One common mistake rookie sales event planners make is paying to advertise their events in print ads and pay-per-click ads. While advertisements can be effective when they’re part of a larger marketing campaign, historically, they have not proven effective when it comes to putting the right people in the right seats at sales events.
Don’t throw your money away on ineffective event advertising! There are far better ways to put your event marketing budget use. There are also many free or almost free ways to publicize your event.
Registrant-to-attendee conversion is something that is near and dear to our hearts at Vendere Partners. Our executives and prospect managers are pained every time a client relays a story about how past event publicity efforts have yielded poor results. You can have all the passion in the world for your product or service, and for making your sales event a success, but if you don’t have a dedicated team of event audience acquisition specialists on your side, your passion can quickly turn to desperation as you look at your calendar and realize that your event is getting closer and closer, and you still don’t have the number of attendees you need in order to make your event worthwhile.
What can a lead generation partner that specializes in event registration and attendance do for you?
At Vendere, we assign a prospect manager to every client. The prospect manager takes the list of prospects pulled from our database of over 30,000,000 prospects, and in some cases, from additional resources, and creates a custom event marketing program just for you. The program may include any or all of the following: event logistics coordination, telemarketing, e-marketing, registration, and attendee confirmation operations. The prospects lists we use are key. They are defined by criteria that you help set. Using specific criteria ensures that the lists we create on your behalf are full of the people you really want and need to fill the seats.
A few cost-effective things you can do on your own to publicize your sales event include:
Publicizing your event on your home page.
You might be surprised by how many companies bury their events on other pages on their websites. Even if all you do is provide a teaser and a link to your event registration page on your home page, you’ll be doing more than most companies do to get event information in front of people who are already interested in their offerings.
Submitting an event listing to local media.
Most city magazines and newspapers that have business sections will be more than happy to add your event to their event listings. Go to local media websites and search for guidelines for submitting events. Pay special attention to the guidelines. If a local newspaper only wants 50 words that summarize your event and contact information, don’t throw in any extras. If a newspaper wants your logo or sales pitch, it will ask for it. In general, event listing submissions shouldn’t be fancy; they should be practical and print-ready.
Promoting your event in your e-mail signature.
Adding a link to your event registration page to your e-mail signature may seem like a no-brainer, but very few people actually do it. Go a step further and require your team members to add the link to their e-mail signatures as well.
Calling key clients and prospects.
If you already have a rapport or relationship with certain clients and prospects that could add exponentially to your revenue by taking advantage of what it is that your event is promoting, take the time to pick up the phone and reach out to them on a personal level. Tell them about your event and explain why you think it would be particularly advantageous for them to attend. Then, follow up with an e-mail that provides more information and a link to your event registration page.
Including event information in your outgoing voicemail message.
Give the people who call you and get your voicemail something of value by including information about your upcoming event in your outgoing message. Recording an outgoing message such as, “You’ve reached John Smith at ABC Company. If you’re calling about our upcoming event at such-and-such place on such-and-such date, please leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as I’m able,” can go a long way towards driving interest in your event.
Adding your event to your business card.
By simply taking a pen and jotting down a note such as, “Don’t forget about our seminar on such-and-such on this date,” on the back of your business cards and then handing out those cards to the people with whom you make contact prior to your event, you can do a lot to keep your event fresh in people’s minds.
Implementing a direct mail campaign post-event.
Investing in direct mail campaigns in an effort to promote your event probably won’t pay off very well. Post-event thank you notes mailed directly to people who actually attended your event, on the other hand, can be very effective sales tools.
Things like e-mail marketing, press releases, blog posts, and social networking weren’t included in the list above because all of those things should work in close conjunction with your larger event campaign—the kind of campaign that Vendere can help you carry out. Let your event audience acquisition specialists handle the tough stuff. The actions discussed above are things that you can do on your end to publicize your sales event easily and cost-effectively RIGHT NOW, whether you’ve just begun publicizing your event or have already engaged in extensive event planning and publicity.