Planning an event? Use these tips to ensure your efforts aren’t wasted once the doors close.
The success of any event, whether hosting or taking a space, depends on what you plan to do post-event to turn your new-found contacts into bonafide customers.
We’ve put together a few top tips for making the most of your event and securing an ROI you can be proud of!
Contact leads promptly
Sending a ‘cold’ email to an attendee months after your event, when they likely have no recollection of who they spoke with or what their initial conversation was about, is pretty pointless – or extremely optimistic at best.
Try to follow up all new leads within a few days (a week at most). Even if it’s just a short ‘nice to have met you’ email or even a connection request on LinkedIn, it demonstrates that you have remembered them and would like to build a relationship.
Automation is your best friend
Simplify your follow up and set up an automated process which will ensure that all new contacts receive a ‘welcome’ or ‘hello’ email from you as soon as their details are added to your database. It doesn’t need to be long, simply a “hello, it was nice to meet you, here are my contact details” email will suffice to start with.
If exhibiting at a large conference or exhibition, always check with the event organiser or venue what tech is available to you. For example, bar code scanners and data pens can ensure that potential leads are contacted before they’ve even walked away from your stand! Consider hiring your own tech if nothing is provided – it’s not as expensive as you may think.
Don’t forget the personal touch
If automating your initial contact, follow it up with a more personalised approach. If you’ve had a specific conversation about a product or service, then reference it. Try to make your follow ups individual to each contact rather than blasting around a generic message that won’t really benefit you or them.
Get clever with trackable marketing
Create event-specific marketing collateral; publish a dedicated landing page on your website; or use an event email address to track your potential customer/clients’ journey, before and after your event. This way, you can determine whether your event has influenced them to make a purchase or carry out another desired action.
Don’t forget social media
If your event has a dedicated hashtag (and it should), make sure you use it on all of your social media platforms. Taking time to upload some photos of your stand (or even a Facebook Live video) or publishing a review of the event on your LinkedIn profile, could help you continue to make contacts even after the event has finished.
Finally, write yourself a short evaluation report once the event is over so you can remind yourself what worked, and what could be improved upon.
It doesn’t need to be War and Peace – just bullet some key points and observations or note down some dos and don’ts for next time.
Events and exhibitions may not show immediate returns on investment, it may take several months to see any business growth but by clearly benchmarking how successful your event has been, you will be in a better position to decide whether you should do it all again.