All posts by Shari

How to Execute an Event Lead Generation Strategy – 6 Tips That Will Give You Quality Leads

Event lead generation strategy main

If you’re serious about generating leads through hosting an event, you need to maximize the lead generation opportunities it offers.

Did you know that the biggest challenge B2B marketers face with regard to lead generation is generating high-quality leads?

And it’s becoming more important every day.

In this post, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about maximizing the opportunities of a live event to generate leads and drive ROI for your business.

1. Lead generation starts before the event

Prior to hosting an event, it’s important to establish your presence by creating a pre-event buzz around your event, your company, and your products or services. (Tweet this!)

megaphone on green background gif

But, that’s not all. These activities should be aimed at actively identifying target leads. This means generating content that will attract your target audience because they can see the value you offer them.

It’s crucial to know exactly what you want to achieve with your event and you need a strategy to get the right people to attend your event.

To do this, your team can come up with a list of people the company needs to target. To come up with a list your team can decide what kind of person the company wants to target, investigate their online profile and activities and then target your message for these people.

What you need is the right message targeted at the right people.

This exercise also serves to generate general awareness and excitement about your event.

2. Get to know your attendees by collecting the right information

You need to collect as much information as possible on who will be attending the event. This is done by setting up a smooth registration process that asks the right questions.

There are two points to remember when setting up a registration process for an event that is aimed at generating leads: the process must be painless and it must collect the right information.

In order to gather relevant information, the questions must be specific. Get the details that you need, nothing more. After all, knowing exactly who is attending a key talk is the most important piece of information for an eventual sale.

Make use of available technology to ease the process. Consider a lead scanner, which lets you quickly scan an attendee’s name badge, allowing you to capture the attendee’s full name, title, company, and contact details.

3. Create content around your event

Start with an event landing page that details your event, its purpose and your company’s reason for hosting it. Tell your story in a fun way and draw attention to special attractions and prizes for attendees. Your landing page is the first step in building excitement around the event.

generic landing page on multiple devices

Make sure your readers can register for the event via your event landing page. Assuming your event is relevant to your industry and fulfills a need, those readers who complete the landing page registration form will become great leads.

Start blogging about your event. Blogging will help you extend awareness around your event and drive more traffic to your website. You can turn blog readers into potential leads by asking for their email address in exchange for a blog post in their inbox on a weekly or monthly basis.

These emails also serve as a basis for developing a relationship with potential leads.

4. Offer research relevant to your industry

Consider doing some research and creating an industry whitepaper. Research establishes your business as a source of expertise and contributes to your company’s status within your industry.

Producing a white paper is an excellent way to provide relevant content to your audience since whitepapers are based on an existing problem and offer a solution to the problem.

The basis of the white paper could be an industry survey. The outcome of the survey generates interest and gets people talking even before the event. Be sure to appoint a social media expert to monitor these discussions and offer relevant company commentary.

Should you succeed in this endeavor, those people who pick up on and participate in the discussions are sure to be promising leads.

One commentator suggests doing a survey targeting specific industry problems during the event itself and gathering comments from delegates which can then be discussed at an open forum during the event.

Delegates who participate in such forums would be hot leads to follow up with after the event.

team brainstorming and planning

5. Gather the right team

This cannot be emphasized enough. No matter how big or impressive your event, how great your giveaways, or how great the speakers, the most successful business events are the ones that have the most dynamic staff on the ground.

Regardless of budget, you must make sure you have your best team at the event.

After all, the people staffing your event are representing your brand. You need to choose who best represents your brand and knows your product or service the best. Make sure every team member has an integral role to play in ensuring the success of your event, including viewing each attendee as a possible lead.

Have company experts and strategists present at the event so salespeople can call on their specialized knowledge for delegates who require more in-depth information.

Choose people from your staff who are personable and assertive and who always come across as professional.

