This afternoon I had the opportunity to present Event Marketing tips to a large group on Webex. This is such an important topic, it needs more time. For those who missed it, and perhaps a refresher for those who attended:
1. Getting the right people is both the most important part, and the most difficult part. But, contrary to what most sales people believe, it is not impossible, and not even as hard as you might think. It just takes some strategy and time. While most people don’t really like call scripts, a well rehearsed script can do wonders. Some have accused me of making this into a robot sounding message, but far from it…you would never accuse Russel Crow or Brad Pitt of reading from a script, but they do it all the time. It’s just that they have practiced to the point of sounding natural. The fact is, if they just did their own thing, the movies they are in would fail. They use a script, but add their own personality to it. Once practiced, this is not hard to do.
2. Mistakes are common. I reviewed several serious mistakes even the most sophisticated companies make. Why do they make them? Simply because no one is really studying and optimizing this process. One simple mistake is not gaining commitment there in the meeting. A follow up program that starts an hour after the event will take a 75% response down to a 5% response and you’ll never really know what happened. You don’t want this to be salesy – but that doesn’t mean you don’t sell anything. I heard one woman refer to this as the Invisible Close. By educating attendees, and providing a place for them to get more of what you are talking about, you help them get what they need. This can be done professionally without sounding like an encyclopedia sales person. Much more of this is addressed in my audio series – Important topics from Vendor to Adviser…in fact there are 5 hours of critical concepts in this series.
3. Conversion is key. If you aren’t focused on conversion rate, there is no reason to do this event. There are customer appreciation dinners, but you don’t really need to spend this kind of time and money on IT level customers…there are a handful of customers that deserve this type of treatment, but not many. Instead, measure your conversion, and work on building the percentages. Focus on getting the right people, and test your messaging, repeating the same kind of program over and over. Make minor changes – and there are millions of secrets I have discovered, including reducing attrition, getting higher level audiences, using better topics, etc, that draw the right people and increase the rate of conversion. This is a science, not a hope…don’t be fooled into doing the event for as little as possible. Make a wise investment and get a strong return. That is good business.
© 2012, David Stelzl