Events are great way to gather new sales leads, expand your network, present your offer to the wide audience and even to nurture your relations with the customers. To make it possible, you need to know who you should talk to.
Choosing your role during an event and why should you do that
Clearly, the nature of the event itself should determine your role in it and give you the idea of what kind of people you can meet there. You should always consider, whether you should organize an event of your own or take part in an existing one as a guest. And if you are a guest, what will be more beneficial for you: networking, or exhibiting your product in a booth placed in the main hall?
Let’s recognize a speaker, an exhibitor, an organizer, and an attendee. These are the roles you should consider when preparing for an event.
As a speaker you will be able to present your knowledge to the audience. In your presentation you can embed your company’s philosophy and, if an organizer allows it, some real-life examples of how your product or service helps to solve a discussed problem.
Being an attendee will surely provide you with business opportunities as well. Beside learning new trends in your area of interest, you can meet new prospects and take part in a few networking sessions. It will bring you a few steps closer to your lead goals and targets.
The role of an exhibitor and an organizer requires a different approach. You will no longer orbit around the potential customers. By putting out your stand at a conference you will become their gravity center and make them come to you instead. It will be much easier to recognize who is actually interested in your company. It means that you can talk about business without going all round the houses, and exchange business cards – collect event leads. The organizer will obviously have most financial benefits from the event. Of course, it all depends on the agreement he made with exhibitors, sponsors, and speakers. While hosting a conference or any other business event you need to make sure that all participants are satisfied.
Now that you know on what terms you can attend any event, there is one rule you must follow to make smart event-related business decisions and get closer to your lead goals. The key to effective event marketing is data analysis
First analyze, then pick the role and collect event leads
To make your decision data-driven, first you must go through the market research and classify the potential leads as cold or hot. Simply put, it means that you should calculate the value of each lead and estimate what benefit they can bring to your company.
Speaking of value, notice how the events differ from one another. It also applies to event guests. At this point you must be aware, that some of the business cards will be just a rolodex filler, and the others will have a “Email ASAP” note followed by red exclamation mark..
Thorough pre- and post-event analysis calls for reliable data sources. Put software to good use
Forget about outdated solutions. Don’t get me wrong. Some of them are still decent tools, but they are burden with a human factor and human failure. Nowadays, quite a lot of event platforms, is fitted with user engagement measuring systems. They partially automate your work, especially the lead segmentation part. You no longer have to sort your potential clients manually.
Commonly used badges are not a perfect solution either. It is hard to classify leads only by badges they wear, especially that you can’t scan each and every badge on every person you meet at the event.
QR codes seem to be a good. The bypasser can scan a code using their smartphone. What that person does next is the first indicator of their interest. The scanned link can lead them directly to pricing on your website or a questionnaire they can fill in, leaving short personal/business information – for example, consultation request.. There you have it: lead segmentation easy as one-two-three..
Lead qualification process 101 – How to analyze event software data
Whatever your tools of choice were, during your previous event, you need to analyze the results. Post event analysis is as important as choosing your role on the event. Actually these two actions are bound together.
Data analysis allows helps you estimate which of acquired contacts require presenting the offer at once and which can wait, because the interest was not that high.
Post event activities include follow ups for attendees and speakers, and checking the feedback. It’ll be an important part of evaluating the event value for the organizer and the attendees.
So what you should analyze?
Lead qualification process strongly depends on your industry. However, because the process differs in companies there is no rule of thumb for that. For some departments the main lead segmentation factor will be the industry, while for others will require a verbal declaration of interest in further cooperation.
Specifying lead deal value
Another criteria you can use is the estimated value of the deal with the client. This way you will eventually complete the market segmentation and decide what group (or groups) should you target in your marketing campaigns.
Socio-demographic lead specification
This is also useful way of creating segments for your leads. You can include your lead location, income, city and its size, and so on.
Other useful and commonly used specifications
Like we already said, there are as many ways of lead segmentation as there are companies. Therefore it’s popular to use different metrics. Some may evaluate the lead’s contribution to the sales funnel, others can look into the number of qualified leads, that became clients and so on. Each marketer and company need to find their own method.
There is no doubt though – with wise event marketing strategy and right tools you can surely bring business to your company.