Categories
Event Follow Up

Surefire Follow-Up Strategies that Guarantee Your Event's Success

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Did you know that the majority of marketers believe virtual and live events are critical to their company’s success, yet 80% of trade show exhibitors don’t follow-up with their show leads?

Surprisingly, statistics shows that less than 70% of companies develop a plan for following up with prospects after events. Very few companies follow-up with prospects who registered for the event, but were not able to attend. What a lost opportunity!

So much time and effort goes into organizing a stellar event that sometimes all sight is lost of the importance of creating an event follow-up strategy. After all, what’s the point of organizing an event and getting feet through the door if you’re not going to follow-up with the owners of those feet afterward?

By letting the actual event planning take precedence over developing a post-event follow-up plan, you are sabotaging your company’s business development efforts. In order to avoid this, you must put time and effort into developing a post-event follow-up plan, which will turn promising leads into loyal customers.

Here’s how to guarantee success:

1. Before the Event – Plan Your Follow-Up Email

In the chaos and excitement after the event, you will be grateful that you have done this beforehand. Event follow-up emails are a great way to keep new and existing leads engaged with your brand. Most marketing experts suggest that follow-up emails should go out within four days of the event. Some even suggest sending these out during the event. 

This makes sense – as exciting as an event may be, the harsh reality is that with each day that passes, each attendee remembers less and less about the information shared with them at your event.

The email you send after your event should thank attendees for visiting and highlight the goals of the event and how it benefited those who attended. It should also contain a commitment that you or another team member will contact them again shortly.

2. During the Event – Get Tailored Information

It’s not good enough to have a lead’s basic contact information. Make sure your team gathers more specific details from prospects they interact with at the event. After speaking to the prospect, make some quick notes on their business card, or preferably, in your CRM system. Note any salient points about your discussion and any pertinent information you learned. You may also note buying cycles, budgets, and other applicable information. Add these details to your lead system in order to be able to bring up these points in future conversations with the prospect.

See also: The Importance of Gathering Event Data

3. After the Event – Categorize Your Leads

Use your notes to categorize leads into hot, warm and cold. Hot leads will usually stand out and should be flagged for prompt follow-up. This is important if the sales team must execute the follow-up, but did not necessarily come into contact with the prospect at the event. Before the event, decide with your team what type of lead would be considered hot, warm or cold.

Prioritize Hot Leads

It may be challenging to immediately follow up with all the prospects you had a conversation with at the event, so prioritize those you identify as hot leads. Use the notes you took at the event when you call the prospect. Hot leads need to be followed up on within three days after the event. Mention some personal details and highlight the needs of their business and how you can add value. This will help you to build a solid base for your relationship moving forward.

Offer Value to Your Other Leads

For warm and cold leads, offer something of value with your follow-up email. Send them content that would be relevant to their business. Think in terms of an eBook, an industry infographic, a link to your blog post on an industry challenge and how to handle it, or a live demo of a product that they could use in their business.

The leads that make use of your offer by downloading your eBook or infographic or by clicking on your blog post become your next targets to follow up with. Contact them by phone to find out what their interest in your business is and how you can be of further service to them.

See also: How to Execute an Event Lead Generation Strategy – 6 Tips That Will Give You Quality Leads

The Follow-Up to the Follow-Up Email

The initial follow-up email reintroduced you to your new leads, so this next email should remind them of the business discussion you had. Now is the time to use the information you noted during the event. Use this in the subject line to draw their attention.

Let your lead know how your business can be of service to them and be very clear on how they can work with your company.

Be sure to include a specific call-to-action.

Keep Attendees Engaged After the Event

Some marketing experts engage with attendees after the event by asking for their comments to be included in an article that will be published online. You can ask a few attendees for their comments on the event, the speakers, what they learned, ways the event benefited the industry, etc. Later when the article has been published, you can include a link to the article in a personal email to them.

This is an excellent way to build your own brand image while boosting the image of your attendees as well.

See also: Get the Most Out of Your Marketing Event by Acing Your Post-Event Strategy

Conclusion

Remember: an introduction at an event is just that – an introduction. You still need to develop a relationship and an effective follow-up strategy to cement a solid foundation with your lead. Without that, your event will have failed in its purpose.

Allowing for individual differences, it takes an average of seven “touchpoints” to convert a prospect into a customer. In terms of events, this process starts with an effective post-event strategy.

Executive Events is ready to help you plan and execute the perfect post-event strategy. Contact us today to discuss the best strategy for your business.

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Categories
Event Lead Generation

How to Execute an Event Lead Generation Strategy – 6 Tips That Will Give You Quality Leads

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If you’re serious about generating leads through hosting an event, you need to maximize the lead generation opportunities it offers.  Did you know that the biggest challenge B2B marketers face with regard to lead generation is generating high-quality leads?

