Event Marketing: A Fun Day Out or Your Biggest Sales Opportunity

Hosting an event can provide a business with an effective marketing opportunity from which to meet, connect and build rapport with current and prospective customers face-to-face. Yet the planning and organisation required in getting people to come and then following-up afterwards entails a lot of hard work both well before and well after the event has happened.

Whether it’s a new product or service launch, seminar, exhibition or training workshop, following a systematic approach, is guaranteed to boost the value of your event and attract high-quality attendees. Follow these event marketing tips for success.
Set Objectives and Measure Results

A good place to start is to define what you would like to get from the event and how you and your team define success. Quite often, results are measured purely by number of attendees, but this not necessarily an accurate measure of success. You also need to consider the seniority or quality of those attendees and those post event conversion rates. These KPIs will need to be defined from the outset so that expectations can be managed and performance can be measured.

Create Content

Create content about the event and post it on your website. That way, you can keep everyone up-to-date with the details of the event, and use the URL as the focus for all the event promotion to use across multiple online channels.

Use Social Media Channels

Create a social community around the event to allow your attendees, speakers, sponsors and organisers to interact and share the event amongst their network. Set up a Facebook page specifically for the event and create a hashtag on Twitter so that everyone involved can contribute to the Twitter conversation.

Get a Good Keynote Speaker

A good keynote speaker can make all the difference to attendance and boost the credibility of your brand. A notable keynote speaker can inspire and connect with your audience, and provide the “carrot” to get more bums on seats – including high-calibre individuals.

Use Telemarketing

You can’t rely solely on a series of emails to get people to come to your event. Effective Event Marketing needs to be supported by a multi-channel campaign. Use telemarketing for three things:

  1. To invite people to your event – if they can’t make it, would they like to meet at another time to suit them?
  2. To confirm attendance just before your event happens (a good excuse to call is to check dietary requirements, explain about parking and ask some questions so that you can tailor the event around delegates).
  3. To follow up. Did they find the event useful/awful? Would they come to another similar event? Would they recommend it to others? If so, who? Would they like to meet up, or receive further information, or call back in 4 months?

It is important to remember to plan the sequence of follow up calls. for example the first round of calls should be to the people who didn’t attend and said they would to find out why, and if they would like to meet.

Telemarketing can be used in Event Marketing - photo by raindog808              Image Source – raindog808 (CC License)

Tailor your Approach

If your event is attracting a broad range of attendees at different levels of seniority, you should try different approaches and tactics to attract the interest of your audience. Senior managers and business owners are likely to be harder to get hold of, so try another way of communicating with them; either via telemarketing, social media or a personalised marketing campaign to get their attention.

Ensure your delegates are properly briefed

Make sure you provide enough information about the event, including speaker bios, timings, location maps and directions to ensure everyone has the information necessary to attend your event.
Plan your follow-up before the event

The event is over, everyone had a great time and things seemed to run smoothly. Your job is done, right? Wrong! The most critical part of the event is the follow-up. All the attendees need to be followed up within 3 – 4 days following the event, and being quick off the mark will keep your company front of mind and help improve conversion rates. This will be covered in a subsequent blog.

An increasing number of companies are turning to telemarketing companies to help promote their events and act as their event support partner. This will ensure maximum delegate attendance, and effective post event follow up to achieve optimum conversion rates.

For more information about how VSL can support your event, contact us by email sales@virtual-sales.com or call us on 01403-788481

Andy Dickens

Andy Dickens is a veteran of IT Sales, used to leading by example. He is the CEO of Virtual Sales Limited (VSL) who offer telesales, telemarketing, lead generation and appointment setting services to B2b businesses. He previously was Sales Director EMEA for Red Hat and before that ran sales at Visio before it was acquired by Microsoft.