Ads, emails and other digital marketing practices aren’t always the way to a customer’s heart. Many brands know it and are meeting that demand by putting together memorable experiences to capture their attention. Events and trade shows have become an easy way to do that since you have an opportunity to see your customers face to face and offer them something unique to remember you by.
And there has to be truth to that claim since many marketers agree that event marketing still plays a very important role in generating leads. In fact, B2B marketers dedicate 20-30% of their budget to it. And according to a Gartner CMO report, event marketing is one of the top four spending areas for marketing leaders.
But putting on a great event doesn’t always translate to more leads. How do you put together an event that is not only memorable and gets results? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. These 5 tips will help you be on your way toward making to the most out of your event marketing efforts:
1. Get Customers to Engage with Your Brand
While customers might not only want to interact with your brand on the web, you’ll eventually need to reel them back into the world of email and social media to nurture a relationship with them. Live events provide a perfect opportunity for you to remind your customers that they can continue to engage with you online.
On top of highlighting key features of your product/service, make sure your collateral includes your contact information: website, email and/or phone number for a sales rep. If you make a good impression at your event, this provides a way for customers to reach out and get back in touch with you when they’re ready to learn more.
Trade shows and events are also a fun opportunity to create a dedicated hashtag and encourage people who attend your event or visit your booth at a trade show to post photos online. This provides you an opportunity to continue the conversation in a fun way, and continue to rep your brand without coming off as too salesy. Like their photo or leave a comment a few days after the event to help keep you at the top of their mind as they embark on the buyer journey.
2. Give Prospects Something to Remember You By
Everybody loves free stuff, but just because prospects take your swag doesn’t mean they’re willing to become a customer, or even a lead. And sadly, if you think about it, most of the stuff you hand out at trade shows probably ends up in a hotel room trash can.
But that’s not saying you should stop giving away freebies at your event. You just have to give your prospects the right thing to remember you by in order to motivate them to learn more and become leads.
Aim to give your prospects something that truly represents your brand, is useful and compact, so they can pack it in their suitcase and keep you in mind after the event. For extra brownie points, choose a piece of swag that you can incorporate into a larger campaign. That way the idea will continue to resonate with your prospects weeks after they’ve left the trade show floor.
3. Show Customers What’s New
Did you know 92% of trade show attendees go to events with the main motive of seeing new products being featured? It is likely that many of the individuals coming through your booth will already have some sort of familiarity with your brand. Therefore, you want to peak their interest by showing them something new.
Take your event as an opportunity to show them features they might have missed since they last researched you. Create a video highlighting updates to your product or service. Or walk prospects through a demo that focuses on new features.
4. Personalize Your Demo
Speaking of demos, trade shows are the perfect opportunity to walk prospective customers through your product or service. However, to improve your chances of converting a prospect into a lead, you have to make it memorable.
But how do you do that? To start, perform some research beforehand to see who will be at your event. If you can, pick out specific target companies you’d like to approach and customize your demo to address their pain points and highlight key features that will help alleviate them.
If you have current leads visiting your booth, this is your chance to put all the data and insights you’ve been collecting to good use. Having a marketing automation tool that integrates with your CRM can grant you better visibility into what keeps your customers up at night based on the pages they’re visiting and keywords they’re searching for.
5. Capture Information and Make Sure to Follow Up
Did you know 80% of trades how exhibitors don’t follow up with the leads they collect at an event? That’s a huge missed opportunity when you consider the amount of money spent on this marketing tactic, as well as the fact the leads you met in person are probably more engaged than someone just stumbling upon your website.
Now, we know part of the struggle is that following up is not always an easy task, and it takes time. A marketing automation tool like Act-On can help you segment out leads and create an automated nurture campaign so you can easily continue to nurture your leads after the event.
If you want to continue gathering insights, build out a gated landing page recapping the event. Include a few fun photos, and invite your customers to schedule a phone call or some other CTA that keeps them moving through the decision making process.