Posted December 4, 2017 by National Event Staffing
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Hosting a stand-alone event is a waste of your time and your money. If you want to make a big splash, don’t think for one second that an event on its own is the solution. That is, unless you create and execute a strategy to extend the event beyond the actual activity itself. Please, hear me out!
When you plan an event, typically the goal is a return on the investment. And why not? If you’re spending your time and cash on something big, you want an assurance that sales will increase. At the end of the day, we measure success on how much money we made, right?
How Will You Measure Success and What Numbers Matter Most?
As a marketer, believe me when I say there are a lot of different metrics that should matter to you. It starts with the number of event attendees or samples distributed, but what you really want to know is, how will it impact long-term sales?
Before we discuss the ROI of event marketing, consider a few factors beyond dollars and cents that can make a difference long-term for your bottom line.
Look at the hard facts of how many people attended the event and:
- actively engaged with your event
- shared their event experience to social media
- opted to take a sample
- partook in a premium giveaway
Using these stats, we can start to frame up the world of your event. Beginning with the sheer number of attendees, you can start to whittle down the meaningful engagements. Look at people actively engaging in person as compared to those who are participating digitally, on microsites and social media. Analyzing this data can help you start to see how immersive your event was for those who participated. Hosting a knock-out event is a great way to ignite buzz and interest, but that is only the beginning.
If you drop major coin on a great production, make sure you plan how to extend the buzz and capture data about your audience AFTER the event too.
How can you keep your event attendees talking after the footprint is packed up and your event is over? Here are a few ideas to try:
Step 1: Find ways to continue to engage them
Find new and interesting ways to continue engaging your attendees post-event. Whether it’s an email to a list of subscribers, follow up calls to new leads, or genuine requests for feedback in surveys–there are several ways to get in front of the same eyeballs again. To do so, you must be digitally prepared to collect their information at the event. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that in a minute.
Step 2: Find ways to engage them and their friends who didn’t attend
Give your participants something to talk about. Some companies choose personalized giveaways, but that’s only as good as the item’s shelf life before “spring cleaning”. You want participants to share the event experience with others. One example is using Facebook Live to post the event. Talk about an easy way for others to catch the buzz… it’s perfect!
Step 3: Offer attendee-specific marketing
Use the data collected from your attendees and offer them specific incentives based on attendance. If someone swiped their wristband at every station in your event, they may receive a personalized engagement that is of high value to them. For those who hung out for 30 minutes then ditched for the day, you can give them something a little more generic. Everyone deserves your attention, but focus on your most engaged audience before moving ahead. When all else is complete, coupons and “event-special” emails are a great post-event push to further engage this audience.
Lay the Digital Groundwork Before Your Event
Remember, your success depends upon collecting data that matters. The only way to perpetuate your event’s buzz is to continue to meaningfully engage your audience. Seriously.
The stats that matter will be a little different depending upon your goals. Here are a few post event data to assess:
If you’re set up digitally to capture information, you can continue to engage. Ideally, your event is so fantastic that media companies and bloggers are knocking on your door. If they’re not, don’t worry too much. There are a lot of other ways to judge your success. But like I said, digital preparation is a must.
For instance, if you’ve assigned people to capture leads and pre-orders at your event, a pen and paper just won’t do it anymore. You need that data collected in a uniform way that you can easily aggregate. Then you can use that data to make big picture decisions about who your targets are. And if you’re making any transactions on premises, do your best to collect credit cards rather than cash. Credit cards provide data!
When it comes to pre-event digital preparation, make certain that Google Analytics is ready to go on your event’s microsite. It’s another great way to track engagement. You can also apply software to help you track users before they fill out a single form.
According to Conversion Scientist, Brian Massey, “Microsites are good because you have a higher engagement opportunity with the consumer. The best case for that user is that they complete a form so you have an opportunity to re-engage them.”
Being prepared digitally also means testing so that you can optimize for better results the next time around. When it comes to microsites and landing pages, it’s good to evaluate the bounce of users. Brian Massey added, “We divide the way we look at bounces as good and bad. We look at good bounces—people who left because their searches didn’t render what they anticipated. Then we look at bad bounces—when we lose someone who was looking for what we had, but left because the promise from the ad or promotion isn’t on that page or because the page layout isn’t intuitive for the reader.”
Experience Drives Brand Loyalty Today, Not Just Recognition
It’s no longer a simple equation of Consumer + Interest = Sale. It’s now far more complex than that. Today’s consumers must first decide, through copious research and reviews, whether or not they want to engage with a brand. There are so many external factors now that weigh on a consumer’s purchase decision, including their digital experience and the level of customer experience they expect.
A person might have an initial interest in attending your event, but it’s up to you to keep their interest. Offer something of value as you continue to engage them. There’s a big difference between the people who will snap a selfie with your mascot and those who buy from you in the future when their consumer desire fits with your business offering. Getting in front of that audience repeatedly can help jog memories of that amazing event you hosted, and can help steer your conversation towards sales.
The Goal is to Keep Them Talking
If you put as much effort into your digital preparation as you do your event preparation, you’ll be well prepared to maintain a positive conversation. Meet and exceed people’s expectations at a live event then leverage various initiatives and drive digital interaction. Digital interaction is crucial because it’s trackable. When you track and test what works with your audience you’ll get greater sales lift.
Advance preparation is key. The more information you gather from attendees, the greater the opportunity to re-engage and keep people talking about the brand by offering them value from the continued interaction. If they’re still talking, you’re doing something right.
We welcome your staffing inquiries USA & Canada www.NationalEventStaffing.com because with over 13 years in the business, we really know our stuff and we’re always happy to help! (-: