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Host an event to boost your sales pipeline

By Mark Ainsworth

There are many modern and technological ways for businesses to create a buzz and boost sales thanks to the digital age we are now in, meaning that the idea of throwing events can seem somewhat dated.

Hosting an event may feel more complicated and expensive than other forms of communication with customers, but it offers a more intimate form of networking that can make your business stand out in the minds of your potential clients and strengthen relationships with the ones you already have.

What is critical when it comes to planning and putting on a successful business event, is that you know what the point of the event is, so that everything that you plan and pay for has a reason to be there. If you don’t, there is a high possibility that the event you plan will end up being not much more than an expensive party where only the attendees really get anything out of it.

 

Pre-planning your event

 

Decide your objective

Before you start planning anything, you need to decide exactly why you are hosting the event, and what are some goals you hope to achieve by the end of it. Perhaps you are looking to publicise your business amongst a certain community, or attract new customers from the pool of people that are already aware of your business.

Launching a new product is a good time to have an event, or if you want to thank your customers upon reaching a milestone. Clearly define the exact purpose of your event and you can then design the event around it.

 

Do your research and keep it on-brand

You need to do plenty of customer research and look around at other events from businesses similar to yours that have been successful in the past. This will help you to pin down what approach is likely to be the best for your own event and come up with something new and fresh that appeals to your customer base and makes your event memorable.

Don’t forget that everything you do needs to stay on-brand so that people understand who you are. It might help to write down a list of words and phrases you would associate with your brand and then for each stage of the event planning bring this back to your list. If the plan doesn’t sound like these words, then it’s not on brand and you should drop it.

 

Create a buzz

One of the keys to a successful event is to make it the party that everyone wants to be seen at. An exclusive party that is difficult to get into or offers something out of the ordinary will appeal to influencers and important people within your industry, meaning that they will talk about it and this will generate even more interest.

The best way to create a buzz and make sure that people want to come to your event is to make something really special about your event, so that it is something that people couldn’t access normally. Perhaps you will have a recognised artist perform or attend the event or hold it in a new or exclusive venue. If you are hosting a product launch, then you need to try to get people interested in the product and then offer freebies for the people that go to the event.

 

Planning your event

 

Who to invite

Invite enough people so that your event will be busy and vibrant, but not so many that it seems like anyone could get in. Choose your venue specifically towards this goal and invite more people than you actually want there. It is a strong possibility that lots of people won’t show up on the night, so you want to ensure that your event still looks busy.

Your guestlist is very important for the success of your event. You obviously want to invite the people that you want to sell to – potential customers or investors – but you also want to invite people that are useful for your business. Existing customers should always be invited to help with your brand loyalty and also to provide real-life, face-to-face testimonials to potential customers. If you can get influencers and popular industry leaders to attend as well then your guestlist is ideal.

 

Pick a time

Set a time for the event that will work best for the people who you want to be there. Thursdays are a very popular day for evening events during the week, but if you are hosting an event for parents and children, for example, you need to think outside the box and perhaps go for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

 

How to choose a venue

As a business, you want any event you plan to have a sophisticated and high-end feel, to add a ring of excitement and interest for your attendees. For this reason, choosing a venue which people would not necessarily be able to go to all the time is a great idea.

A fancy hotel or new club is an option, or something a little different like an attraction which has been hired out just for the event. Choosing somewhere that guests will probably not have been before but have always wanted to go will help to improve attendance and your perceived value in the eyes of potential customers.

 

Give back to your attendees

If you want your attendees to give you something, in the form of their time and custom, then you should be prepared to give back at the event. Use the event to share industry information and best practice so that everyone who attends your event leaves with something useful that they can use in their own business or day to day life.

An event should be fun, but the thing that separates a beneficial working event and a simple party is that the guests should always know why you are there and what you are taking from it. You could hand out gift bags and information folders to guests if you don’t want to hammer the point home too much at the event itself, but there should be some places where guests can chat with other professionals and find out more about your business, which are clearly signposted during the event.

 

Wrap up

It may seem a little odd for a digital marketing company to promote the idea of hosting an event. After all, it is very much offline, as opposed to online marketing. So why did we do it? The answer is quite simple, events work, they have always worked, and will always work when done right, and they will add to your bottom line in terms of increased sales and awareness.

We can help you raise awareness for your event. Maybe you need an email marketing campaign to go to existing and prospective customers, or a bespoke website that is dedicated to promoting the event . Give us a call on 0151 652 4777 or email info@maxwebsolutions.co.uk to find out how we can help.

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