05 March 2012

The Value in LeadsCon 2012 Las Vegas: Closing Thoughts from an Attendee's Perspective

by Rebecca Kelley

The Value in LeadsCon 2012 Las Vegas: Closing Thoughts from an Attendee's Perspective

Last week I attended my first ever LeadsCon conference. I'm no stranger to conferences and trade shows--having worked in Internet marketing for several years, I've experienced a number of events from an attendee, speaker, and exhibitor's perspective. However, I'm fairly new to lead gen so LeadsCon was a unique experience and made me feel like a kid on her first day of school all over again. The networking and learning value felt new and fresh, and I emerged from Las Vegas with quite a few takeaways. 

Why do people attend LeadsCon? If it were any other Internet marketing conference I'd be tempted to say to have a good time, run into colleagues, and maybe try to pick up a new client or two. LeadsCon, however, had a much different feel. Despite being in Las Vegas, everyone in attendance seemed to have their game faces on and were there to get the most value out of the conference, no matter their intent. 

After speaking with numerous attendees as well as experiencing the conference firsthand, here are a few reasons why over 2,500 people went to LeadsCon and why they'll continue to attend future shows: 

1. They Get to Meet with Their Existing Clients and Partners

Most of the attendees I spoke to mentioned that LeadsCon is a great venue to catch up with their clients and partners and hold meetings. For many of these folks, they're meeting their client for the first time and want to have some face-to-face meet ups to check in and discuss how things are going. 

2. They Receive Valuable Tips and Tricks from Sessions and Keynotes

The two days were jam-packed with keynotes and breakout sessions, one after the other, that provided a wealth of informaton to attendees. Some valuable tips included information about mobile marketing and closing leads, understanding the future of media, lead selling from a real estate agent's perspective, learning how to create the "next big thing," what to avoid when buying leads, the value of co-creation, and more. The conference rooms were crammed full of attendees who took notes, asked really thoughtful questions, and left with some handy how-tos and best practices for better lead generation. 

3. They Make New Contacts and Build Partnerships and Networks

The attendees, myself included, left Las Vegas with a stack of business cards and new contacts to keep in touch with. LeadsCon is a great venue for finding new partners and clients. For Insurance Step, we were able to reach out to people in the insurance industry and get in touch with their PR and content folks so that we can build relationships and bring you the latest news and happenings from the insurance vertical. No matter which sector you work in, there is a wide variety of lead gen folks who attend LeadsCon and who want to meet you to establish a good business relationship.

4. They Get in Touch with the Biggest Names in the Industry

One person I spoke with pointed out how he had gone to some affiliate and Internet marketing conferences and that when he'd meet with someone, he would hear "Let me bring this back to our CEO and get back to you next week." At LeadsCon, however, the decision-makers are actually at the conference and are looking to speak with you directly. A lot of attendees were impressed with the types of people they were able to get in touch with throughout the week. These higher-ups aren't coming out for a little vacation in Sin City--they're there to make deals and partnerships happen. 

5. There's a Clear Focus on Business and Results

All week I marveled at how professionally the attendees carried themselves. I've been to numerous Internet marketing conferences where people stumble around hungover while sporting ripped jeans and a crumpled blazer over a tech conference t-shirt. At LeadsCon, however, although the setting was adult playground known as Las Vegas, everyone was dressing and acting professionally. The overall demeanor and attitude was a far cry from what I've typically experienced at other trade shows--everyone was focused on making the most of this conference and not wasting anyone else's time.

That's not to say the show was devoid of any fun or entertainment, but it also wasn't just one big party all week long. I've been to too many shows where I realized that I had a lot of fun but kind of wasted my time from a business standpoint. I think with LeadsCon the emphasis is on the business aspect--after all, don't you want to get your money's worth when you shell out the coinage to go to a big conference? 

LeadsCon continues to get bigger and bigger. Speaking from a newcomer's perspective, I found the conference to be fresh and valuable in terms of the type and quality of attendees as well as the content focus. Online lead generation is a difficult and challenging industry, so it's important to stay educated and in touch with some of the brightest and savviest folks in the business. I personally found the conference to be quite valuable, not just for This or That Media, but for our little (but growing!) insurance news publication as well. Hopefully I'll be able to attend a future LeadsCon and continue to broaden my knowledge of online lead gen as well as build some great relationships. 

*A note to LeadsCon attendees*: If we happened to exchange business cards last week, please email me! I lost my business card holder during the early part of the conference, which unfortunately resulted in the loss of some of your contact information. I'd hate to lose touch so drop me a line to ensure you won't slip through the cracks. Thanks!