Event marketing is hardly a sure thing for attracting new referrals and new business. You may be able to get the crowds through the door, but what are they there for? Even with its challenges, however, event marketing is still one of the best ways to gather potentially interested individuals for a specific purpose – the scheduled event. But there are three simple things that may significantly improve the results of your next event.
1. Compelling invite. A compelling, What’s in it for me? (the reader) invitation. The benefits need to shout out to the reader and must answer the question, “Why should I attend?” and “Why should I care?”
2. Personal touch. A campaign of phone calls should be, when possible, incorporated to personally invite guests to your event. Let them know why they may want to attend and why this event should matter to them. These calls will increase your attendance, sometimes dramatically, beyond just a mailed invite. And, if your event is a bring-a-friend/referral type event, this can be effectively clarified in the phone call to invite. Without the calls, events today are likely to have much lighter attendance than in the past.
3. Systematic follow up. Have a systematic follow up plan that is detailed, in writing, and assigned in advance. Design your reason, before the event, that you will use to contact participants afterward. You may call to schedule an appointment, send out a picture of the individual(s) from the event and call, or discuss some educational topic from the event. Script it out and simply execute after the event. The red zone opportunity occurs after you have completed the event. Certainly don’t do all the work and then drop the ball on the follow up (although many do). It may be the least fun part of hosting an event, but the only real activity that matters.