5 Tips to Increase Your Pipeline at Events
I have attended many events and tradeshows and have learned from both my successes and failures. I’m all for sharing in hopes that you can gain one nugget that will get you one step closer to a successful event. The first step is asking yourself and team, what does success look like and what do we want to achieve from this event. Once you have that question answered, the work begins.
If you’re new to the scene, make sure you do your homework on the event, don’t rush into something because someone else saw success from the event. Know your target audience and ensure the right demographic will be in attendance.
Create a budget! Understanding the cost is a big factor including the package levels, your cost to produce your booth, hotel, food and airfare for your team to attend.
Another way to get your name out there without paying for sponsorship is to inquire about presenter opportunities. Do you have a story to tell where others would see value. It’s amazing how much everyone wants to talk with the presenter, assuming it was an engaging presentation.
2. Sales & Marketing Alignment
I hear this question often, who should own the event, sales or marketing? I would say, it depends, however one thing is for sure that both need to be communicating consistently and in alignment as they both have a stake in the event. Their combined roles bring leads and sales into the organization, so if they aren’t collaborating, the event can be a big flop!
Creating a committee leading up to the event will help create alignment between sales, marketing and leadership as well as bring new ideas to the table. Bringing a variety of teams together to collaborate creates
ideas and the output will be much more succinct. Plus, everyone is on the same page and no one feels their voice wasn’t heard.
Ensure you have the right messaging created for the event. Your brand will automatically show up when your employees represent you, however what is the message you want to get across? Does the message you’re delivering provide value to those whom are in attendance?
Once you have your messaging creating, share and practice with your team members that will be representing your company at the event. Also, make sure those whom are representing you can speak to your product. For example, if your product is very technical in nature, ensure you have someone there who can “geek speak” with the more technically savvy attendees.
In addition, you’ll want to think about the experience people will feel when they visit you at the tradeshow. Create a space for the experience to attract onlookers who can then be turned into leads.
4. Promoting the event
I know you’ve put a lot of work and effort into the first 3 steps, however the work has only just begun. You want the world to know that you will be at the event, so you’ll need to start promoting your attendance of the event. Again, reminding your target audience of your value and what type of experience they will get when they visit your booth.
You’ll need to promote before, during and after the event through a variety of channels including email, social, blogs, landing pages and print.
5. Follow up
This is where the rubber meets the road, many organizations fail to follow up with all the leads they received. They are excited because they had great conversations during the event, however feel disappointed when the engagement ceases after the event.
People are busy and they met a lot of other vendors at the event, you need to stand out. Sales and marketing should be working together to follow up on the leads.
Preparation and follow through will yield the best results. A plan that isn’t followed will only get you part of the business. Collaborate early and often to ensure everyone is heard and understands their impact in the business.
This can be overwhelming for companies who haven’t been to a tradeshow or event, my suggestion is to work with an expert that you trust to guide you through the process.