I am often asked whether holding an event can really improve a company’s visibility and sales. Why should businesses plan events? They ask…Is it going to be time, effort and money well spent? And my answer is always YES: a properly thought out, professionally delivered event can make a big difference to your sales and brand awareness: to name but a few event benefits. The key words…’properly thought out’.
So how can events help businesses?
Events are a tried and tested method for businesses to reach and engage with their audiences. Increasingly events form a key part of many an organisation’s marketing strategy. Why? Because events allow your audience to actually experience your company, its people and services before they buy. They can also look somebody in the eye and have a one-to-one dialogue about what matters to them. Meeting somebody face to face is a necessary stage in all key business purchasing decisions. What events actually allow you to do is to gently showcase your expertise and experience.
Corporate events are therefore a key way of acquiring and or retaining customers. They also have time sensitive deadlines: attendees have to make a decision, to commit to coming to your event. As events are consumed at the point of sale – you’ve just got to be there! There are of course the obvious economies of selling 1 to many rather than 1 to 1. It is often easier to sell to a big group as the reactions of others influence those around them – which mean it needs to be good event! I like many others also use events to upsell a bigger offer. As my audiences are learning about something they care about (what they signed up for), they are more receptive to the occasional well-chosen sales message: some information about my / your core service offering.
All this means that it is imperative that the event delivers audiences with a great company experience: something that inspires them to action – to call you, sign up and want to work with you. For these reasons events are immensely powerful. The issue for the event planner is, therefore, how you create a fabulous and lasting impression on the audience and so ensure they remember you for all the right reasons. Events are therefore the ultimate live marketing experience. Get it right and great things can happen; get it wrong and your reputation can be damaged.
BUT….with today’s corporate event attendee always expecting a high-quality experience, creating that memorable and ultimately rewarding event is no easy task. Not to mention the fact that, there is stakeholder pressure to ensure events deliver measurable returns – to quantify the effects of events. Event planners now need to prove how successful their events have been and to answer the question ‘has the event delivered the money action: the change in behaviour you require.
So, who enjoys organising a good event?
Actually the question should really be who doesn’t value events. The types of organisations I have worked with over the years who like events include businesses, local authorities, county councils, government departments, venues, visitor attractions, museums, charities, associations, galleries, hotels, universities, tourism bodies, schools and, of course, individuals. Most people in fact!
Before you go for it! It’s back to basics.
And I mean back to basic event marketing principals. Do your research: find something that people need or want. Establish who you need in the room to make the buying decision: your customer profile: create an event to fill this need and tell them about it. Once they are at your event – give them a great experience and then they will buy! Maybe not right now but when the time is right.
Want to know the ‘how to’ of successful and rewarding events?
Do you need a little helping getting it right? My suite of in-house event management courses will give you the confidence and skills to design, plan, promote and deliver your own outstanding and rewarding events: packed full of great take away memories.
Chris Powell, Director of The Event Expert, Event Trainer, consultant and author of the How to deliver outstanding corporate events. A practical, step-by-step guide to designing, planning and delivering successful corporate events