There’s nothing more disappointing than closing up your booth at a conference knowing you could have done better if you had just changed a few things. With clear goals and careful planning, you can make an event more than just memorable. You can make it unforgettable.
So you’ve decided on an event that targets your audience at a reputable place. What’s next? Are you looking to capture leads? Is it a customer appreciation event? Do you want to just retain and possibly upsell customers? Are you testing a new product? Once you set a goal in place, all your activities should direct themselves towards it. From your social media posts down to what your sales people should say at the booth.
We would all love to be inspired every day and share something great with the world. Unfortunately, we are all also very busy. Luckily, there are tools out there such as Hootsuite and Buffer to assist in scheduling posts as a lead up to an event. Another helpful tip is to be open to inspiration when it comes, by bookmarking articles and pictures that you can use in later posts.
Of course, you want to have lots of engagement, so aside from learning the best times to post for each channel, you should use images, as these get more traffic. A tool for easily making images pop out for all the non-designers out there is Pablo. Dig deeper with social media posts about your team and their challenges, teasers for your booth, and engage your audience encouraging them to ask your experts questions. Don’t forget to lead visitors to specific landing pages on your site. These are just a few examples of how to better engage your audience during the coming months and days leading up to your event. For more tips and to brush up on how to leverage influencers, check out our blog post on Building a Community for Your Startup.
Prepare your staff for the event
In the days before the event you may want to gather your team and share your expectations. These include the dress code, the goals you have for the event and perhaps even a refresh on customer service skills. It may be helpful to prepare a notebook or FAQ sheet with Quick Tips on answers to attendees. If you can, break your staff into greeters, presenters, and sales representatives based on their best personality traits.
Standing out at the event
It’s finally come. Your big event.
A good booth that you will be able to reassemble in your next conferences may come out to be a solid investment. But it’s not just the booth that will help you stand out, it’s your content. For example, one way to get your content out there is positioning your speaker at the main stage. Best to get the early slots before lunch, so you can draw the most eyes and ears to your brand.
You can further enhance your brand presence using Proximity Marketing & Beacon technology. Beacon technology is fairly cheap. Two recommended beacon apps for events are CrowdCompass Beacons and Eventbase Premium. With just set a few beacons carrying simple Bluetooth signals, you can send messages on special offers to delight your booth visitors. Later, you can use the data you gathered to track what most interested them and follow up with relavent offers.
Wrap up & Follow up
The event is finally over and now you can finally rest. Wrong!
Post-event marketing is one of the most crucial components of a great event but is often overlooked. Always remember to follow up with your attendees and provide customized content according to the information you captured. Also, send out a newsletter or email summarizing the event for all those who signed up but could not attend.
It’s now also a great time to rack up all those cards and signup sheets you gathered at the conference. Analyze the data to gain insights into what attracted the greatest attention. Using a customer-relationship management system, you can prepare a monthly report with the value from each event including the number of deals and leads. This will help you track your success over time.
Event planning requires the ability juggle multiple balls in the air. This is especially true as the messaging may change and require the adjustment of key parts of the marketing collateral such as presentations, brochures and the like. Don’t get caught off-guard! Be decisive and know which decisions can be changed, within what timeframe and at what cost.
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