Linda Smith is a project management and digital media expert and founder of TNBT Media, an events management and marketing company. With over 7 years experience working in fast paced media environments such as Dow Jones, Time Out Digital, ITV, UBC and BSKYB her experience lies in the execution of innovative and effective campaigns across online, display, mobile and video channels. In this article Linda gives some useful tips on how to use events as a marketing tool to grow your business.
Events are an exciting way to grow your business, connect with your customers and generate further business. Social media has made the world a lot smaller but there is nothing better than real life interaction. Events present an opportunity to deepen customer relationships, strengthen your brand and create memorable experience that people want to consistently buy into.
Here are 5 ways that events can grow your business:
Firstly I would advise capturing data about your audience either through registration or evaluation so you that can keep in touch with them. Meeting the people that believe in what you are doing enough to buy into it is great because you can find out what enticed them in the first place and what they need moving forward. Events give us the chance to get up close and personal with the needs of customers so we can address them better through our products and services. When you host an engaging and successful event, and take time to network and connect customers who can then recommend and refer new business your way. Also collaborations can form as a result of the platform you created. Personally I have seen organic relationships and further business created through some of my events and these make for great testimonials.
If you have a product or service you can exhibit them at an event and hopefully make sales. The face to face communication permits a two way dialogue to develop in a more relaxed and relevant environment.
By gathering this feedback you will be in a better position to tweak or improve what you are offering to a larger market with additional success. Not only can you make sales but you can also capture those willing to share on social media testimonials quotes and images of customers with your branded products.
At an event you can also test out new products or services by offering samples and conducting surveys.
Lastly think about the content or agenda of the event; how can you keep the momentum going? The possibilities are endless.
Depending on the context of your event, hosting one can position you as an authority leader and boost your credibility. Are you creating a newsworthy conversation, identified relevant research or want to raise awareness?
An event will identify you as the ‘go to’ for a particular theme or cause and it can also attract attention from press, industry peers and new customers. A way to help grow your business is to establish strong partnerships with relevant organisations which will allow you to tap into their expertise, create collaborations and reach a broader combined audience.
Your event programme can be an appealing opportunity to organisations seeking to connect with your network. There are companies willing to pay to access your audience or offer in kind sponsorship through free products or event venue space. Not only is this a great way to make savings and generate income but it shows endorsement of your company by another organisation which only serves to validate your further. Depending on how sponsorship is sold you can sell one off or multiple sponsorship packages. This makes for a good case study for additional funding and confirms that you are an active and influential organisation in your market.
Events are popular as ever, we are in a time where people are keen to meet new people and enjoy unique experiences. Not only is hosting events beneficial but so is attending other events. By networking and taking an interest in other events you can meet potential customers and gain inspiration. Speaking and contributing at events as a speaker and panelist can do wonders for your business brand profile. Many a time, I have attended an event and because I have identified with a speaker or performer I’ve spoken to them afterwards, bought their book or connected with them in some way. So it pays to make yourself visible.
The amazing thing about events is that everyone benefits whether you are the organiser or guest, they are a sure fire way to engage and interact while taking your organization to the next level.
By Linda Smith Founder of TNBT Media