The secret of making events worth the money

Wanna talk through how an insight like this can impact your company?

Trade shows upon trade shows (viva Las Vegas). Conferences and Association gatherings. Golf scrambles and charity events. They might be fun, but do they make you money?

Worst answer imaginable: “I don’t know”.

You’d be stunned how often people actually do this: they invest in the event, then just show up with booth, business cards and some chachkies. No planning, pre-work on the agenda, weeks of working the CRM data planning who is attending, setting up appointments…they just show up, smile and shake some hands. You’re probably losing a lot of dough if that is even close.

The Secret: What’s the plan, Jack?

You should have an event plan that includes participants, responsibilities, strategy, expense breakdown and you should also consider:

  • Identifying how many high, medium and low priority prospects are attending
  • Setting up a customized email campaign starting 45 days out inviting people to meet you. Consider offering a raffle prize for those that meet with you. This may feel weird, but it actually works.
  • For large events filled with high priority prospects, have an event…outside the event. Something fun, personal and out of a conference room. We had a client do a golf cart derby that was a blast.
  • Lose the booth. Speak.
    • Work your way into speaking roles. Break out room leaders, roundtable discussion, topic headliners, etc. Not only does this give you maximum visibility, prospects are 10 times more likely to remember your company from a speaking capacity versus the cattle call of booths in an exhibit hall. May cost a little more to get that spot, but if you’re going to do it, do it right or save the money.
    • The reason why this works better is the same reason why content marketing works: it demonstrates your expertise, intelligence, creativity and charisma. It lets the prospect get a feel for you before they engage in a specific personal conversation with you.
  • Determining a detailed reporting mechanism on people connected with, sales calls booked and opportunities idenitifed.
  • Follow up blitz:
    • For strong connections, book some appointments and sell some stuff. For the rest, you now have something in common with hundreds of prospects, whether you connected or not, you played with your water pitcher during the boring parts of the same conference. But you have something in common so exploit the $#!% out of it.
    • Hit them with email 2 days after the event. Ask them what they thought was the best and tell them what unique insight you have poll them if there are returning next year…make it interactive. Email data will uncover a few “missed connections” that will lead to sales opportunities.

If you ever wanna chat about getting the most out of your events budget, give us holler.

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