Events are the mainstay of marketing activity mix in B2B businesses, to generate opportunities. Hence they need to be carefully planned and executed. The key consideration is the quality of audience that comes to attend an event. The following ten factors need focus to get there.
The first factor is the why. Why would a target customer attend your event? These days information about your product and competing products are readily available on the net. Customers will not come just to listen to your sales pitch. It is then imperative we add general interest sessions about the technology or field that you are in. Preferably this session should be conducted by a neutral, respected person of authority on the subject. Alternatively, people want to hear celebrities, senior policymakers and leaders. These sessions should form the core of the event.
The second factor is networking. People like to meet others in similar situations and discuss how they are addressing similar challenges. People also like to network to scout for talent or find jobs. It is therefore important to highlight the profile of attendees in all communication.
Location: In large metros, with current traffic scenario, event location becomes an important factor. Centrally located venue (or located close to where a majority of your target audience resides) that is well connected and with parking will ensure fewer dropouts.
Timing: The timing of your event matters a lot. It is difficult to draw senior people to day events as it interferes with their office work. Evening events or events which start after 4 Pm will usually get better attended. Even dates and days matter. Events closer to month end are less popular. Monday events are shunned. Events that start at the beginning of a long weekend will see less attendance.
Building Hype: It helps to build hype around your event. This can be done by sending a series of communications each highlighting a particular aspect of an event. Having quality speakers, celebrities in attendance, out-of-the-box content helps.
Reminders.: All registrants must be reminded on phone and email one day prior to the event. This ensures reduction in dropouts.
Venue Quality: Quality of revenue reflects on the perceived quality of the event. Choose good hotels or respectable institutions to host your event.
Multiple databases: No one agency can guarantee you 100% coverage of your potential audience. Use multiple databases to reach out to them.
Multiple Platforms: No one platform can reach out to all the potential attendees. Use a combination of emails, telecalling, social media advertising and digital advertising. Depending on the budget you may consider print, radio, outdoor and TV advertising too, but here targeting is difficult hence are expensive per unit of the result. Event listing websites like myeventgateway.com also increase event’s reach.
Brand association: Big and respected brands draw attendees. If you are a big brand great, if not try to piggyback at events where big brands are present.
We at Channel Technologies manage hundreds of events annually, all the above pointers are based on our experience and may or may not guarantee success in a particular event. So use these guidelines intelligently as you think they would apply to your event.