Microsoft Inspire is Microsoft’s largest partner event that offers many opportunities for you to advance your business by interacting with partners from around the world, industry leaders, and Microsoft experts.
Since Microsoft Inspire became an all-digital event last year, they widened their global audience and attracted more than 115,000 registrants from over 190 countries, which is 5x more than the 2019 Las Vegas event. Last year, more than 226,000 unique viewers experienced the new digital venue. Social media amplified this engagement, with #MSInspire social posts producing more than 6 million impressions and 185,000 livestream engagements within Twitter and LinkedIn.
So far, Microsoft Inspire has more than 34,000 registrants. With more than 290 speakers and 260 sessions to explore, you can’t miss any of these networking and learning opportunities! If you haven’t reserved your spot, you should sign up today.
As we kick our Microsoft Inspire prep into high gear, we wanted to share the process we’ve used to secure back-to-back meetings throughout the conference and highlight how Nimble can make the networking and relationships-building process a breeze. Did you know that Nimble directly integrates with Microsoft Teams?
With that being said, let’s get started!
How to Prepare for #MSInspire and Maximize Your Attendance
Identify Networking & Business Development Opportunities
Take advantage of the MyInspire portal to identify networking and business development opportunities. Follow the buzz on social media to get up to speed on the conference news and speakers’ insights. Use social media to connect with people and spark the conversation about potential business collaborations.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to identify networking opportunities at MSInspire this year and the places where you can identify them:
- Microsoft Inspire Portal
1. Identify Prospects in the Microsoft Inspire Portal
Browse the Microsoft Inspire portal to identify attendees that you’d like to network with or reach out to about doing business with them. There will also be over 400 speakers and sessions to explore; make sure you don’t miss any of the learning and networking opportunities so review the speakers list as well. Attending somebody’s session can be a great conversation starter!
Our browser extension, Nimble Prospector, allows you to build contact records on the fly for people and companies, and you can use it anywhere—even on the event’s website and in the portal.
You can create new and update existing records straight from the Microsoft Inspire Portal. Simply open up the Nimble browser extension, hover over or highlight a person’s name. Nimble will automatically start creating a record for that person and enriching it with personal and social media information to save you time on research and data entry.
When you identify somebody you’d like to reach out to, you can easily add them to your “Inspire Prospect” list using the appropriate tag.
2. Identify New People Using Twitter
The official Microsoft Inspire hashtag (#MSInspire) is always the first thing we look for. This is the conference organizer’s way of unifying conversations relevant to the conference in one place. It’s usually available on the Microsoft Partner Twitter account.
Use Twitter’s Hashtag Search
Once you have identified the official hashtag (#MSInspire), you can start exploring the feed on Twitter. After you start tracking the discourse online, you’ll find that many others also employ the hashtags #MSPartner and #PartnersMakeMorePossible, so check these out too!
Simply type the hashtag into the search box on Twitter and hit enter. Start scrolling through the feed and look for relevant engagement, networking, and learning opportunities!
Explore Twitter Lists
You can either put people on your list individually or use the Twitter List “import” button to drop them all in with a single click. You can learn how easy it is to import Twitter lists into Nimble with our browser extension, Nimble Prospector.
3. Identify Opportunities Using LinkedIn
Not only is the official hashtag powerful on Twitter, but it’s also essential to follow #msinpsire on LinkedIn as well. There are currently 12,521 people following the hashtag to keep up with the event.
Another way to look for more details about the event is by following @microsoft-partner-network on LinkedIn. Attendees tend to engage with their updates.
To break the ice, start by commenting and interacting with the people’s posts that catch your attention. You can use Nimble Prospector here as well to add people to your outreach list and gather insights about contacts and the companies they work at, or across channels without having to toggle between windows.
