Although businesses have mostly gone digital today, companies shouldn't underestimate the importance of offline interaction with their prospects and clients when formulating their marketing strategies. This is one of the reasons why business conferences and events have grown over the past few years.
According to a Frost & Sullivan report, the live events industry is worth around $565 billion. Whether you are running a small or large event management business, you can use event marketing to grow your brand, attract new customers and endear existing ones.
Read on for an overview of how to plan and optimize your event campaigns for the best ROI.
Pre-event: Determine your ideal attendees.
The world of marketing is getting more competitive every year, which makes it important to partner with clients by organizing an event. To do so requires a well-laid preparatory plan.
Companies need to build their brand and also build trust with new customers. But what will make potential clients choose your company instead of others in the online marketplace? Also, why should a client attend your event instead of one hosted by a competitor?
As is the case with defining a buyer's journey, you need a clear overview of the journey of your business event attendees. Determine the sequences the attendees will go through before finally signing up for your event.
To begin, you have to get the word out about the event. Here, do not consider the event a one-time marketing strategy but a continuous one. Therefore, as you create content or interact with your prospects on various platforms, hint about the event.
For example, you can tease your audience about the event in your blog posts, email newsletters, social media interactions and offline interactions. By doing so, your prospects will be aware of the event when you finally announce it, making them more willing to attend.
Measure data: How do prospects find your event?
Keep tabs on how the various promotional methods you are using to market your business event are performing. For example, analyze data to see how your prospects learned of the event and what percentage of them are converting (registering for the event).
Use various tools to measure the effectiveness of different promotional channels. From the data you gather, you can determine which methods are producing stellar or lackluster results. You can then scale up the more effective methods, while pausing those that aren't resulting in the expected ROI.
The important event metrics
If you are holding your first live event in your city, it may be possible to count the number of attendees in person. You can later follow up with the attendees (if you have enough manpower) for qualitative feedback.
On the other hand, if you are organizing a large event, there are various event management apps you can use to gather valuable data that will provide insights on metrics such as attendance and engagement.
By tracking these metrics, you can get information such as the most popular speakers, sessions and sponsors. The insights derived from the metrics can help you plan future events for even better ROI.
After the event, you can still gather valuable data to improve your future event market campaigns. Get feedback from the attendees and share the data with other departments in your organization.
One important thing you should find out immediately after the event is how attendees felt about the sessions. You can do this by either following up with each attendee in person or requesting they fill out forms.
You can also ask the attendees survey questions online. Find out whether they would recommend the event to others, and ask for critiques. This is important, as you want to identify areas you could improve.
From the information you gather, you can segment the respondents based on their likelihood of working with you. Some event management software can integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) apps to automatically segment the attendees based on their feedback. This will give you new opportunities to nurture the leads and convert them to customers.
The success of any event management campaign highly correlates with the amount of data you gather before, during and after the event. Make sure you measure metrics that will help you understand your attendees better and achieve your business goals.
Post-event: Now what?
Once the event is over, record-keeping becomes imperative for future referencing and promotional purposes. But how will you do that? The event needs to be documented in written form, such as a transcript that can be repurposed into various content formats for online promotion. It will help from the SEO perspective, since search engines can crawl and index written text. To get this task done, you may want to consider outsourcing the transcription work to professionals who specialize in this task.