Events provide an excellent way of directly connecting with your prospects. The face to face time you have with delegates is invaluable in helping move your prospects along the sales cycle. Events are possibly the most expensive tool of the marketing mix, yet one of the most effective if you plan your event carefully and draw in your core target audience.
To help you run a successful event we’ve compiled the following guidelines and the assets you may need.
1. Decide on a topic and agenda
The topic you pick for your event must be of key interest to your target audience. It has to catch their attention and capture their interest, after all, you will be asking them to take time out of their busy schedule to attend your event. Once you have your overall topic you then need to decide on the agenda for the day. The more you can flesh out the exact speakers and topics at this stage, the greater the response will be when you promote the event.
2. Find a suitable venue
To select a suitable venue you need to consider a number of things. First of all, location. Where are your prospects based? Your chosen location needs to be easy for them to get to. London is often chosen owing to the good transport links around the country. Equally, a more central point of Birmingham or Manchester for example, may ease the journey time for many of your audience. At this stage you will also need to consider the budget you have; the more prestige the venue, the more it will cost!
3. Build an event landing page
Once you have decided on the details your event you need to build an event landing page. You need to give your event a title which will capture people’s attention, and a message that encourages people to register. Make the registration process simple – don’t ask too many questions on the form.
4. Create the registration flow
A typical registration flow involves the user receiving a follow-up email with joining instructions to the event. Make it easy for registrants to add it to their calendar. Using Outlook, or your preferred email/calendar client, create a Calendar (.ics) file which contains the date, time, venue address and travel info, plus a quick summary of the event. This file should be included in the registration follow-up email and/or thank you page.
5. Create an email promotion schedule
For an event, we find that three or four emails, spread out over around five weeks, are most effective in generating registrations from an email database. A typical email schedule is T – 5 weeks, T – 2 weeks, and T – 1 week. Also sending an email a day or two before the event can help boost last minute registrations.
6. Build promotional emails
Whatever the schedule of emails you decide upon, you then need to build the content for each email. Think about the key messages of your event; what will grab the attention of your desired attendees? Every email should include at least one click through to your registration page.
7. Build a reminder email
Even though a lot of registrants will add the event to their calendar, a reminder email sent out two days before the event is a good way to solidify attendance on the day.
A drop out rate of around one third on the day of your event is not unusual, a reminder will help increase the attendance rate you achieve.
8. Design post-event follow-up emails
The actual event is only the start of the sales process. Prepare your follow-up emails well in advance of the event so they are ready for dispatch the day after the event – or even in the afternoon of the day of the event, if it is a half day event you are running. Create three different versions: one for those that attended, one for those that couldn’t make it, and one for the group that was interested but requested ‘slides-only’. The content of the emails should include the presentation take-aways, a link to the slides, plus access to further information on your website related to the topic.
9. Build event slides
Slides need to be clear to read for all members of your audience, wherever they are sat. Do not include too much information – you don’t want speakers to be merely reading the slides out. Always include an event Twitter hashtag, and a clear call to action on the last slide.
Event Marketing Pack
In summary, to run a successful event you will need:
1 confirmation email
1 email reminder
Thank you or Sorry Missed you emails
Thank you landing page
If you do not have the platform to build landing pages or emails to promote your event or handle the registrations then please speak to us because we can help or advise on some of the tools available.