All posts by EmmaG

How to Qualify Leads at Your Events

 

A marketing event is an ideal way to interact one-on-one with current and potential customers. In a world saturated by digital, a marketing event creates a valuable personal relationship between your business and your ideal client.

Even better, a marketing event can do more than build strong relationships, it can help you generate leads. New leads are the lifeblood of every successful business. They strengthen your portfolio and help the business grow.

What is a qualified lead?

Knowing which attendees are qualified leads and which are just along for the ride ensures that your time and money is spent efficiently.

Identifying qualified leads lets you tailor your pipeline to those potential clients. Don’t turn someone offer by aggressively following up when a lighter touch is needed. And don’t lose out on potential customers by failing to follow up with someone who is on the fence.

So how do you tell if someone is interested? They ask a lot of questions. They opt-in to receive emails or follow up information. They post about your event or company on social media. They try hands-on demos.

Usually, the more touch-points a lead interacts with, the warmer that lead becomes. So create multiple opportunities for attendees to engage with you. That can be through presentations, demos, Q&A sessions, social media sharing, opt-ins and more.

Knowledge is power

Getting the most out of your event marketing starts with gathering as much data as possible about your attendees. Go beyond who showed up and who didn’t. Keep track of who attended which parts of the event and who was most engaged throughout the process.

The tools you use to track attendees can range from the traditional to the cutting edge.  You might ask attendees to sign in to a talk or drop their business card into a fishbowl to win a prize. Or you might have attendees scan into a seminar using a barcode or enter a contest by posting to social media using your event hashtag.  

Convince attendees to opt-in to follow ups by promising to email them a link to the slideshow or similar resource.  All of these tactics allow you to see who was interested in which topics. That will come in handy when you’re ready to follow up.

Start with sign-up

Start gathering information from the very first interaction. When attendees sign up for your event, they should fill out a simple form that includes such information as their name, title, company, and reason for attending.

This simple information can help you organize your follow-up later. You can sometimes see right off the bat whether that attendee will be a qualified lead.

If you’re selling to businesses, a c-suite executive from a large company is probably a qualified lead from the start. If you’re selling to individual consumers you may need to get more creative with your questions. For example, if you’re a pool company, ask if the person owns their home or is renting.

Use social media

Social media is an effective way to gauge attendee interest. Attendees who are engaged in what you have to offer may post on social media. Make it easy for them by creating a custom hashtag. You can even create photo opportunities that remind them to post their pictures.

Host a Twitter based Q&A session. And make sure someone is manning your social media during the event to quickly answer any questions attendees may have. Monitoring engagement in this way can help you identify leads that are ready for more information.

The beauty of social media is that even people who can’t attend the event can experience it in some way. You may even find additional leads among the comments and likes from social media during the event.

The proof is in the follow up

After the event is over, you’ll be left with a ton of information to sift through. Quickly identify your most qualified leads and rank them by level of interest. Then follow up.

Tailor your follow-up to the level of engagement and interest. A lead who shared multiple pictures of the event on social media might be a warmer lead, and require a different approach than one who just dropped their business card into a raffle.

If you’re not following up with leads post-event, you’re missing the biggest value your event can offer  — warm, qualified leads ready to buy.

Start generating leads

If you’re ready to start planning an event to generate qualified leads for your company, contact us today.

Executive Events

AssistMyEvent.com

How an Outside Event Manager Can Save Your Business Money

When it’s time to plan a marketing event for your business, which is the more cost-effective option; hiring an outside event manager or using your internal marketing team?

Your first instinct might be to choose the internal marketing team. After all, you’re already paying their salary so there’s no need to hire someone else. But not so fast.

Using your internal team can cost you money in the long run. Sure, the up-front cost will be absorbed in payroll, but your ROI is likely to suffer. Here’s why.

The benefit of focus

First, let’s assume your marketing team is like every other marketing team on the planet. They’re busy managing multiple complex projects with competing timelines. If you task them with coordinating an event, they’ll be handling the details in between fielding sales team emails, writing a script for the radio ad, and setting up a content calendar for the next three months.

