A Halo dispatch from the floor of Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2012
And yes, Halo BI will be in booth #2342 demonstrating the new Halo Business Intelligence Platform, giving you an opportunity to check out the newest and most advanced business intelligence platform for the mid-market.
For the uninitiated, Convergence is “the premier event for the Microsoft Dynamics community” where opportunity and innovation meet to deliver real business value. It’s the chance to make key business connections and to discover the full potential of Microsoft Dynamics solutions.”
These days, the marketing team and I often get questions about the value of this or that industry event. I think this is healthy. You should always be ready to justify tactical decisions. After all, you should have answered this question when you were planning. By the way, here are three trade show rationales I reject with prejudice:
- We’ve always done it
- We’ll be conspicuous in our absence
- They cut us a deal
It is true that over the past ~20 years and across a broad cross-section of industry events and tradeshows, many key metrics have dipped. For example, cost per quality-visitor-reached has nearly doubled since 1998.
Fortunately, the Dynamics ecosystem is large and vibrant. Microsoft still draws a great crowd. Microsoft isn’t shy about touting the benefits of attending Convergence, nor should they be. This blurb caught my eye (emphasis added):
Convergence 2013 continues to have the same look and feel that you’ve come to know and love from past events, the feeling of community, the spirit of collaboration and the sense of a global marketplace coming together to share ideas. There’s no other event that takes place that brings together the great Microsoft Dynamics minds, solutions and services as Convergence. As you strive to move your business ahead, Convergence provides you with the environment to gather all the knowledge you need to stay abreast of the latest strategies and technologies.
All the knowledge we need? As a percentage of all the data available, collected, and analyzed, the information gathered at events is certainly shrinking. Indeed, shows are “old school BI,” but they can still be a key source of data, and data in the hands of smart people become intelligence.
So where’s the value? It’s there, but you need to know what it takes to extract that value. It’s harder work than it used to be. Don’t expect the show to come to you.
Here’s what the IQ for Business go-to-market teams talk about before attending any event, big or small.
- Don’t fixate on the number of leads, set goals in other areas too
- Are there junior sales reps and support reps who can benefit from face-to-face human contact?
- Is there a customer or prospect you can meet at the show?
- Is there an industry rumor you can confirm or blow up?
- Be ready to work really hard
- You are there to conduct serious business. Run the booth like a start-up
- Set appointments
- Have a sales story. Have several. Test-drive them all
- Spend the money on carpet padding — not
- Have a brilliant answer wrapped around “human Intelligence” to the dreaded “So, what do you guys do?” question
- You know it will be asked, so rather than strike out, hit a homerun
- Everyone must end the day with at least one competitive insight
- Look for people you want to hire. We are growing fast and have plenty of room for the right people.
- Get out of the comfort ghetto! Meaning, break away from the same old crowd you see every year. Sure, say hello to the old guard, but branch out
Stop by and say hi to the team in New Orleans. We’re in booth #2342!