→ SEE ALSO: How an Outside Event Manager Can Save Your Business Money

videographers and producers recording event

6. Include those who can’t attend the event – go digital

If you are serious about boosting your lead generation efforts, consider live-streaming your event for those who can’t be present on the day.

Live streaming your event allows you to reach even more people on the day and afterward.

Statistics show that live streaming increases subsequent attendance. According to Digitell, up to 30% of people who attended a live stream event, went on and attended the live physical event the following year.

Live streaming your event will give you more lead generation opportunities – in order to attend the event online, you can require attendees to fill out a registration form and provide you with their contact details giving you an instant lead to engage with later.

→ SEE ALSO: How to Use Social Media During Your Event

Conclusion

Events are an effective way to secure new business, but you need to maximize the lead generation opportunities it offers. To achieve this, you need to plan your event with lead generation in mind. And for this, you need your best people on the job.

With a carefully constructed plan and the correct people to execute it, you’ll present powerful lead generating events that will ultimately have a positive impact on your business and on your bottom line.

For assistance with your lead generation plan, contact Executive Events today by calling Deany at 757-785-5081 or emailing info@assistmyevent.com.

Is Event Marketing Right for Your Business?

business people at trade show

Many markets have become increasingly competitive and businesses are continually looking for new ways to engage their customers. Promoting your business through events – event marketing, is one of the ways you can market your brand, product or service. (Tweet this!)

Event marketing focuses on face-to-face interaction with clients via trade shows, live events, corporate meetings and more. In the 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report of The Content Marketing Institute, 75% of marketers list “live events” as a top marketing tactic.

Here are five reasons that you may need event marketing for YOUR business:

One: Building brand awareness

Event marketing allows you to build brand awareness firsthand. With events, you can interact with your customers in real-time. The advantage to that is that you can answer their questions and clear their doubts promptly.

If you have an event manager, you can decide together whether getting media attention is one of your goals. If the media covers your event it’s a great opportunity to gain additional exposure for your brand and company. Consider also reaching out to influencers in your niche – schedule a meeting and give them an invitation to experience and possibly promote your event.

business people shaking hands over a table

Two: Generating leads

With a live event, not only will you be able to promote your brand, but you can actually generate leads. Being strategic with your targeted audience gives you access to your target demographic so you can actively engage with strong prospects. When you announce or send specific invitations out for your event, the people who attend are those who have an interest in what can help them – your business. These prospects are more likely to be open-minded and ready to learn more about what you can offer.

→ SEE ALSO: 5 Ways to Generate Leads with Events

Three: Launching of new product

A product launch event is necessary, especially if you are a startup. It is designed to create awareness and build publicity for your products that are soon to be released into the market. It can generate a great buzz if done the right way. The success of the event can determine the success of the product during the launch phase. The ultimate goal of this type of event is to gain exposure.

launch date marked on calendar

So how do you organize this event? To start you’ll need to set a budget. Next, make a list of potential guests. You’ll also need to choose a theme, find a venue and set the date. And most importantly, you’ll need to get the word out. Reach out to your target audience – your ideal customer. Remember that your event manager can help you with all of this.

Four: Building a network

If you want your brand to be big, you not only have to impress your customers, but you also have to leave a lasting impression on influencers. Invite people who have an extensive following in the industry or niche of your ideal customer and encourage them to share their experience to their social media networks. This way you’ll be able to spread awareness of your brand to an audience outside of your immediate circle.

During your event, you may also find business partners or a new source of potential leads. In the business world, the larger your network is, the better.

Five: Strengthening your business image

People always love brands that help the community and spread positive messages. If you want your company to gain some media attention and support, you can link your brand to a worthy cause. Find out what matters to you and your target audience, then organize a community event that’s in-line with your values. This can boost customer loyalty amongst those that believe in your mission.

blurred circle of people with hands in the middle

When to not host an event

There are many reasons to use event marketing to promote your business. However, are there instances when you should not utilize it?

