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Capitalize on Conference Attendance for Investment Origination

Deal origination can be a laborious task for any financial services firm. Ensuring that your team maintains a steady deal flow requires a combination of resources, time, and investment. 

Aside from using a deal sourcing platform, one of the best ways to uncover new investment opportunities is attending industry conferences and trade shows. These events are especially valuable to investment professionals because they gather a wide range of managers from potential target companies in one location. 

Yet, It’s Not That Simple

However, simply attending industry conferences for investment banking is insufficient in the current marketplace. 

The level of competition for investment origination is increasing at a rapid rate, making it likely that all your major counterparts are employing similar strategies towards enhancing their deal flow. Furthermore, events remain one of the most expensive marketing tactics.

Overall, the right preparation in advance is critical to success. In this article we’ll provide you with a few tactics to help you prepare for industry conferences – including utilizing M&A software – make the most out of your investment, and effectively improve your firm’s deal origination strategy moving forward. 

Why Bother Attending Conferences?

Before going through some of the ways you can capitalize on industry conference attendance, let’s get a sense of the importance of attending these events in the first place. 

Industry conferences and trade shows require a significant amount of investment. However, they also provide investors with a distinct opportunity to increase deal flow for several key reasons. They:

  • Provide enhanced networking opportunities for the firm
  • Expand the number of contacts at the firm’s disposal
  • Facilitate the scheduling of meetings with potential target companies
  • Allow for marketing activities
  • Reinforce the brands reputation to industry leaders
  • Expand the deal pipeline based on the number of potential leads present

At the most basic level, attending industry conferences allows firms to ensure a steady deal flow now and in the future. While you may have your eye on a specific target company when attending an event, the presence of various players in the industry will allow your firm to make connections with leads that could be of value down the line. 

Additionally, the cost of attending a conference is typically lower than scheduling a one-on-one meeting with a target company, while simultaneously allowing you to meet with contacts across the industry, uncover new leads, or even gain a competitor’s perspective on your target. 

Make the Most Out of Your Attendance

Every event attendee expects to gain a positive return on their investment. To ensure that your firm is taking the proper approach towards these events, we’ll breakdown some of the key tactics to employ before an industry conference. 

The key to making the most out of industry conference attendance lives and dies in preparation. 

If you have equipped yourself with the tools necessary to succeed prior to attending a conference, you will be one step ahead of your competitors. 

There are a few important dynamics to consider before the event that will help your firm maximize your deal origination potential. 

1. Make Sure You Are Going to the Right Industry Conferences

Thousands of industry conferences are held each year, some more useful than others. There is absolutely no point in sending your investment professionals to conferences on a weekly or even monthly basis. 

This would represent a complete waste of time and money. So, the first step in preparing for conference attendance is choosing the right events to attend in the first place. There are a few factors that merit attending a conference.

  • Presence of a target company or potential new leads
  • Number of potential investment opportunities available at the event
  • Attendance of Industry Leaders that could be useful contacts
  • Capability enhancement such as target sector knowledge that will be useful to your team
  • Ability to gauge the state of a given market 

While it would of course be a good idea to attend a conference where a potential target company will be present, that is not always the only justification for your attendance. One of the most important factors in selecting an industry conference is the concentration of potential new leads. 

If there are a wide range of companies attending an industry conference, it will be that much easier to make the most out of your attendance. 

2. Educate Yourself Prior to the Event

There is no point in attending an industry conference if you come in unprepared. As an investment professional, you must be ready to market yourself and your firm by networking with industry leaders, especially if you expect to feed into your deal pipeline. 

This is practically impossible if you have not done your homework on the industry and its leading companies. To educate yourself prior to the event, consider following these steps:

  • Learn as much as you can about the target market and industry dynamics
  • Research the industry leaders and key actors currently operating in the sector
  • Investigate some of the most recent trends in the market and current events
  • Know which companies are attending the event and who you want to prioritize
  • Look at previous industry conference lists 

By conducting this research, you will be prepared to have high-level discussions with industry leaders and reinforce your firm’s reputation, which could lead to a fruitful relationship in the future. 

