With Marketingsherpa reporting that 72% of B2B marketers believe events still pack a punch, and 41.5% increasing their event budget for 2013, there’s no sign of this offline channel declining in the current digital climate.
But events require a significant investment, so what can you do to generate more leads and a higher ROI from your next exhibition? Here are our 8 tips for a successful event:
Planning is critical for a successful event, set targets, train staff, review messaging and research exhibitors prior to the event.
2. Hit discount deadlines
Take advantage of early bird discounts for events and exhibitions by booking your space early. When events are left to the last minute not only are they more difficult to execute effectively, they tend to cost more too.
3. Stand out from the crowd
Give the audience a reason to seek you out, every exhibitor there is trying to engage with the audience too. Create a buzz around your stand both before the event using channels like social media and at the event draw visitors to your stand with competitions, giveaways and by launching new products, services or features.
Ensure you have the correct number of staff on your stand based on the size of the event, the size of your stand and expected footfall for the event. Whilst tricky to get right, too many staff can be intimidating for prospects and put them off approaching the stand, not enough staff means wasted opportunities.
5. Keep conversations brief
Keep conversations with prospects to five minutes or less, particularly at busy times when you have other people waiting at your stand. If a conversation is worth continuing schedule a follow up call or meeting, but don’t keep people waiting on your stand, they won’t wait forever.
6. Remember relevant conversations
At busy events it’s easy to forget the details of a conversation, make sure your staff are briefed to log details of all the conversations they have so that the most relevant opportunities can be prioritised for follow up and key details of the conversation can be recalled.
7. Follow up
The lead management process for events and exhibitions is critical for success. Ensure all leads are followed up in a timely manner by putting timelines and targets in place prior to the event. The longer a lead sits there, the colder it becomes.
8. Increase ROI by identifying unknown website visitors
Use IP tracking to maximise return on investment from events. Not everyone will come and visit your stand, but if they’re interested in your product or service will visit your website. IP tracking allows you to identify the unknown visitors to your website and follow up these sales golden opportunities.