There is only one valid reason why you should not host your own company event—when you do not have a clear objective for the event. Hosting a poorly organized event with no objective is worse than not hosting an event at all. Your event manager can help you work out any issues in order to ensure your event successfully promotes your business to your ideal client.

The team at Executive Events is ready to assist in planning your next objective-focused event. Contact us today at Info@AssistMyEvent.com or 757-785-5081.

Get the Most Out of Your Marketing Event by Acing Your Post-Event Strategy

two women strategizing with team at white board

Hosting a marketing event is an excellent way to interact with customers, expand your audience, build brand awareness and increase sales.

According to the Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report, most marketers believe that events are the single most effective marketing channel compared to digital advertising, email marketing, and content marketing.

person holding tablet with marketing strategy

Now, your company has pulled off the perfect marketing event. The venue was perfect, the speakers were engaging, the exhibits were just what was called for. And, the attendee traffic indicated a high level of interest.

Yet, Monday morning, back at the office, the real work starts: following- up after the event. In order to maximize the impact of your event, you need to have a strategy to follow-up with attendees, stakeholders and prospects after the event.

Here are some post-event strategies you can follow to help you convert prospects into buyers and leave a positive and lasting impression on your event and business.

1. Plan your post-event strategy when you begin to plan your event

Planning an event and hosting it is time-consuming and demanding. If you don’t plan your follow-up strategy beforehand, chances are there will be at best, very poor follow-up and at worst, very little or no follow-up.

Scheduling who will do what to reach out to prospects after the event will ensure that the job gets done. Assign tasks to specific staff members.

team member creating follow-up checklist

This may sound obvious, and it is, but you might be shocked to learn that according to the Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report, a staggering 80% of trade show exhibitors don’t follow up with their show leads. (Tweet this!) Can you imagine the vast amount of money left on the table?

In preparation for your follow-up strategy, plan to complete a lead qualification form after speaking with prospects. This is vital information that you will capture to qualify leads and save lots of time when it comes to following up with prospects after the event.

→ SEE ALSO: How to Qualify Leads at Your Events

2. That all important follow-up email

business person sending email

Start planning your follow-up emails before the event, including when they will be sent. Your follow-up email is an important aspect of your event strategy – it’s a crucial step in achieving the goals set out for the event, be it increasing sales, creating brand awareness or expanding your customer base.

  • Make sure your post-event email stands out. Keep in mind that your prospect will most likely have several emails to respond to after being absent from the office. A subject line like “Follow-up” is going to get you nowhere.
  • Be very clear and specific on why you’re following up.
  • Consider that sending an email on the day after the event might not be the best timing, in some instances – an exhausted traveler from out-of-town might not be in the mood to look at emails first thing when they arrive back – consider giving it a day or two before you make your approach.
  • During the event, make notes on visitors’ business cards so you can remember the conversation and refer to it in your email, giving your email a personal touch.
  • Keep this first email simple: say who you are, where you met and most importantly, why you making contact is important to them. Keep it short and to the point.

3. Exploit the full potential of social media

Social media can help you to connect with your prospects, share your message and help to leave a positive and lasting impression of your event.mobile device with social media iconsYou have been sharing news about the event on your social media accounts. Don’t stop after the event. Continue sharing your message.

  • Make a short video that shows how the event went. Have snippets of people talking about the event and how it benefited them. Make sure it contains your company message. Post this on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
  • Keep posting photos from the event. Tag your speakers, industry leaders, and important stakeholders.
  • Encourage your audience to keep tweeting and using your event hashtag to continue the digital buzz around your event.
  • Stay active on Instagram. When you plan your Instagram schedule for your event, include the days and weeks after the event. This social media platform is ideal for promoting your event and engaging your audience in a fun and visual way.
  • Use social media platforms to thank attendees, participants, speakers and industry representatives – these kinds of posts are popular and are usually shared immediately, extending the positive impact of your event.

