Nailing Your Pitch at an Industry Conference

As SocialMLS CEO Chris Sauerzopf was preparing for his pitch as a featured entrepreneur and panelist at Inman|Connect, he received an unexpected call from his contact in New York.

“They told me that I had 45 seconds for my elevator speech,” Chris said. “That’s about three sentences to tell our whole story.”

SocialMLS was one of 10 companies invited to present to an audience of thousands at the Inman’s 20th anniversary mega-event for the real estate industry.

“On a stage, you’re credible,” Chris said. “The big piece for me was getting a foot in the door with this audience. My goal was to get in a sound bite or two that would cause someone in the audience to check out our website, social media, or twitter.” 

Chris delivered his pitch in 50 seconds. He made dozens of relevant contacts from the event in New York.

When you’re the founder of a company wearing all the hats, spending four-plus days away from the business is a big decision—in terms of time and money.

SocialMLS at Inman
Watch Chris Tell His Story In 60 Seconds! (Actually less)

You’ve got to make it worth your while.

Amp Industry Event: 3 Tips from Chris

  • “I went to New York with no set expectations, but I had a goal. I wanted to be open and meet a lot of people in the real estate industry. I was determined to be outgoing and tell people what SocialMLS is able to do.”
  • “It’s a savvy crowd at these industry events. In real estate, this was the cream of the crop. People were there to find ways to improve their businesses. I was ready and able to tailor our value proposition to brokers, agents, investors, and other software developers. It was like a four-day sales call on multiple high potential prospects without having to make an appointment or get in the car.
  • Being featured on-stage as well as leading a session as a New Kid on the Blockgave me added credibility. That opportunity started months earlier at a previous industry event when I made it a point to meet the event organizers. Those contacts guided me on how to get in front of the sponsors of this event. I also used local industry contacts, and social media to work my way into being a presenter in session and on the main stage.

As an entrepreneur what have you learned about getting the best from industry events? What’s the coolest contact you ever made? Do you have a horror tale? We want to hear about it.