Conference Prospecting Guide for CROs

Conferences are an important part of marketing and sales efforts for many companies I work with. For example, many contract research organizations (CROs) look for opportunities to meet prospects and gain market insights at live events. Some don’t find social media or blogging as valuable as the opportunity to make new contacts and meet new prospects face to face.

Open the Door to Richer Interaction at Conferences

What are your conference plans this year? You might be looking to meet some important leaders in person. You may want to learn about their needs, and get contact information. But conferences offer much greater opportunity to have richer interactions than simply finding people at their booths or tables and hoping to engage them.

What if you knew that your most important prospect was going to be attending a conference that you also plan to attend in 2017? Do you have a list of who the most important conferences and prospects are? If you do, great — you’ve already made a good start. If not, now’s the time to plan.

To make the most of your conference time to connect with prospects, plan in advance to meet. This involves looking ahead to the conferences you want to attend, and finding out which organizations will be present. Ahead of time, reach out by calling your top prospects to learn if the executive you want to meet will be there. Suggest meeting for breakfast or coffee, or after a presentation you both plan to attend.

5 Top Tips for Connecting with Prospects at Conferences

Here is a quick checklist of 5 of my top tips to improve the quality of your interactions at conferences — like the DIA Conference for example — from a sales and lead generation perspective:

  1. Look at the conferences or live events available to you
  2. Decide which events you might want to go to
  3. Figure out and list your target prospects
  4. Find out whether the contact you want to meet will be attending a month or two before the actual event
  5. Reach out to see when you can meet them

Here’s are some ways that successful clients I’ve worked with have connected with their best prospects at conferences:

  • They delegate calling and appointment setting to an inside sales expert
  • They develop phone call scripts for all staff to use
  • They get expert training for designated staff to make these calls

One of the challenges is that you’re spread very thin. Each one of you may be involved in administrative, operational or leadership tasks on top of managing sales and nurturing prospects. So when you go to live events, it’s very important that you make the most of your time and really leverage that opportunity to find the best leads and knowledge it can offer you.

Working with Professional Support

At this point, you may be asking yourself, how am I going to have time to do this? What’s involved in making this list of prospects and reaching out to them? How can I easily find out who is going to an event and how we can meet?

These are excellent questions that I’d be happy to answer for you. We can explore how you might use the resources you have to optimize your time at conferences in this coming year.

If you’d like to share ideas about how to make the most of your conference attendance from a sales and marketing perspective, please call me at 212 799 0777 or email me at


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