→ SEE ALSO: How to Use Social Media During Your Event

4. Approach prospects with a tangible asset

One of the most effective ways to follow-up with prospects after an event is to have something to offer that adds value for them. Consider segmenting your prospects into different categories with different offers for each segment.

Following up with a tangible asset like an industry-relevant report, ebook, whitepaper or the like will enhance the business value for prospects and establish your company as a thought leader in the industry.

Didn’t have the time or the resources to send out a survey and create an industry report? What about an intangible gesture? The value you add could be as simple as a referral to a business partner in your network that you know would benefit your prospect.

Never lose sight of the fact that a marketing event is a relationship building tool. Following up with prospects after the event is a crucial part of that strategy.

5. Be sure to measure event marketing success

How you will measure ROI (return on investment) is determined when you decide what the goals are for your event. In fact, without having a way to determine event success, the whole exercise would be pointless.

Be clear about what your primary goal is for the event. Do you want to build brand awareness, launch a new product, increase customers or generate qualified leads?

business person writing list of post-event strategy goals on board

The next step is to set some specific metrics for each goal. For instance, if your primary goal was to build awareness, you could set a goal of 5,000 attendees and 1,000 social media mentions.

If your goal was to attract more customers, you need to establish how many of the qualified leads actually culminated in closed deals.

If your goal was to build stronger relationships with your stakeholders, you could leverage surveys to determine attendee satisfaction and event involvement, taking into account the buzz that was created on social media. These factors should disclose whether you succeeded in your goal.

Bottom line: the best way to determine whether your marketing event will achieve the desired return on your investment, is setting S.M.A.R.T. goals – that is goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and timely. (Tweet this!)

Summary

These five strategies form the framework for the proper conclusion to your marketing event. Following them also guarantees that you can measure whether the event achieved its goal.

Planning and executing your post-event strategy is as important as planning and executing the event itself. If you fail to implement a follow-up strategy, your event may essentially be a waste of valuable time, effort, money and other resources.

Executive Events is ready to help you plan the perfect follow-up strategy. Contact us today to chat about how to get the most out of events for your business.

Grow Your New Business with Events

Woman promoting her new business at an event

 

Growing a new business can be very challenging. You may ask yourself, “How do I tell people about my services? How do I get my name out to those that may be interested in my product?” There are many different ways you can use to market your new company. One of the most innovative ways to do this is by hosting strategic events. Events can help you build the visibility of your organization and gain awareness from your ideal customers.

→ SEE ALSO: Event Marketing 101: Getting the Word Out

There are many types of events you can host to help achieve this when starting a new company. Some are more specific to the industry than others, such as hosting a family and friends dinner at a new restaurant or having a grand opening offering discounts at a new store. This article will explore some event ideas that can be implemented across all industries.entrepreneurs speaking at event

Before we get into the types of events, here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your event.

The most crucial element to consider is the return on objective. Don’t host an event just for the sake of it. When you plan your event, think about how it is increasing the awareness of your organization or its capability to help build your customer base.

 

The most crucial element to consider when planning a strategic event is your Return on Objective.”  Tweet this!

Here are a few questions to ask:

1. What is the objective of this event?
2. Will I be able to generate any new business leads?
3. How will I measure the success of the event?
4. What is my follow up plan?

event coordinator explaining plan to business team

The next thing to consider is how to manage your time wisely so the event is successful but does not distract you from running your new business. Given the stress of starting a new company, consider hiring an event planning company to help you with all the finer details. This not only frees up your time during the planning process but also allows you the freedom to enjoy the day-of-event and mingle with prospects. An event manager can help you choose the right location, select catering everyone will enjoy and book entertainment that suits the environment of your event. Some companies, like Executive Events, will also help you determine your event objective and put metrics in place to achieve your event goals. Rather than worrying about event logistics, you can network and build relationships with your attendees.

