Marketing Events – Big Wins if Done Right

by Dave on May 9, 2012

Hosting or sponsoring events (both online and offline) can be one of the most effective ways for a small business to grow your connections and highlight your brand. But if you don’t do it right, they can be a huge waste of time. After hosting, sponsoring, and participating in a large number of events, I’ve built a list of some things you should consider.

Keys to a successful Marketing Event

  1. Target your desired audience – these are the people that you want to connect with. Pick events and topics that will attract them.
  2. When events fail, they often suffer from timing issues. Avoid times and on days where your audience isn’t interested in attending. Check local calendars to see if there are competing events that may “borrow” your audience. Don’t assume you have the right timing – see this article on how webinar time was all wrong.
  3. Think about how you are going to “source” your attendees. How will you advertise? Will you partner with someone who already has a list? Expect a 5-10% commitment rate from any given campaign and only about 50% of those who commit will bother to attend most free events. I big list is a necessity for a decent sized audience.
  4. Give yourself enough time to promote the event. One week is not enough unless you have a ready-made and enthusiastic audience. Most people don’t commit to face-to-face free events until a week before, but you’ll need to be on their radar before then. Allow at least two weeks in advance.
  5. Make sure you deliver what you promise, and that the value to the attendees is clear. See how this event failed with messaging and value.
  6. Plan for how you will connect and follow up with attendees while you are planning the event. Will you require registration? Will you collect business cards? Don’t invest in a great event and miss future opportunities to connect.

Events aren’t easy, but if they are done right, they can build new relationships and strengthen existing ones.

Need help planning an event or webinar? Let me know.

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