When it's event season, how are you going to make sure you're ready to pull off a successful event?
In-person marketing at state, county and local events is a powerful way to build consumer awareness of your business and generate sales and leads. It also takes concerted effort to pull off a successful event. We have put together the three best practices for event marketing.
It's as easy as: 1. Identify, 2. Execute and 3. Evaluate.
Follow these three steps to make sure your next event gets you the results you need! Take a few minutes to see if you've covered all your bases.
Step 1: Identify
Not all events are created equal and not all events draw the same crowd for your target market. When planning your next event consider the following points to ensure a great return on investment.
- Audience – Decide which audience you want to target and make sure the event you choose will draw that same audience. Do some research to know if you're headed down the right path.
- Cost – Look at the estimated number of attendees and compare that to the cost of the booth. You need the right mix of an affordable space that can be offset by a suitable number of qualified prospects stopping by your booth to justify the time and money spent.
- Distance – Be aware of how far the attendees will travel to the event. Some events can pull in attendees from hundreds of miles away. If you are not able to perform business outside your immediate city or county, create a plan to know how to help those outside your service area.
- Goals – Set expectations for the event by determining how many total sales you’ll achieve and break it down to a daily goal. Also, always have the standard of following up on any leads within 48 hours.
- Internet/TV – Depending on your needs, check to see if you’ll have access to the Internet, a live TV feed or other services to make sure you can demonstrate your product(s) and capture sales immediately.
- Promote – Be sure to promote your event beforehand to drive customers to your booth. Highlight incentives that will entice visitors to stop by, such as special sales promotions, enter-to-win prizes, instant giveaways and games. Consider using advertising on the radio, TV, newspaper and any social media outlet.
As you identify your plan of action for each of these areas, you'll be well on your way to executing a powerful event.
Step 2: Execute
Now it’s time to convert your preparations into results.
- Checklist – Before your opening day, review the “Event Checklist” we've provided in the workbook below to make sure you have everything you need. From initial contracts and insurance requirements for an event, to the tape and banners, the checklist will help you stay organized. And it's only one page, so you can take it with you or save it onto a smart device to review as needed.
- Connect – Proactively attract and invite passersby to your booth with different greetings and gestures. Engage consumers who respond positively. Do not attempt to engage those who respond negatively or not at all. Stand facing the direction of traffic flow around your booth. Most importantly, make sure all sales representatives look professional, happy, inviting and are appropriately trained on your products. Always smile and speak with confidence and conviction during a pitch.
- Demonstrate – Encourage the consumers to stop and experience your products and services by offering low-cost giveaways to everyone who tries out the product. Giving your potential customers a hands-on experience will help your product sell itself.
- Pictures – Follow these photography tips to ensure you keep an excellent visual record of your event.
- Make sure your photos show the entire tent or booth without cropping out a portion of your display.
- Get a close-up of your registered business name and logo showing they are prominently displayed and professionally printed.
- Avoid dark or blurry photos by using enough light or a flash and a decent camera.
- Take photos during the event. Make it obvious that you attended a live event by showing people at your booth and the surrounding event.
- Be prepared to provide digital copies of your photos to any business partner(s) in case they are helping to fund your event and need proof of your presence.
Step 3: Evaluate
After the event is over, it’s easy to just start putting together the next one as a routine. But take the time to evaluate some of the following areas to help you know if the event was successful and if you need to make any improvements.
- Budget – Were you over or under budget? If you were over budget, could you have done anything to save money or cut back in non-critical areas? If you were under budget, should you have invested in more marketing or higher-value giveaways? After every event, answer these questions to find out the best ways to utilize your event funds. You can also download our event workbook, which includes a sample of a budget worksheet.
- Measure Goals – Track the number of sales at the event, residual sales afterwards and the total amount of leads. How many upgrades or up-sells were done? Did you meet your goals? Which tactics worked best to generate sales?
There are many other areas you can evaluate, so don't stop with just these suggestions. You may have to look at your event staff to know if they need additional training or support. You may also have to change your tactics by event. Some events will need extra creativity and others will be pretty straightforward.
Get the Event Workbook
We've put these event marketing best practices into a nice workbook that you can download and keep for future reference. RS&I has worked with thousands of our authorized retailers, from a variety of programs, to compile these tips and tricks for events and we're happy to share them with you.
So download the workbook today!
If you're interested in learning about how to become an authorized retailer through RS&I, please reach out to us and we'll be happy to answer your questions. You can expect a prompt reply from our friendly sales team.