March 24, 2014

If you build it, will they come?

Anyone that has hosted an event is well aware of the fact that planning an event is more complicated than the old Field of Dreams adage: “if you build it, they will come.” Event hosting is uncertain and extremely expensive. According to the research, B2B companies invest in 26 events a year, 14 of their own company led events and 12 third-party events, representing a whole 20% of their marketing budget!

Events have their benefits however; traditional advertising methods are static broadcasts into public space, whereas event marketing creates the one-and-only environment by which you can be face-to-face with your consumer per their request. It is a chance to show your competence, competitiveness, and acumen through displaying some valuable information particular to their business’ development. How are you maximizing attendance of key-prospects?

Now that we’ve established that seminars and webinars are highly-effective sales and marketing tools, and that there are enormous costs associated with planning and implementing an event. We are then left with the question, “how do I ensure the highest efficiency per dollar spent?” It all comes down to the big three complementary components of successful event hosting.

  1. Unique and engaging content – Being that one could supplement a four-year college degree with this topic alone I’ll present you with this Marketing Prof article which may help you better-engage your attendees. This is crucial to ensure the success of your events in the future.
  1. Utilized as a sales tool – To put it bluntly, your sales and marketing materials and hand-outs aren’t going to close a sale, only direct contact will. Have a sales minded approach throughout the planning stages with constant consideration as to how to close the loop. (This article will help you better optimize your event.)
  1. Reach the right people at the right time – If you’re spending the money on a decent seminar or trade-show you have better be targeting qualified opportunities to attend and/or meet.

On top of the enormous costs associated with event hosting, management’s shift in focus from day-to-day operations creates a gap in the infrastructure of an organization. A sales and marketing staff largely without guidance will detrimentally affect the event, or even the entire organization. The following steps can help in preventing this gap:

  1. Dedicate an interim manager and sales staff to event fulfillment.
  2. Develop an incentive-program based not on attendance, but event performance.
  3. Indicate key statistics and targeting measures that are necessary to define a lead as a qualified attendee. (i.e. (cost of equipment upgrade(or budget)/quarters since last equipment upgrade)<x)

In the event that a company is not immediately scalable, this can prove to be a difficult task. Outsourcing then becomes the best opportunity to generate qualified attendance for events. Keep in mind throughout the entire process that an event is only as successful as the people attending it, when outsourcing it is important ask the right questions to get the right results.

If your company has an event coming up please feel free to field any questions regarding the fulfillment process to the Chameleon Group. We would be happy to provide a free, no-strings-attached assessment outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your outbound campaigns.

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