Times are changing, business people tend to limit travel, marketing budgets are often decreasing and/or shifting from traditional marketing tactics as events, Web, Printed and TV ads, to new marketing tactics as Digital Marketing, Mobile Advertising, Virtual events, and Social Media, however in my view nothing can be more effective than a Face-to-Face contact, a real Live demonstration, an executive on site meeting to promote brand recognition, raise products awareness, generate leads and revenue and I do believe events still need to be part of an effective integrated marketing mix.
An Event is an expensive tactic and a lot of work but nothing can replace personal interaction and a high quality public exposure.
Based on my experience at leading and managing many events all over the world, conferences, trade shows, road-shows, customers meetings, users or partners conferences, experiential events, Press and Analysts briefings, Fundraising events etc, I thought I would share a few tips to improve branding, generate more leads, optimize results and increase Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI).
1- Document a detailed business plan, including Goals, objectives, tactics, metrics and get executive management approval, sponsorship and support,
2- Integrate the event in an integrated marketing mix/campaign,
3- Build a detailed project plan, with every task, roles & responsibilities, deadlines, status and keep it updated,
4- Define the strategic products, solutions or services to highlight or demonstrate at the event, aligned with targeted customers needs and challenges,
5- Define the strategic messaging to convey at the event, aligned with strategic corporate branding and messaging,
6- Document a detailed communication plan (external and internal).
Audience generation, prior to the event
7- Advertize on the event communication, web site, guide, emails etc
8- Leverage your web site to promote the event, increase awareness and generate registration
9- Leverage Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to drive traffic to your web page promoting the event,
10- Leverage Social Media to extend word-of-mouth, reach a larger audience, and engage discussions and generate registration
11- Send series of emails to personally invite your customers, partners to attend your speaking sessions, visit your booth, register for a demonstrations, or schedule on site executive meetings,
12- Offer free registration badges or incentive to selected targeted customers or prospects,
13- Enable your direct and channel sales force to invite their customers and drive audience,
14- Set up an effective lead response management process, system and tools with a dedicated team to manage it.
15- Be visible, promote your corporate brand, use clear, clean, warm, sexy design, colors and materials, use large screens displays (Size does matter, the larger the better) and bright lighting,
16- Train your team to be engaging, open and proactive, not forgetting to listen,
17- Train your team to a clear strategic and integrated messaging, “One Voice”
18- Offer promotions, incentives, draws, games, widgets, freebies to increase traffic and contacts
19- Provide marketing material available for easy and self distribution (USB drives, DVD, Printed)
20- Have very skilled and engaging hosts at a reception desk to help guide and inform visitors
21- Leverage Social Media to raise awareness and drive audience to the booth or speaking sessions, i.e tweet and blog live from the event,
22- Create the Buzz,
23- Leverage Press and Media presence,
24- Enter every contact and lead in the lead generation system (wireless badge scanners, business cards scanners, manual forms etc) with as much detailed information as possible to help the lead response team.
After the event
25- Send a thank you email to all contacts, with an opt-out option to be included in your database and receive follow up emails,
26- Enter all contacts who have opted-in (or did not opted-out) in your database for future communications, newsletters, campaigns, events, eNurtering tactics,
27- Send a series of emails with relevant information following the event and engaging contacts to take actions,
28- Track and measure results of your email marketing and eNurtering activities (click-through, forward, referrals, responses etc…),
29- Engage contacts via Social Media (follow them on twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc),
30- Track and measure results of your Social Media activity,
31- Review all contacts and leads, prioritize and dispatch Hot Leads to appropriate sales force,
32- Track and measure wins and revenue generated or influenced by the event in your CRM or Marketing systems,
33- Gather feedback through a survey from internal and external audience,
34- Document lessons learned for next event, there is always room for improvement.
I hope this Event Marketing Pocket Guide will help, however it is a short summary version and you are welcome to add any tactic of yours in the comment section…
Now get on stage and Sell !
Filed under: Events Marketing, Integrated marketing, Marketing Tagged: | audience generation, campaign, conference, demand generation, demonstration, dusastre, event, event guide, event management, event marketing, event planning, event strategy, exhibition, experiential, guide, integrated marketing, lead generation, lead management, marcom, marcomnext, marketing, messaging, response lead management, roadshow, Social Media, speaker, tradeshow