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Seven Steps to Summit Success

Simple strategies to make the most of your Summit sponsorship investment

At the UB Higher Ed Summit, your company team will network, present to, and collaborate with a nationwide audience of college and university leaders. It’s a powerful opportunity. Plan ahead for success!

1. Determine your Summit mission and sharpen your focus.

  • Determine your message for attendees. Make sure it is concise, practical and relevant.
  • Does it provide a clear and intriguing implementation opportunity for colleges and universities? When attendees hear it, will they see its relevance?

2. Select the team leaders from your company who will attend the Summit.

  • Take team members who can dive in and deliver, who know your message, and are absolutely convinced of its value, and can articulate it effectively.
  • Take those who enjoy connecting with others, and do so in a friendly yet organized and systematic manner.
  • Engage! Engage! Engage! Ask, listen, respond, and seek follow-up opportunities. (Without being “salesy” or pushy. 🙂 )

3. Study the Summit attendee list prior to arrival.

  • Be proactive and strategic: don’t leave your interactions totally to chance. Plan ahead.
  • Prioritize the attendee connections you hope to make onsite at the Summit.
  • Pre-event, read and learn about those attendees’ institutions and related recent news items and announcements. (Don’t contact attendees directly pre-event. Wait until you’re onsite and can connect in person.)

4. Make your general session presentation compelling, energetic, actionable—and targeted.

  • Present your success and thought leadership through a dynamic speaker.
  • If using slides, use “single image” slides, not jammed, crammed “hurt my eyes” slides.
  • Be active. Get attendees to interact with your presenter(s) in real time.

5. Make your roundtable panel interesting and interactive for everyone involved.

  • Choose a roundtable title that makes attendees say, “I need to go to that.”
  • Focus your plan on listening to feedback, and on shared problem solving; seek attendee input and intelligence on questions that will help you better understand their needs, and better inform how you can respond effectively to those needs.
  • Select an experienced, effective roundtable moderator, and one who can generate participation and guide a constructive, lively, balanced discussion.

6. Deploy your team methodically and consistently.

  • You have many distinct engagement opportunities; spread out and expand your “relational footprint,” especially at open networking times (receptions, breakfasts, lunches).
  • Pay attention to the directions that attendees are taking the conversation.
  • Ask questions and listen a lot. (This leads to more post-Summit business connections.)

7. Implement immediate post-Summit follow up.

  • Cultivate your new relationships. Tell attendees you’ll be in touch, and then follow up within a week, or on the agreed-upon date.
  • Distribute follow up appropriately among your team members. Divide and conquer.
  • Post-Summit, figure it all out.  Discuss together: What did we do right? What did we do wrong? What do we do next? Debrief within the first week post-event, and then capitalize on the learning curve, so that you can do even better at the next UB Summit!