Create a List
It’s always a good idea to “warm-up” your connections by engaging with them socially before you reach out via LinkedIn, email, or the MyInspire scheduling tool. This kind of engagement takes time. In order to ensure that none of your targets are falling through the cracks, you should create a list that you can easily pull up in your CRM. This will help you track your nurturing and outreach success.
You can use our browser extension to create new or bring up existing Nimble contact records directly from any website or any social media network you happen to be working at.
After you add the contact record into your Nimble database, you have the ability to create a tag to organize your contacts. For example, “MSInspire 2021 – Outreach List.”
You can also use Nimble Prospector to immediately find people’s contact information, including their work email—and in some cases, their phone numbers. Save the new contact record and then click on the green “Search for Contact Info” button. As long as you know the person’s first name, last name, and company domain name, Nimble will take care of the rest!
Save the information to the contact record and continue your research and list building!
Once you have your target list finalized, we recommend warming people up by engaging with their content prior to reaching out. This way, when your name finally pops up in their email, they’ll know you are!
Go through each person’s digital footprint to get a sense of what exactly they do, what their companies are all about, what they talk about and what’s important to them by exploring their social media feeds. Then, start interacting with their content by liking it. Take it a step further by commenting and adding value to what they are sharing. After you’ve successfully interacted on Twitter, send them a LinkedIn invite with a personal note and continue to engage with them on LinkedIn.
Reach Out to Your Prospect List
You can use your Microsoft Inspire account to reach out to request a meeting. Or, after you’ve properly engaged your targets and obtained their contact information, you can reach out via email.
We’ve been successful with using Nimble’s segmentation to properly segment targets into groups and then reaching out to them via a group message. Our Group Messaging feature is unique to other systems in that it allows you to send personalized messages from your own email identity to any of your contacts. So this way, your message will appear as a 1:1 email sent only to them and you will save time on retyping the same messages!
Properly segmenting your lists is crucial as it allows you to personalize each outreach; sincere one-to-one conversations deliver superior results compared to a mass outreach campaign.
Make sure to send yourself a test message before hitting send to ensure that everything looks good!
After the message is sent, Nimble reports clicks and opens so you can identify optimal opportunities to follow up with key prospects.
Remember to send at least two rounds of follow-ups to those that have not responded to you. People are busy, and follow-up is key in getting things done. Don’t forget to confirm the time, date, and the location’s address in your email invitation to make it easy for people to remember.
Once you are ready for your scheduled meetings, make sure that you’ve installed the Nimble add-in for Microsoft Teams! The add-in allows you to access contacts, add meeting notes to Nimble, and send follow-ups after meetings.
The Nimble Microsoft Teams integration will allow you to get a quick refresher of your prospects by pulling up their experience, work history, and areas of interest and influence. You can show them that they matter to you by demonstrating that you have taken the time to learn more about them and their business.
It’s essential to keep track of everything you discussed in your meetings. With the Nimble Microsoft Teams integration, you are able to take notes during meetings and sync them to related contacts records in Nimble. As long as all meeting attendees have been added to Nimble, the notes will display on all their records.
Timely Follow-Up with Them
Now your meeting is done, don’t forget to send follow-up emails. The Nimble Microsoft Teams integration allows you to send follow-up emails to all attendees immediately after the meeting, and they’ll be synced to your CRM. To save you even more time, the title of the event will be the name of the subject line and the details you’ve added in the follow-up sections will be in the message body.
Nurture Your Prospects
Put your prospects on a nurture track to ensure they won’t forget you. One way to do this is by setting a “Stay in Touch” reminder. The reminder will notify you to keep in touch with your prospects depending on how you set the reminders. They can be set to weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual. You can also set a custom period as well.
You must continue nurturing your relationships with your prospects. Staying in touch with them will build loyalty and trust and lead to future potential customers.
We hope that you enjoyed the post and find it valuable when prepping for MSInspire. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments! If you’d like to learn more about Nimble, email us at [email protected].
Happy networking and have fun at Microsoft Inspire this year!