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WHYTO choose events for lead generation?

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Most of the organizations spend a significant amount of cost on their B2B events with the hope that these events will build their brand awareness as well as generate significant amount of leads to increase sales. However, this can only happen if you plan your event marketing strategies in an appropriate manner. Therefore, one of the best ways to increase leads from event marketing is by incorporating social media into your marketing strategies. A survey conducted by Marketing Sherpa in year 2012 reflected that incorporating social media in your event marketing techniques simply increased lead generation, which further resulted in an average of around 300 per cent ROI.

Event marketing is perhaps one channel for lead generation, which needs to have maximum customer behavior insight. Make sure that the kind of event you organize should be fitting well with the likings of your customer segment. The major success drivers for lead generation through events are:

  • Alignment between the target customer and events.
  • Level of follow up with the invitees to ensure a good attendance during the event.
  • Ease for the customers to provide the lead which can either be through dropping visiting cards or filing up a brief form.
  • Hosting the event from some of the industry experts, this can further add value to the event.
  • Promotion of the event.

Although, these are considered to be some of the major success drivers for lead generation through events, but at the same time, there are also certain additional strategies that should be followed before, during and after the event for better results. Some of them are:

Before the event:

The quality of a sales lead correlates to the effort the prospect has gone through to interact with your organization. This states that if you convince someone to take a day out of their work schedule to attend your event, there is likelihood that they will present themselves to be a warmer lead.  Social Media is one of the best tools to market your events and when it is combined with traditional media, it can significantly increase event turnout to generate qualified leads. Some of the best pre-event marketing techniques include:

  • The most important factor that should be followed is to create a realistic time plan for executing your event.
  • Posting information about your event on your websites, blogs and also your social media networks.
  • Encouraging various businesses to share news about your company’s event on their marketing channels. You can further make it easier for them by providing them with some compelling content, which they would tend to share.
  • While marketing your events, highlight some of the important guest speakers of your event on social media networks and also your website.
  • Send invitations to people on your company’s email list.

 

During the event

Make every possible effort to attract prospects towards your event. However, once your prospects are there at your event, you have to give them an experience that encourages them to stay interested. In order to accomplish this, you will have to ensure that the content or the information that you are delivering is helpful for their business. Try to provide some insights on the topic, which were unheard and unknown to the audience. Some additional things that you can do to engage your leads include:

  • During the event, you can have sales representatives available from your organization to engage your prospects in conversations that can further motivate them.
  • Plan your event objectives around your contact database.
  • Deliver value for your audience. Don’t be tempted to run an event just about your product. Devote more time on understanding what your target audience wants to hear or learn and hence provide valuable content.
  • The more value that you add to your event, the better the engagement with your audience and hence warmer sales lead.
  • Plan your lead capture mechanism – there are various solutions for capturing leads and it will all depend on your event format, as to which you really employ. You can consider exhibition stands, name badge scanning, technical demos, networking and a lot more.
  • Smooth execution on the day of the event is also quite important. This would simply require proper planning and a well briefed team.

 

After the Event

Once your event is over, it is now time to reap the rewards. Follow up effectively as the value you achieve from the leads will depend on your follow up strategy. Prioritize and feed the leads into your sales pipeline for nurturing.

  • Send emails to the event attendees thanking them for attending the event and briefly highlighting your company’s products or services. You can also include links in your email which directs them to your blogs, landing pages, studies and videos pertaining to your business.
  • Post the highlights, videos and pictures of the event on your blogs, website and also social media networks.
  • It is also important to send emails to the people that registered for the event, but did not turn up. You can send them some briefs about the event and also links of the presentations that were covered during the session.
  • After a week or so, you can send a second email to your event attendees reminding them about what your company offers.

There are also various event marketing websites that can be utilized for event marketing. Some of them are Eventbrite, Eventful.com, Upcoming.yahoo.com, Yelp.com and AllConferences.com

 

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