2020 is a year unlike any other, shaking the event marketing space up with a global pandemic. Flashback to early March and April, companies were scrambling for new ways to connect with their customers as all in-person events came to a halt. Businesses had to adapt quickly, or they risked losing current and potential customers. The saving grace in the chaos is that even though the venue or type of event may have changed, the principles of event marketing remained true.
Every organization has inherent value, it’s why the organization exists. The trick to event marketing is to find ways to deliver bits of that value, expertise, or knowledge to the individuals who need your products and services or can refer your business. Regardless if your event is held in person or online, your event must have value to your customer base. If the value of your event is not communicated properly or not seen by your customer base, the event will be unsuccessful. Companies that run a successful event are the ones that can break through the noise of everything else going on around them. To do this, they must already have identified where their customers hang out and the messaging that resonates with.
An easy way to check the validity of your event is to create a single page outline. As succinctly as possible, describe what the event is, who it should matter to, what will make it matter, and then what the desired outcome of the event is. The desired outcome should translate into your goals of the event. These goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based) and easy to analyze at the end of the event. Only after these steps have been completed should you move on to planning the event, i.e. venue, budget, invitees, logistics (see our Executing B2B Events White Paper).
Depending on the size of your company and the event fabricated, you may want to think about bringing on a co-hosting company. This would be a non-competitive company, but one that has a strong community that can be leveraged. As a benefit of this partnership you will be able to gain access to their customer base, people whom you may not have been able to reach prior. In addition, if there is enough mutual benefit, some partners may help offset costs or fund specific aspects of the event or campaign.
Remember, one of the main reasons for going to an event or hosting one, is to generate leads and convert prospects. The key to that is capturing information before and during the event and following up afterwards. This seems very simple but is almost always lost in the event planning process. To mitigate the risk of missed follow up, prior to the event, draft a plan for your sales team on how they are expected to follow up with the leads.