In the B2B market where change is constant, businesses continue to search for new opportunities to grow. Suppliers and clients alike are on the lookout for new collaborations, new markets, and sales growth opportunities.
Digital marketing practices have unlocked new opportunities for brands to reach more people by using targeted strategies. Yet, face-to-face interactions remain valuable for any business.
Event tech company Bizzabo recently published data valuable to event marketers. Based on their survey of C-Suite executives, 91% of overperforming businesses value the importance of live events as a marketing channel. Companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, HubSpot, Ford, GE, and Salesforce place great importance on face-to-face interactions, in particular, through live events. An average of 24% of these companies’ annual budget is invested in live events.
Why 87% of C-Suite Executives Utilize Live Events and Why You Should Too
A live event is an exciting tool for brand awareness. It shows your authenticity and makes you stand out from the competition. At the same time, you are connecting with your customers, sharing with them what you value, and encouraging loyalty and repeat clients.
Event marketers also see its potential for networking with existing customers, their sponsors, partners, and generate new leads. A successful event results in great publicity in public relations and high ROI. There are many types of events you can consider for your next event marketing strategy, including:
- Guest Speaker Presentation or a Panel Discussion
- Trade shows and expos
- Community building and festivals
- Networking Sessions
- Workshops and Classes
- VIP business dinners
- Awards and competitions
Overcoming Challenges in Event Marketing
With a huge chunk of a company’s investment going into live events, event marketers are pressured to increase outreach. Yet at the same time, it is hard to plan for outreach amidst the day-to-day priorities of a marketing pro. In this article, we will talk about various outreach strategies you can utilize internal to your organization as well as external.
So how can a live event drive significant results and ROI for your business? Here are 11 tips:
1. Plan Ahead
Putting on an outstanding event for your clients and prospects requires smart planning. The earlier you start planning, the more attention your outreach efforts will receive. Consider setting goals, the needs of your audience, and the message you will convey.
2. Be Goal-Oriented
Start by determining what you want to achieve through the event. Goals are essential for you to measure the success of an event and help you plan future events. Choose the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that are most important to your company. Some of the most important KPIs used to measure event success include:
- Event Check-In vs Total Number of Registrations
- Live Polling Response
- Attendee Satisfaction Surveys
- Social Interactions made by attendees
- Mentions and Social Media Engagement
- Press and Media Coverage
- Monetary Returns after event attendance (both new and repeat customers)
- Cost vs Gross Revenue (include Revenue by Promo Code and Cost per customer acquisition)
- Sponsorship satisfaction and engagement
- Number of returning attendees and qualified leads
Once you’ve determined your key metrics, focus on building the event around achieving these goals. The event topics should reflect your goals as well.
3. Give Your Audience a Reason to Join Your Event
What value will you offer to your audience? Is it new information, collaborations or a rare experience? Will they learn a new skill or meet a VIP guest? Emphasize what sets your brand and your event apart from the rest. Promote the takeaway from attending the event.
4. Personalize Your Message
There are many ways to disseminate information about your event. You can use email marketing with a personalized subject line to avoid getting sent to spam mail. Map out blog posts and other written content you want published before, during, and after the event. Use infographics and graphics on your social media posts to catch the attention of your followers.
Live content action is equally important to the success of every event. Maximize tools like live Tweeting, Facebook live, video, and photographs to create a buzz about your event.
5. Test Your Content
A/B Testing is a great way to test the efficacy of your content. Experiment with various subject lines, fonts, colors, and rich HTML then analyze the click-through rate of each style.
6. Communicate with Your Audience
Build relationships with your audience before planning an event. Know your customers and prospects. Then, you can send relevant information in a timely manner. Your outreach efforts should not reveal too much information. Instead, content should spark curiosity in your prospects.
7. Organize the Customer Experience from Beginning to End
It is important to plan for customer experience. Streamline their experience from finding out about your event and registering to attend, engaging with other attendants, and sharing the experience to their own network. On the day of the event, ensure a flawless process from the moment they walk inside the event hall. Make it an experience worth sharing with others.
8. Encourage Word of Mouth
People want connections with other people. Make your content share-worthy. Word of mouth continues to be a highly trusted resource for marketing and advertising. Consider offering different promo codes that can be used when sharing your event.
9. Bring in the Whole Community
It is wise to leverage whole communities, industry organizations, and associations where your target audience engages. Think about how you can encourage social media outreach from these communities. You can discuss the event with the administrator or the community may allow you to post content directly. Some communities also have an open calendar where event marketers can add an event.
10. Tap into Public Relations
A good PR can help you reach a wider audience beyond your marketing database. Make sure to incorporate SEO optimization with keywords and links back to your site. Consider hiring press release services for this purpose.
11. Be Open to SMEs and Influencers
Research industry experts and influences within your industry. Think of ways to encourage their participation in the upcoming event. Take note that these subject matter experts have lots of followers whom they can promote to and they are always active on social media.
There are many different strategies you can use to attract prospects and maximize event attendance. With the right planning, connections, and focus on customer experience, you can achieve your event goals. Make sure to use tools like referral codes and attendee surveys to help you evaluate event success. It is equally important to show a direct link of your outreach efforts to the growth of your event so you can always plan the same huge success.