There are a number of components that go into successful selling. Making sure you secure that customer requires strategic planning, relationship building and investing time in your clients.

In this series we’ll be covering everything you need to know to help you better secure that sale from live events. From pre-marketing campaigns and exhibition sales techniques all the way through to follow up strategies that help you nurture those potential leads.

This edition will focus on the pre-event marketing efforts you need to spark interest and buzz around your product or service.

Facilitate first impressions

It’s important to understand that when attending live events, you are exposing your brand to a diverse group of individuals. Who, for the most part, will have no previous affiliation with you or your product.

“96% of attendees look for information prior to attending an event and 90% continue that search post-event. Effective content before, during and after an event is vital to the overall experience.”
Laura Forer, UBM

The importance of facilitating social engagement cannot be understated. Being able to leverage the full power of social media will define the relationships between users and your brand. Any salesperson will argue that a hot lead is better than a cold one and social media is a great way to start warming these leads up.

Deal

Being able to create an original social experience before an event happens gives your brand more touchpoints opening up the possibilities for more engagement with attendees.

1. Pre-event marketing: branding your campaigns to get the word out

We already know that 96% of attendees are going to be searching for information about the event and the brands exhibiting ahead of time. So, give them something to quench their curiosity.

Your brand has a personality and it should be reflected through your social media posts. Developing a consistent voice that fits within the culture and audience you’ve associated yourself with is key. Social media shouldn’t be about hard-selling, ensure posts are interesting or useful to your audience.

By crafting eloquent posts that are consistent with your brand image you get the chance to demonstrate authenticity and offer an insight into who you are.

One thing Martech alliance utilised in pre-event marketing recently was advertising that the same DJ will be in attendance for the third year running. Through a Tweet from Martech founder Carlos Doughty advertising a playlist on Spotify for the MarTech Festival. Very creative and clever use of differing social media/ services to create a sensory experience for attendees.

Spotify

Developing a content strategy utilising a variety of social media networks will allow you to cast the broadest net. People have preferences and believe it or not, not everyone is on Twitter and some content lends itself more to certain networks over others.

This location diversity will also help keep your content alive and circulating long after the event is over.

2. Connect with influencers for added exposure

By affiliating your brand with a select few influencers, you can gain mass exposure to audiences you otherwise would have no way of organically reaching. Influencer marketing allows you to benefit from the audience and established trust they have related within your industry.

I Nfluencer

There are a few criteria that must be met to qualify as a quality influencer, it’s not as simple as more follows = more influence.

  • Authenticity
  • Activity
  • Engagement
  • Expertise
  • Leadership
“When engaging influencers, there almost always have to be social incentives - whether they receive early access to event details, or special VIP perks, etc.”
Rachel Bogin, Vice President of Creative Services, City Eventions

3. Engage with geotargeting & competitions

Announcing your attendance at an event via email newsletters and social media channels allows you to direct audiences to your website. Which should feature a preview of what to expect by the speaker at the event in the form of a blog or video. This could then include a link to the ticket sale page on social, where individuals can choose to display that they were attending.

Social media’s strength comes from being a channel which is used for 2-way conversations with your audience. Make the most of this and reach out to answer any questions people might have about the event or your products and services.

Social Engagement

Incorporating competitions for prizes is a great way of generating engagement within your social profiles. Competition apps such as Gleam allow you to incentives entrants to share and like for extra chances to win. Allowing more people see the competition and repeating the cycle. This is also a great chance for data capture with email addresses which can be utilised for post-event marketing purposes.

With tools like geotargeting you can target your social campaign towards people in specific locations. Allowing you to talk to those in close proximity of the event and therefore are more likely to come and see you there.

Pre-event marketing is all about creating enough buzz around your brand to convince people to come and see you in person. If carried out effectively you can expect to have more people interested in visiting your stand. But also be able to have more informed conversations with prospects who have an idea of who you are and what it is you do.

If you found this piece interesting consider following us over on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay updated on when Part 2 and Part 3 of this three-part series gets published.

Part 2 will focus on how to manage your sales team and incorporating smart data capture processes to increase ROI at any event.

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