Events are one of the most impactful tools in a marketer’s arsenal. From brand awareness, to lead generation to increasing intent to purchase – events are used extensively to achieve almost all of a marketer’s targets.
But the constantly increasing dependence on events also means that it is easy to be lost in the clutter and be overshadowed in messaging. Customers and target audience are exposed to many many different events each year, making it a challenge for the marketer to stand out in the crowd and leave an impression. As important as it is for marketers to be present in some choicest events, it is equally important for them to do so smartly, and make sure every penny of their investment counts.
Hosting a successful event is not impossible, it’s just a matter of covering your bases; being smart and being thorough. Worry not, we have pulled together 8 best-kept secrets from successful event marketers that are simple, and yet powerful enough to ensure unsuccessful events are a thing of the past.
- Choose your events carefully
There are always events that seem to be too good to miss. But be cautious to only invest in those events that give you a bang for the buck – be it in terms of ROI, in terms of messaging, brand awareness or customer acquisition. Consider who your audience is, consider who the events are targeting, consider the messaging fit, consider the brand imagery, consider the organiser’s pull in the industry!
More importantly, make sure your event gets you back your investment even before it starts. A few weeks before the event, send out invites to your key customers, set up meetings, arrange for an integration of presentation/ panel discussion, etc. based on your business needs.
One of the most important, yet unfortunately overlooked steps; research. Granted, we are all busy but we live in an age of information. Go online, access company information and be armed with knowledge about the attendees at the event, the right contacts for your business, and why your product/solution is the right fit for your potential customer (event attendees) and a little something about each of them. This little research will make sure you’re better prepared to make fruitful conversation with your audience at the events, and you can also personalise your offering to their business and needs. That’s at least two steps closer to winning the deal than you would have been un-researched.
- Branding matters
Don’t forgo opportunities to brand. At the same time make sure your brand is visible in appropriate media and context. Determine the placement of your logo based on your success metrics – whats your objective? Maximise reach? Brand connect? Increase intent to purchase?
Similarly, while messaging is important, don’t underestimate the power of visual connotations. Large, easily visible logos, subliminal cues such as the colour of the linen or the booth matching your brand colours, keeping your collateral in line with your brand personality, etc.
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- Talk why rather than what
Be it a presentation, a panel discussion or even a one-on-one conversation with a contact, don’t underestimate the power of emotions in a purchase. Stay above the clutter of messaging that talks about what your product offers and instead focus on why they need your product. Talk industry, talk data, talk about their need and your solution as the fit!
- Implement a smart Social Media strategy
Social Media is not optional any longer. Use your social media channels and that of your event organisers to the maximum. Goes without saying, a strong social media strategy means choosing the right channel. Don’t target being on all channels, rather focuses on being strong on relevant channels. Offering a strong B2B solution? Maybe Instagram is not the right fit for you, instead, add the pounds to LinkedIn instead.
- Bring together inspiring speakers
Messaging is the key! Make your event more relevant to the attendees by making sure you are presenting not just your point of view, but that of the whole 360-degree perspective. Invite inspiring speakers from the industry, make the panel discussion/ presentation the meat of your event.
Your customers will remember your event for how much it was worth their time!
- Don’t forget entertainment
Like the old adage goes, “all work and no play made Jack a dull boy.” Don’t fall into the trap of making the objective of your event a one-way monologue to tell your customers about your product, instead focus on making sure they associate your brand with an entertaining, yet inspiring and informative. Add relevant entertainment programs, lighten your presentation, make it more demonstrative, add a few fun bits, etc.
- Make your giveaways interesting
While your event lasts only a couple of hours, your contacts are going to remember the giveaway for a long time to come. Stay away from the common giveaways like pens, leather merchandise, branded cups, etc of which everyone has plenty. This is your chance to make an impression, stand out and personalise your giveaway. How about a branded cupcake that they will relish? Or maybe a big ‘Thank you for your business’ cake with your logo on it? They are sure to think of you every time they are craving sweets.