You’ve booked your flights, bought your delegate pass and started thinking about marketing materials, but now is also a good time to get ahead and prepare for meetings, so that you can have as much time as possible on the ground in Cannes.
Regular readers will already know that the delegate list is available for download to those who have registered online. Now is a good time, (if you haven’t already) to use this list to identify who you would like to meet and make contact with. The benefit of MIPIM is that people go with the expectation of networking, so don’t hold back from approaching people who are attending – many are more open to meetings here than back at home. It is also worth bearing in mind that not everyone will be available to meet you, so do adopt a fairly broad, but still targeted, approach.
Business meetings in Cannes differ to those back home: people are more relaxed and are primarily there for this purpose. Despite this, everyone has less time than they would normally, so meeting for a brief coffee as an initial introduction with the suggestion of meeting back in the UK is worthwhile and can bring greater results.
Tailor your pitch
It’s important to carefully plan your approach to individual meetings and make sure they are tailored specifically to the people you will meet. Consider a summary about you and your business and then, for example, a one-page PDF for each of your sectors or services so your materials will be easy to modify to suit the person you’re going to meet – and won’t require them to take away a heavy brochure (see last week’s marketing materials post).
When preparing content, think about what you can bring to the conversation that is different and sets you apart from everyone else. You need to capture and retain people’s attention when meeting them, so think about the end result – how could the meeting be mutually beneficial to both parties and what can you do that no one else does? Remember that they are also there to meet business objectives so treat meetings as a discussion about work that you’ve both done or how you can find future synergies.
Take a new networking approach
For the purpose of MIPIM, consider getting photo business cards. Over a four day period, you’re going to meet a lot of people, so a business card with a professional headshot can be a useful way of making yourself more memorable to the people you meet.
Otherwise, write down a short note on the person’s business card, or on your phone if it’s easier. When you’re sorting through your collection of business cards at a later date, these notes will be a useful ‘memory jog’ and prove a nice touch when you follow up. Everyone likes to be remembered and there may be a few points that you discussed that could be worth looking up.
Once you’ve got the meetings secured and organised, you’ll have freed up a lot of time in the immediate run up to MIPIM and have your diary slots maximised while you’re there.