What are your business goals?
It’s a question you should be asking yourself.
Growth, revenue, and success are all general aspirations for a business to have, but in order to attain those aspirations, a lot of groundwork needs to be laid. More importantly, you need to have an idea of where you are going. You need to have a goal.
“I want to run the most trusted gym in my city.”
“I want to expand my publications leadership.”
“I want my food delivery app to hit a revenue milestone.”
All of the above are aspirational goals. They’re sticks in the sand that can help you direct your organization to where it’s going. In order to attain these larger aspirational goals, you need to smaller goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable and measurable. In other words, you need SMART business goals.
Whatever business goal you may have for your brand, events can help. Just take a look at how other organizations are investing in events. Event Marketer reports that 90% of brands planned on maintaining or increasing their event budget in 2017.
In the below sections, we’ll take a general survey of how events can help you drive your business goals.
Build Brand Awareness
Events are not just marketing activities. They’re full-blown spectacles. Every single person who comes to an event you are hosting is presented with your brand on your terms. When you exhibit at a tradeshow, industry conference, or the event of a partner company, you are able to tap into valuable, new audiences.
The sales education network Sales Hacker regularly partners with Salesforce to hold events. Salesforce gets access to Sales Hacker’s very relevant audience, while Sales Hacker gets to associate their brand with Salesforce in a meaningful way.
Source: Sales Hacker
Tips for Building Brand Awareness with Events
- Establish a clear and consistent event brand.
- Have a PR plan for getting the word out on your event activities before and after your event.
- Capture content from events that you attend or host. Then share it!
- Take to social media to build anticipation for your event and follow up afterward.
- Consider partnering with other brands to increase your reach and pool your resources.
Drive Lead Generation
Whether you want to grow your email list or expand your sales pipeline, events can help. When hosting an event, have your attendees register by giving their email addresses and any other relevant event registration information. Going back to partnerships, you can lend a service or product to an organization holding a brand in exchange for their registration information.
Modern event management software comes with the ability to build event websites, register attendees, nurture attendees and see the big picture of how attendees convert further down the line.
Tips for Driving Lead Generation with Events
- Create a strategy for collecting leads and following up with them the next time your organization attends a conference, trade show or industry event.
- When attending events solo, set a goal for the number of business cards you want to collect.
- Hosting an event? Consider leveraging event management software that can be your lead generation powerhouse.
- Exchange a product or service for access to a business partner’s event leads.
- Similarly, you can always front cash and sponsor an event for leads access.
Collecting leads is one thing. Nurturing them to customers is another. Fortunately, event marketing can serve as a critical touch-point for getting face-to-face time with prospects and showing off your business’ product. Some organizations hold conferences that are entirely dedicated to intermingling customers and prospects for sales acceleration. At the same time, it’s possible to hold smaller events that accomplish the same end.
Radius, a B2B intelligence platform, piggybacked on the mega B2B conference Dreamforce by hosting a VIP dinner during the week of the event. Prospects got to see behind the curtain how Radius works and mingled with current customers during what proved to be a powerful sales acceleration event.
Tips for Closing Deals with Events
- Deals aren’t always closed at events, but it’s possible. Prepare by having your top sales reps on hand and the materials needed to demo your product.
- When attending another event, it pays to research in advance. If the event has an event app or event community, use it to see who’s attending.
- Whether you are holding an event or attending one, make sure you are able to measure the success of your investment. You’ll need those numbers to justify your event strategy further down the line.
- Consider creating satellite events around big-name events to get face-to-face time with prospects that you wouldn’t be able to ordinarily.
- User conferences like Salesforce’s Dreamforce can serve as a great opportunity for bringing customers together with prospects.
A bank holds a customer appreciation festival where customers are given free swag and gratis financial education sessions. A software company holds a giant customer conference with star-studded speakers. An association plans a networking event for its members. Your customers mean a lot to you and an event is an effective way for showing it. Whatever your industry, events are effective channels for engaging and retaining customers.
Teach for America holds a series of events for program alum to keep them involved in the organization’s work. For example, their event Entrepreneurs United is meant to help alum trending toward business to learn, network, and take social action.
Tips for Engaging Customers with Events
- Consult your customers and hear what kind of event they want. You may be surprised at what you hear.
- Consider offering awards to customers for particular achievements that they’ve made.
- Your customers might not be able to make it to you, in which case you may need to bring the event to them with an event tour.
- Maximize event engagement with technology. Event apps, social media, and video can go a long way to creating a satisfying event experience.
- One way to engage customers is to let them engage with one another. A dedicated event community can help customers connect with others in their industry.
Choosing Events for Your Business Goals
This list comprises but a handful of ways that events can drive business goals. Events can also be used to recruit top talent, retain employees, build partnerships, wow investors and much much more. When it comes to driving business goals, events are a powerful channel. It just starts with one simple question.