And it’s becoming more important every day.

In this post, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about maximizing the opportunities of a live event to generate leads and drive ROI for your business.

1. Lead Generation Starts Before the Event

Prior to hosting an event it’s important to establish your presence by creating a pre-event buzz around your event, your company, and your products or services. (Tweet this!)

Megaphone

But, that’s not all. These activities should be aimed at actively identifying target leads. This means generating content that will attract your target audience because they can see the value you offer them.

It’s crucial to know exactly what you want to achieve with your event and you need a strategy to get the right people to attend your event.

To do this, your team can come up with a list of people the company needs to target. To come up with a list your team can decide what kind of person the company wants to target, investigate their online profile and activities, and then target your message for these people.

What you need is the right message targeted at the right people.

This exercise also serves to generate general awareness and excitement about your event.

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2. Get to Know Your Attendees by Collecting the Right Information

You need to collect as much information as possible on who will be attending the event. This is done by setting up a smooth registration process that asks the right questions.

There are two points to remember when setting up a registration process for an event that is aimed at generating leads: the process must be painless and it must collect the right information.

In order to gather relevant information, the questions must be specific. Get the details that you need, nothing more. After all, knowing exactly who is attending a key talk is the most important piece of information for an eventual sale.

Make use of available technology to ease the process. Consider a lead scanner, which lets you quickly scan an attendee’s name badge, allowing you to capture the attendee’s full name, title, company, and contact details.

3. Create Content Around Your Event

Landing page example

Start with an event landing page that details your event, its purpose and your company’s reason for hosting it. Tell your story in a fun way and draw attention to special attractions and prizes for attendees. Your landing page is the first step in building excitement around the event.  

Make sure your readers can register for the event via your event landing page. Assuming your event is relevant to your industry and fulfills a need, those readers who complete the landing page registration form will become great leads.

Start blogging about your event. Blogging will help you extend awareness around your event and drive more traffic to your website. You can turn blog readers into potential leads by asking for their email address in exchange for a blog post in their inbox on a weekly or monthly basis.

These emails also serve as a basis for developing a relationship with potential leads.

4. Offer research relevant to your industry

Consider doing some research and creating an industry whitepaper. Research establishes your business as a source of expertise and contributes to your company’s status within your industry.

Producing a white paper is an excellent way to provide relevant content to your audience since whitepapers are based on an existing problem and offer a solution to the problem.

The basis of the white paper could be an industry survey. The outcome of the survey generates interest and gets people talking even before the event. Be sure to appoint a social media expert to monitor these discussions and offer relevant company commentary.

Should you succeed in this endeavor, those people who pick up on and participate in the discussions are sure to be promising leads.

One commentator suggests doing a survey targeting specific industry problems during the event itself and gathering comments from delegates which can then be discussed at an open forum during the event.

Delegates who participate in such forums would be hot leads to follow up with after the event.

5. Gather the right team

This cannot be emphasized enough. No matter how big or impressive your event, how great your giveaways, or how great the speakers, the most successful business events are the ones that have the most dynamic staff on the ground.

Regardless of budget, you must make sure you have your best team at the event

After all, the people staffing your event are representing your brand. You need to choose who best represents your brand and knows your product or service the best. Make sure every team member has an integral role to play in ensuring the success of your event, including viewing each attendee as a possible lead.

Have company experts and strategists present at the event so salespeople can call on their specialized knowledge for prospects who require more in-depth information.

Choose people from your staff who are personable and assertive and who always come across as professional. Your Event Manager will also be able to help with staffing as needed. 

SEE ALSO: How an Outside Event Manager Can Save Your Business Money

6. Include those who can’t attend the event – go digital

If you are serious about boosting your lead generation efforts, consider live streaming your event for those who can’t be present on the day.

Live streaming your event allows you to reach even more people on the day and afterward. 

Statistics show that live streaming increases subsequent attendance. According to Digitell, up to 30% of people who attended a live streamed event, went on and attended the live physical event the following year.

Live streaming your event will give you more lead generation opportunities – in order to attend the event online, you must require attendees to fill out a registration form and provide you with their contact details giving you an instant lead to engage with later.

SEE ALSO: How to Use Social Media During Your Event

Conclusion

Events are an effective way to secure new business, but you need to maximize the lead generation opportunities it offers. To achieve this, you need to plan your event with lead generation in mind. 

With a carefully constructed plan and the correct people to execute it, you’ll present powerful lead generating events that will ultimately have a positive impact on your business and on your bottom line.

For assistance with your lead generation plan, contact Executive Events today by calling Deany at 757-785-5081 or emailing Deany@AssistMyEvent.com.

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