Hosting an event can provide a business with an effective marketing opportunity from which to meet, connect and build rapport with current and prospective customers face-to-face. Yet the planning and organisation required in getting people to come and then following-up afterwards entails a lot of hard work both well before and well after the event has happened.
Whether it’s a new product or service launch, seminar, exhibition or training workshop, following a systematic approach, such as is laid out here, is guaranteed to boost the value of your event and attract high-quality attendees.
Set Objectives and Measure Results
A good place to start is to define what you would like to get from the event and how you and your team define success. Quite often, results are measured purely by number of attendees, but this not necessarily an accurate measure of success. Consider for example the seniority or quality of those attendees or post event conversion rates. These KPIs will need to be defined from the outset so that expectations can be managed and performance can be measured.
Create content about the event and post it on your website. That way, you can keep everyone up-to-date with the details of the event, and use the URL as the focus for all the event promotion to use across multiple online channels.
Promote your Event via Social Channels
Create a social community around the event to allow your attendees, speakers, sponsors and organisers to interact and share the event amongst their network. Set up a Facebook page specifically for the event and create a hashtag on Twitter so that everyone involved can contribute to the Twitter conversation.
Get a Good Keynote
A good keynote speaker can make all the difference to attendance and boost the credibility of your brand. A notable keynote speaker can inspire and connect with your audience, and provide the “carrot” to get more bums on seats – including high-calibre individuals.
You can’t rely solely on a series of emails to get people to come to your event. Effective Event Marketing needs to be supported by a multi-channel campaign. Use telemarketing for three things:
1. To invite people to your event – if they can’t make it, would they like to meet at another time to suit them?
2. To confirm attendance just before your event happens (a good excuse to call is to check dietary requirements, explain about parking and ask some questions so that you can tailor the event around delegates).
3. To follow up. . Did they find the event useful/awful? Would they come to another similar event? Would they recommend it to others? If so, who? Would they like to meet up, or receive further information, or call back in 4 months?
70% that your sales team won’t get round to calling immediately after the event!
Call the people who didn’t attend and said they would to find out why and if they would like to meet.
Tailor your Approach
If your event is attracting a broad range of attendees at different levels of seniority, you should try different approaches and tactics to attract the interest of your audience. Senior managers and business owners are likely to be harder to get hold of, so try another way of communicating with them; either via telemarketing, social media or a personalised marketing campaign to get their attention.
Ensure your delegates are properly briefed
Make sure you provide enough information about the event, including speaker bios, timings, location maps and directions to ensure everyone has the information necessary to attend your event.
Plan your follow-up before the event
The event is over, everyone had a great time and things seemed to run smoothly. Your job is done, right? Wrong! The most critical part of the event is the follow-up. All the attendees need to be followed up within 3 – 4 days following the event, and being quick off the mark will keep your company front of mind and help improve conversion rates.
An increasing number of companies are turning to telemarketing companies to help promote their events and act as their event support partner. This will ensure maximum delegate attendance, and effective post event follow up to achieve optimum conversion rates. Also, see an earlier blog “What if nobody came!” to help you think more about the event as part of the process, not the end in itself
For more information about how Lingo can support your event, drop us a line.