Finally, don’t forget about social media. Create accounts for your organization on the platforms your ideal client frequents. Consider using hashtags and posting pictures and information for each of your events. There are many great ways to use events to build out your public profile. Adding your event information to appropriate social platforms is a fantastic way to extend the life of your event.

Now, let’s explore some effective ways to promote your new business through events.

→ SEE ALSO: How to Use Social Media During Your Event

Official Business Launch

Consider hosting a launch event. Capitalize on your event by inviting the media and high-profile members of your community in addition to your ideal clients. Remember to give them a compelling reason to attend.

team planning for business launch

For media invitations, don’t just send out a blanket press release. Target journalists who have written about what you’re marketing. Even online bloggers with influence in your industry can be more helpful than just trying to get every major news outlet to attend.

Utilize the staff you have in public relations, marketing and sales to attract the right network connections and sales prospects. If you don’t have those departments in your company yet, sit down and make a list of those in your community that could purchase your product or service. Who are the types of people that you help most with your new business?

Give people a reason to come. New businesses launch every day, what makes yours special? You’ll have a captive and diverse audience in one room. Capitalize on this by keeping the information interesting and finding ways to make your event unique. Consider incorporating a demo of your product or doing a giveaway for something exciting. You could incorporate your event hashtag as part of your game for a prize. The winner could be the person who gets the most likes, comments or retweets. This has the added benefit of getting your new business some extra social media exposure. Finding ways to make your event exciting and unique is something you can work on with your event manager.

Don’t forget to acknowledge the people who have helped you get to the point of being able to launch a business. Showcase your employees, investors, and other partners during the event.

Product Launch Event

Not to be confused with the official business launch event, this event is targeted to one offering you want to feature. Both launches have significant benefits for your new business in terms of attracting key people and giving you one-on-one time with them. The product launch allows you to make more targeted sales.

Consider choosing a venue that reflects your product or service. Are there conferences or expos that happen in the same venue year after year in your industry? See if you can find space in that venue. Choosing a location synonymous with your product will help you to build a reputation in the field.

This event is more product or service specific than the business launch. This is where you get to show off your product with demos and a more in-depth explanation of its uniqueness.

Utilize the same key focus areas mentioned in the business launch; attract the right people, give them a reason to come, and don’t forget to acknowledge the people who helped you build the product or service you’re featuring.

Retention Event

You just got your business started but you’re already concerned with how to keep customers and clients. This is common for all new businesses; the first five years are always when you must work the hardest to ensure people keep coming back. This is the time that sets the precedence for years to come.

Hosting an event to celebrate the first year you’ve been in business and thank those who have helped you achieve that success can go a long way. The focus here can just be expressing thanks to your existing clients, customers, and network. And less on hard sales. You will still find return on investment through this type of event by retaining those you are already in business with.

“Hosting an event to celebrate the first year you’ve been in business and thank those who have helped you achieve that success can go a long way.” Tweet this!

Going a step further, you may consider hosting casual drop-ins every month or two. Such as a wine and cheese night or an industry-specific activity. Give your network and customers access to your office to ask questions without having to schedule an appointment. Invite them to drop in to say hi or bring a friend or colleague in who may be interested in your business. Supply some food or drinks and have a casual open-door policy where you and your staff are available to chat with anyone who comes by.

receptionist welcoming people into the office

Attend Events

Don’t forget to allocate some of your budget to attend events also. Find events where your ideal customer will be and make sure to have a presence there. This gives you even more opportunity to build your network and generate prospective business.

Next Steps

All these events can help you cultivate your business network and connect you with valuable opportunities in your community. Consider meeting with a strategic event company to plan out the first year or two of events that you will host. Be strategic in your timing. Research conferences or industry weeks that you can time your event to work in conjunction with. Or create a stand-alone event that fills a gap in the market.

Our team at Executive Events has experience in helping businesses execute promotional events. Contact us today to learn how a strategic event can help you promote your business.