may have come up. You should prepare a Plan B in case a technical problem occurs during the live event.

Pre-Webinar Meeting Agenda Checklist

It’s show time! Remind the speakers that the audience wants to hear someone authentic, warm and natural. It’s about connection, not perfection. If you make a mistake, they will forgive you.

Webinar Go Live Checklist

During the webinar: Don't forget to use your tools! Remember to utilize the tools available to you in the web conferencing platform to create a connection with the audience. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use polls to capture qualifying data.

    • Polls are a great technique for keeping your audience’s attention during a webinar. Polls also provide an opportunity to learn more about attendees to help in the selling process. Ask the appropriate polling questions during your webinar and then pull each prospect’s responses into your marketing automation platform to drive lead scoring, segmentation into nurture tracks, follow-up workflows, etc. See Is Your Webinar Audience Really Listening?
  • Utilize video clips to engage your audience.

    • Bring a cinematic experience to your webinar audiences. During the pre-webinar, while presenters are running through sound checks and early-bird participants are logging in, play a short video clip – a quick customer testimonial or fun movie trailer to entice them to stick around for the entire event. This provides the audience with something to watch, (mitigating distraction) and like a great theatrical opening act, brings energy into your event. Learn more at Experimenting with Video Clip Playback? Try these 10 Best Practices.
  • Combine the two previous suggestions for the best of both worlds!

    • Poll your participants on the video clip they just watched to gauge their feedback. What better way to create an engaging and productive webinar for you and your participants than to gather your audiences’ thoughts and reactions to the interactive clip they just watched. Another idea is to give them a quiz on what they just watched.
  • Incorporate social media into your live event.

    • Social media, particularly Twitter, is playing more of a role during live webinars because it helps keep your audience engaged. Some examples include creating a hashtag and displaying on every slide, asking presenters to share their Twitter handles during the introduction, encouraging your audience to join the conversation and ask questions via the conference interface as well as Twitter and displaying key messages on slides in 140 characters or less to make them easily tweetable.

Post-Webinar: The webinar is over. Don't forget to have your speakers stay on for about 15 more minutes to debrief on the event. Discuss how everyone felt it went, thank them for their assistance, determine if there are any outstanding questions that need to be answerd and who is doing that (can easily be done in a blog post BTW) and how you plan to follow up. Then take a deep breath…. because you're just getting started.

The hard work doesn’t end when the webinar ends. After the event, follow up with attendees and no-shows, sharing recording content and measuring success all help to improve webinar ROI.