In an era when we can instantly communicate with customers, hosting a conference may seem unnecessary, but live events are still powerful tools in building loyalty, developing customer relationships and generating excitement about your product.
The best way to foster client relationships is by meeting with clients personally. A well-executed event can provide the perfect opportunity for these one-on-one interactions.
Planning and Execution
Follow these steps for a successful event.
1. Develop a Strategy
Why do you want to host a live event? This is the first and most important question to ask. The answer will guide your decisions in planning your event. Perhaps you want to thank current clients or attract new ones. Maybe you want to build anticipation for a new product or train your staff. Determining your goal will help you decide if a live event is the most effective way to achieve your objectives.
2. Target Market
Identify your target market and make sure to invite everyone on that list. You can also use your event to network with potential employees, suppliers, business partners and any group vital to your business.
3. Budget According to Audience Size
Determine how much you can spend on your event and then start gathering estimates. You’ll want to get an idea of how much it will cost to rent the venue, pay guest speakers and provide catering. If you’re going to generate revenue from ticket or product sales, include this figure in your estimates and leave room for unplanned expenses. Depending on the number of attendees you wish to attract, you may want to increase your budget to make the best impression and reach more prospective customers.
Today, we can communicate directly with customers, suppliers, and industry experts using social media platforms like Twitter®, Facebook®, and LinkedIn®; and we can share information via webinars. Programs like Prezi allow us to alter our presentation in the cloud and directly change a high-end display of company products and services on the fly.
5. The Experience
What kind of experience do you want guests to have? This will help you decide what to include in the event. For example:
- Appetizers and drinks
- Product demonstration booths
- A keynote speaker
- Round-table discussions
- Coaching sessions
- Competitions or prize giveaways.
6. Hosting the Event
Make sure you have plenty of help on hand to answer guests’ questions and provide information.
Station a table with gifts and promotional material near the exit so guests can pick them up as they leave. You can also use this as an opportunity to gather feedback from attendees by providing a survey or comment card.
With your event complete be sure to review your goals to determine if it garnered the benefits you expected.
Now you are back at the office. Compile your leads and strike while the iron is hot. Personally call all leads that have a relevant interest in your company. The longer you wait, the further they are from remembering the experience and your products. Keep in mind there is a reason you decided to budget for the conference in the beginning.
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About IGM Creative Group
IGM Creative Group provides advertising solutions, marketing strategy and web development for Fortune 500, mid-market and small businesses.
166 Main Street, Suite 202, Lincoln Park, NJ, 07035.
Contact by phone at 973-709-1126
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org