41% of companies utilize event marketing as their primary channel for lead generation. Especially if you are a small business, events are amongst the least expensive and most effective ways to get leads and customers.
It is way cheaper than a marketing campaign, to begin with. Also, leads generated at events and trade shows are more responsive. These leads are more likely to get converted.
So, before you decide to proceed, you need to dive into how you can practically generate leads and customers at an event.
Best Event Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
Surely you can get tons of tips online about taking outrageous steps for lead generation. Some involve investment, more resources, and better infrastructure!
But again, it fails to provide some effective practical insights on how to generate leads and customers at events for a small business, hence with low or no investment and easy steps.
Well, here are the tips that you can practically take within your limitation, and still except maximum lead generation and higher conversion rates.
Why To Target Events For Lead Generation?
You Get a Targeted Audience
Events and trade shows are organized to target specific people in the market. The people attending these events have a very special and dedicated interest in the products and services displayed in these venues.
High-quality prospects are available to you on a platter in one place. With fewer marketing efforts, these prospects have a higher potential for conversion. So they are more likely to become your customers.
Cost-effective Than Marketing Campaigns
Marketing campaigns are not really a cheap way to find prospects or leads. For a small business, such a level of investment still requires second thoughts. Also, you need to have proper planning and expertise to bring results at a lower cost.
But with events, you get this higher customer conversion potential with the least effort and the right strategy.
Marketers get this opportunity to get instant feedback from prospects. It gives a brand a better understanding of a potential customer. This helps improve marketing campaigns and strategies for better lead generation and sale conversions.
Prospects at the event give their valuable opinion about the products and services at the display. Any small business can get into the customer mindset to elevate its marketing strategies for the future.
Direct Interaction With Your Prospects
Gathering leads from events is more powerful because it is exclusive, direct, and interactive. You look the prospects right in the eye. It develops much more intimate communication between you as a brand to the prospect or customer.
Also, people get more understanding of the products and services offered by the company. When you try to contact customers, you often feel them as intrusive, like with cold-calling or emails.
But here, when they get to voluntarily interact with the brand and participate, they are more invested and aids in better conversions.
How To Get Leads and Customers At Events?
Selecting The Right Event
Conferences, events, and tradeshows offer you a great opportunity to connect with potential leads for your small business.
But you need to attend the right event to best the best opportunities resembling your potential customers.
This becomes even more important when you have only a certain budget to spend.
Try to narrow down your options to find prospects and target a certain number of relevant events rather than focus on too many.
Identifying your prospects
Generating leads through events is most certainly the best way to offer your solutions to a supposed crowd.
41% of organizations are focused on event marketing as it is their primary channel for lead generation.
If you aren’t able to attend high-potential customer-based events, you must target the volume.
You can offer various giveaways, gift cards, coupons, and other digital assets in the possibility that the next customer could just be anyone. Giving away the costly items increases the cost per lead.
Telling People in Advance That You Will Be There
Most event organizers keep a database of attendees, contact details, or email lists. The best time would be six weeks before the event to get in touch with attendees.
Start following these people on social media and send them an email to introduce yourself. Share your exact location, booth number, and other details of the show with them.
The best way is to schedule meetings with those key prospects in advance only. You can send them coupons or offers in your introduction email.
Use social media to promote your attendance at the event. Put all the hashtags related to the event so it can reach out to other relevant people as well.
Sponsor the content for the visibility of your brand
If you are a business that wants to invest in the visibility of the brand but doesn’t have a significant budget, you can still participate in events.
A smarter way to generate leads at events for your small business is to align your brand to collaborations from the content or contextual standpoint.
Sponsor the content that ideally goes with your brand. For example, if you are selling tools for video creation, you can track sponsorship opportunities at these events. It is a perfect way to incept your product subliminal to the minds of your attendees.
Sponsorship collaborations help you create brand awareness. Also, it is a cost-effective way to promote your product internationally without spending a supposed budget.
Significance of Booth
Having a booth is next-level involvement in an event. All companies follow the same sales funnel.
They categorize people into four different sections :
- people who don’t know about the company
- people who kind of know about the company,
- People interested in the company
- And, customers
Booth facilitates small businesses in a way that gives them access to all these four kinds of groups at once. Prospects or people feel grateful to get to know the brand and, more importantly, get hands-on experience.
Also, users, fans, or customers enjoy meeting companies face to face.
For example, Twitter did their booth interactions at a direct marketing conference. They have used three televisions and demonstrated to people how they buy ads and reach their target customers. For people who want to learn digital marketing, this has proven to be a great hands-on experience.
You need to attract attendees to your booth. Provide them value, and demonstrate processes in your company. Help them to solve their problems related to your product. It is also interesting to talk to an expert on the booth for customers. So you can focus on providing real value from your booth at an event. This can help you generate genuine, high-quality leads.
Thinking something out of the box also engages the prospects in the event. Your aim is to draw as many eyeballs as possible.
For example, SmartBug Media gives glow-in-the-dark goggles to people. So that’s how they decided to associate their brand with something interesting like that. You can opt for your own but it has to be something fun and exciting enough.
Nurturing the Post-show Leads
Your work isn’t just done after gathering the leads from an event. You need to further analyze, categorize, and nurture them.
Getting data about what you have collected post-show is the first step. Business cards or badge scans won’t tell you the whole story about the potential lead here.
You will have two kinds of contacts; first, those you have connected with from the beginning and are on your priority list since you connected to them at the event. Second, are all the new names you gained at the event only.
You have filtered out contacts with incorrect information or of no use. It is wise to categorize them accordingly further.
Launching a Follow-up Campaign
Extending the post-show initiatives to further nurture your leads and actually get the conversion, follow-up campaigns are essential.
No matter how perfectly you did lead generation at an event, the person you connected to at the event doesn’t necessarily convert or make decisions towards it.
Once you organize and categorize your leads and prospects. It’s time to connect to them and further lead them to conversion. Don’t push too much; rather than ask for a reference.
FAQ ( Frequently Asked Question) about to Get Customers through Proper event marketing
You can make attendees visit your booth by providing real value on the topics and queries they care about. Demonstrating and walking people through various processes related to your company is exciting for them. Another way is to get people to participate in various fun games and activities that create excitement.You can also bait the attendees into your booth by putting something intriguing. It can be some sign, element, or any activity.
The best way to get quality leads from an event is to do a keynote speech at the event. People gravitate to the keynote speeches and keynote speakers. When you finish, people approach you with questions, queries, and more personalized advice. Then, considering all the questions and tractions, you can redirect them to your website, blog, or your platform. These leads are more likely to buy products from you or go for your services.
To begin with, gathering prospects for an event, you can start by creating a list on a spreadsheet. Use Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, and create columns like “Name”, “Email”, “Job Title”, “Company Size”, “Industry” and “Target (Y/N)”. You need to build a list and populate it with contacts. Start sending emails on a regular basis using these lists.
Check the event website where you can find the guestlist for the event. This piece of information has already curated prospects for you. You can further import this list to your spreadsheet.
Same way, you can leverage Facebook groups to gather prospects. Join groups, forums, and discussions to engage with people who are coming to the event. Once you build a long list, just keep emailing them about your presence in the event.
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“Business, marketing, and Branding – these three words describe me the best. I am the founder of Burban Branding and Media, and a self-taught marketer with 10 years of experience. My passion lies in helping startups enhance their business through marketing, Branding, leadership, and finance. I am on a mission to assist businesses in achieving their goals.”