As CEO of an event technology company, it goes without saying that I attend a lot of events, large and small. Having been on both sides of the booth, I’ve seen it all: fishbowls brimming with business cards, branded beer koozies and mousepads, and event technology that runs the gamut. Across all these events, one thing remains clear—the event industry is booming.
All the hard work to prepare for the Big Event is done, thanks partly to the knowledge you gained from Part 1 in our series, 5 Must-Know Tactics to Drive More Sales-Ready Leads from Events. Your organization ran a strong campaign to get existing prospects excited for your event. Key prospects that are expected to attend are identified, and you know who’s hot and who could use a little warming up. Your booth staff is prepared for how to communicate with booth visitors, thanks partly to the event lead management app your company just loaded onto their phones and tablets. Now you are all ready to capture information on prospects that could lead to more sales. And, to cap off a busy day of handshakes and information sharing, you set up an invite-only happy hour for after the event.
For salespeople, events offer one of the best opportunities to connect with prospects face to face and further the sales conversation. Yet, many of us go into events underprepared, hoping to make headway with key accounts simply by virtue of being in the same room. To be sure, some great deals have been made over drinks at the conference center, but why leave things to chance? With a little planning, you can maximize your engagements–without sacrificing any of the fun.
It’s a common conference sight: An organization offers a free lunch or giveaway in exchange for a badge scan or business card. While this might result in hundreds of new names for your sales team to pursue, what do you really get for your marketing spend?
At a typical medium-to-large event, your reps are engaged in dozens of conversations with prospects—whether at your booth, in a presentation, or over dinner. But only a limited amount of the intelligence gained from these interactions makes it back to the office. Instead, contacts gained from events are usually shuffled into a standard nurture track where the repeat visitor who would have a nearly perfect BANT score is indistinguishable from thirty others who simply wanted a free lunch.
Consider the facts as you're debating what areas of your event marketing strategies you need to prioritize:
The average visit to a company's booth at an event lasts under two minutes in total. Here's how quickly the window of opportunity to turn a visitor into a customer can pass you by:
In a recent straw poll taken during our webinar, Connecting the Dots from Event to Sale, 72% of attendees identified sales-ready leads as the most important event metric for their sales reps today.