An average marketing department spends 31.6% of their budget on events! Events are one of the best ways to get your products/offerings in front of your prospects, the leads accumulated from the events have to be properly nurtured and milked
Lead Generation at the events can be done in various ways – Spend more money on better real estate on the event floor, spend more money on prizes and giveaways, send more people to generate more leads and many more…
We sponsor 20+ events in a year across various geographies and we have some proven methods and ideas to help you improve your event ROI, before your hit the event floor and keeping your marketing budget at the minimum.
Identify who’s going to the event
We have noticed a trend that people who aren’t able to identify the best-fit attendees often go for volume. They usually cast a wide net by giving away expensive giveaways assuming that their next customer could be anyone. You’re essentially paying every person who stops by your booth, though most of them could never become customers. In the quantity v/s quality battle, the scenario described above is definitely the quantity route.
If you’re sponsor at an event, you’ll probably get a list of “cloaked” attendees that would include only their titles and their company names and not individual names, emails or any other information. If you’re walking/attending the event and not sponsoring, all you have is the sponsors
Your marketing team should go through the list of attendees and identify your prospects. Segment your prospects and customers
Once you have the list of prospects attending the event, you can prioritize your prospects.. Segmenting right prospects becomes extremely helpful for sales and marketing teams. There are various ways to prioritize – based on intent, fit & opportunity; but the important thing is to know where to start from.
At SMARTe, we start by looking for patterns among our best customers like industry, company size/revenue, geographic location, etc. It’s great to plan events, like happy hours or dinners, and invite both prospects and current customers that are local to the event, so your leads can talk to current customers.
Launch a pre-event campaign
We’ve found that pre-event campaigns are very effective, but it takes both sales & marketing departments to make it work. Send out personalized email to your customers & prospects and create a personalized email sequence for each.
In case you have an outbound sales team like ours, share your list with sales team and ask them to make some calls, inviting the prospect to schedule a demo, book a meeting or at least stop by your booth. The goal of all of this? To put your company on their radar.
Motivate attendees to book a meeting or stop by your booth
Your event strategy may change every event you attend. Whether you are sponsoring an event you’re just attending, the goal remains the same. To book a meeting or a demo.
If you are just attending an event: Grab your list of leads and look at the event map, mark your prospects and plot out a path. Capturing anything over 10% of the event attendees is good progress.
If you have a booth: Naturally, you want a lot of traffic to your booth, so here’s where you can spend a little money. You could do a Raffle, where you could giveaway an iPad or a fitness tracker, headphones, etc. Other options you might consider are discount coupons. Make sure that whoever is staffing the booth has a list of your prioritized accounts. It’s always great to give attention to attendees who are from your target accounts, get their business cards and connect with them on LinkedIn. Your focus should always be on the main objective of booking a meeting or demo, every conversation you have should take you a step closer to your goal.
Enrich your post event leads & launch a follow-up campaign
Business cards and badge-scans don’t tell the whole story. Event is done – but your job isn’t. You now have two batches of contacts: 1. Those who were on your priority list from the beginning, whom you were hopefully able to connect with at the show; and 2. New names. Most of the data you have, won’t be accurate, so you’ll get some irrelevant information, hence you need to enrich the data you collect at the events. This will help you generate higher ROI from the events.
Turn those great trade-show conversations into meetings through a proper planned follow-up campaigns. If you have followed your list, you must have probably engaged directly with decision-makers at the show – that’s great. Remind them of your conversation and ask for a demo. If the names you got are not actually in a buying position – that’s OK too! Call or email and ask for a reference to reach out to a decision maker.
To really turn those great conversations into revenue, keep your eye on the goal!