Meanwhile, an outside event manager is focused on your event. She takes the detail work off the shoulders of the marketing team but still collaborates with them on the big picture marketing goals.

While your in-house marketers are generalists, your event manager is a specialist. All of her energy and talent goes into a meticulously planned event that surpasses your goals.

Expertise and proven connections

Everyone has heard the axiom, practice makes perfect. While your in-house team might organize one or two events a year, an event planning professional has dozens or even hundreds of successful events under her belt. She knows what works and what doesn’t and brings you the benefit of her expertise.

Experienced event planners know where costs can be cut without skimping on quality. They use their expertise to make sure every dollar you spend gives you the highest possible return on investment.

In addition to her expert knowledge, she comes prepared with a roster of vendors, venues, caterers and other service providers who can make sure your event goes off without a hitch. She knows the best in the business and will bring them in where they can be most effective for your event. Sometimes she can even turn those preexisting relationships into discounts or special deals for you.

Event Managers keep an eye on the trends

Sure, your marketing team might know all about the latest trends in inbound marketing or how to use big data, but do they have their finger on the pulse of the event industry? Do they know what the next hot trend is and how to best capitalize on it for your business? Probably not.

A professional event planner makes it her job to know where the industry is going and what is likely to work in the future. She’ll make sure that your event exceeds attendee expectations by delivering the latest and greatest the industry has to offer.

That translates to a better overall attendee experience. Attendees walk away more engaged, better informed, and more likely to buy.

If you’re ready to get higher ROI for your event by working with a professional event manager, contact Deany Dormer at 757-785-5081.

 

4 Reasons Why In-person Event Marketing is Essential

As the online space grows ever more crowded, in-person events are becoming more essential than ever. They offer the valuable opportunity to speak directly to your target audience and form in-person connections with them. At an in-person event, you can get immediate feedback and control the customer experience in a unique way. This is why event marketing is an essential element of your marketing mix.

You Build an Emotional Connection

People come to your event because they’re interested in what you have to offer. Basically, they’re self-selected as the best possible audience to receive your brand message and ultimately buy your product or service. Instead of talking to the internet at large or every reader of a newspaper or the drivers going by on the highway, you’re speaking directly to your target demographic.

You can use that opportunity to build an in-person connection that feels more immediate and personal than other forms of marketing. In-person events build an emotional connection with attendees, as Howard Givner explained in an article from Entrepreneur.

Givenr says that companies can leverage the connection guests built at an event, cultivating their emotional connection into an ongoing relationship.

Even if attendees don’t buy right away, they’ve become warm leads, primed for a sale.

You Get Immediate Feedback

At an in-person event, you have an ideal opportunity to get immediate feedback on your product or service. No need for focus groups or emailed customer surveys. Guests can try your product in real-time. You can address their questions right away.

This give and take helps you break down barriers to the sale and show potential customers exactly why they need your product or service.

And the value extends far beyond the end of the event. You can use the feedback, questions and discussion to inform your marketing strategy. For example, you might write a blog based on a question you heard several times or start a new Facebook ad campaign showcasing a feature your attendees were particularly excited about.

You Can Curate the Customer Experience

Consumers are bombarded by advertising and marketing messages all day every day. Experts claim a person sees as many as 10,000 brand messages per day. That’s a lot of competition for your ideal customer’s attention.

At an in-person event, your competitors are left outside. Instead of seeing dozens or hundreds of options, attendees see one, yours. That gives you an uninterrupted platform for evangelizing your product or service.

Event Marketing Works

In the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends survey, event marketing topped the list of effective marketing strategies. And with good reason. According to the EventTrack Content Benchmarking Report, 74% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase after attending a branded event.

The evidence is clear — event marketing just works.

Let Executive Events assist you to plan an event that promotes your business, generates leads and creates a lasting buzz. For more information contact Executive Events at Info@AssistMyEvent.com or at 757-785-5081.