3. Know Your Targets

While educating yourself on the sector as a whole will be invaluable to your networking efforts, it’s just as important to know your targets. 

Are there specific companies that fit into your firm’s current investment strategy? Has an opportunity already arisen that justifies your attendance in the first place?

Knowing your target doesn’t just mean being aware of a specific company or rumor. You need to learn the ins and outs of the target. 

  • What executive leadership will be attending the industry conference?
  • Who specifically is the best person to talk to?
  • How are you going to go about setting up a meeting or communicating your firm’s interest?
  • Are there any recent events or competitive trends worth investigating?

If you can answer these questions prior to attending the conference, you’re already on the path to enhancing your firm’s deal origination efforts and potentially uncovering a new investment opportunity. 

4. Leverage Your Contacts

Before attending an industry conference, it would be wise to leverage your contacts within the given industry and seek out advice on how to move forward. 

Industry contacts can provide a view on the main drivers of the industry, how to approach a certain target, or learn more about the major players. They may also be able to make introductions and assist in developing a networking strategy for your team.  

5. Be Goal-Oriented

The best way to achieve success at an industry conference is to know exactly what you want to accomplish before you attend the event and determine how you and your firm are going to proceed with these efforts. 

If your focus is to set up an investment meeting with a specific target company, formulate a strategy to make that happen. If you are trying to gauge the competitive positioning of a firm you are looking at, determine exactly which competitors you need to speak with on the day. 

If you come into an industry conference with four or five specific goals in mind, you will be much more effective and get the most out of your time and money. 

How SourceScrub Can Help

Without help, the process of preparing for an industry conference can be tedious. Luckily, SourceScrub provides you with all the tools necessary to make the most out of these events. 

SourceScrub provides the market’s leading deal origination software that will not only help you select industry conferences that fit in with your firm’s wider strategy, but also allow you to sift through all the necessary information to develop a targeted approach to a given event with investment professionals. 

Some of the main benefits of SourceScrub’s conference intelligence platform include:

  • Search through industry conferences that fit in with your investment strategy and target market
  • Filter your searches and access participants lists
  • Examine historical conferences
  • Analyze company information and data with the touch of a button
  • Prioritize specific leads so you know who to target on the day of the conference
  • Compare your targets with other businesses in the industry 
  • Target specific geographies across the globe

SourceScrub provides a one-stop shop for all your conference preparation needs. It enables your firm to proactively assess which conferences you want to attend, provides you with all the educating tools necessary to prepare for the event, and then determine who you want to prioritize on the day. 

If you want to get the most out of industry conferences and trade shows, it is essential to provide your firm with the tools necessary for success. SourceScrub will equip your team with these capabilities, and help you develop an effective industry conference strategy for enhancing your deal origination efforts. 

Industry Conference ROI

While attending industry conferences does require significant investment, they can also be incredibly profitable opportunities and expand your deal pipeline. If your firm wants to achieve a positive return on these investments, it is essential that attendees come prepared with a targeted, goal-oriented approach. 

Interested in learning more about how SourceScrub can enhance that process and lead to a higher ROI? Request a free demo today. 

Sources:

  1. Business 2 Community. Six Key Benefits Trade Shows Have To Market Your Business. https://www.business2community.com/marketing/six-key-benefits-trade-shows-market-business-0973628
  2. Corporate Finance Institute. Deal Origination. https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/deals/deal-origination/
  3. Forbes. How To Make The Most Of Your Investment In A Conference or Trade Show. https://www.forbes.com/sites/carisommer/2019/01/23/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-investment-in-a-conference-or-trade-show/#1869b22e7282
  4. Navatar. How Private Equity Firms Can Make the Most Out of Conference Networking. https://www.navatargroup.com/blog/how-private-equity-firms-can-make-the-most-out-of-conference-networking