How To Use Events To Grow Your Business

What are your business goals for the rest of the year?

Would you like more leads?  Position your company as leaders in your market? Retain top customers and talent?

Events are wonderfully flexible and can accommodate all kinds of different business goals, so we’re going to take a look at how they can help support five of the most popular objectives here.

Generate Leads

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Simply put, events are a brilliant way to fill your sales pipeline full of qualified leads!

If you’re going to run events primarily for lead generation purposes, then it’s important to get your sales or business development team involved, so you have a long list of prospects to invite, and a really specific understanding of the types of people who should be there.

It’s also a good idea to pre-qualify event sign-ups using custom questions, so you have a better understanding of who will be attending, and what their interests or challenges are.

Another key tip here is to communicate regularly with any sign-ups, so the event stays top-of-mind despite everyone’s busy schedules, and they’re periodically reminded why they signed up in the first place (i.e. keep communicating the value of the event, not just the logistics of when and where it takes place).

Finally, if the event is free, you should expect a reasonably high dropout rate, so either overbook the event (or provide a waitlist), or consider charging people a nominal fee up-front.  You’d be surprised how even a small financial commitment will encourage people to turn up (and it reduces your expenses too!)

Convey a brand message

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Events are a brilliant way for any business to reinforce or create a brand message.

There’s a reason why fashion and lifestyle brands are huge proponents of launch parties and similar events that speak to the value of their brand or product.

There is no reason why your business can’t use them to the same affect.  Here are a few ideas for how to use different events to convey different types of messages:

  •      Thought leadership

If you’re a B2B company and want to convey your credentials as thought leaders in your industry, why not host a conference?

Gather experts together (ideally your clients and partners) and invite them to share their insights, intermixed with some of your executives, and you can create a really compelling content programme.

Just be sure to keep all the talks’ on-topic and helpful to your industry, not sales pitches, otherwise the event could easily have the opposite one to what you’ve hoped for!

  •      Show off your expertise

Events are also a great way to show people you know what you’re doing.

For example, if you work for a more creative industry, like an agency or a design firm, then you probably want to showcase your creativity, and what better what than throwing an awesome event?

The sky (and maybe your budget) is quite literally the limit when it comes to getting your creative juices flowing and putting on a truly unique experience for your guests that will leave them in no doubt as to your credentials by the time they leave.

If you work in sports, then you can host a sporting event or competition; youth oriented? Why not host a gig for up-and-coming artists?  You get the picture – there’s an event for pretty much any kind of expertise you want to display.

  •      Well connected

Other businesses may pride themselves on being well-connected, such as recruiters, estate agents and other sales or service related industries.

If this is your purpose, then of course it makes sense to gather all those big hitters you know into a room together, and then let your prospects mingle as you demonstrate your influence and reach, simply through the guest list.

Dinners, awards and conferences are all great events to help you achieve this objective.

Educate an audience

Conferences

For some companies, the essential goal of an event is to educate their audience.

It may be that you’re at the vanguard of a brand-new technology or industry (like cloud computing a few years ago, or cryptocurrencies now), so you actually need to educate an entire market about the possibilities that your disruptive solutions offer.

If this is the case, then conferences, exhibitions, breakfast briefings, round tables and panel debates are all great events to host for this type of objective.

Often, the need to educate an audience will be more straightforward than the above scenario.  For example you may need to educate your sales force on a new product update, resellers and agencies on a new solution you’re bringing to market, or customers on how to use a new feature properly.

Webinars, workshops and training sessions are all good ways to reach this goal.

Retention

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Events are also a brilliant way to improve your retention rates, by recognising key people and using the event as a way to say ‘thank you.’

Whether it’s staff, clients, partners or suppliers that you want to retain, events are a great way to extend a personal touch and make them feel special.

Dinners, parties, brainstorming sessions or days out at an attraction can all be great tools for keeping everyone engaged and happy.

Content Marketing Engine

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‘Content marketing’ is a huge buzz phrase right now, and one reason is because it works.  Online, everyone from consumers to businesses are reaching saturation point with banner ads and sales messages.

The only way to cut through the noise and earn your audience’s attention is by producing and sharing great content.

Events are perfect places for quickly building up a library of high-impact content that you can use in your on-going marketing strategy.  For example you can:

  •      Grab customer testimonials
  •      Video your speakers
  •      Survey attendees and use the data to create a unique report
  •      Create a beautiful time-lapse video
  •      Put together a montage that captures the fun and enjoyment of your event
  •      Livestream it to an international audience
  •      And much, much more!

All of these pieces of content can then become assets in your content marketing plan, and most can also be repurposed or split into even more assets, making the whole process very efficient and scalable.

What next?

For almost any key business goal, there is the ideal event to go with it.

The next step is to define how the event will support your wider business goal, get all your stakeholders on board to form a small event team (or delegate to one person with event experience) and then get your event online so people can sign-up!

Regardless of event type, Eventbrite is available to help you run it smoothly, from easily setting up a unique webpage to promoting it via social channels, communicating with your attendees to offering a seamless onsite and entrance experience.

We also have plenty of tips and guides on running successful events on the Eventbrite blog, and we’ve also got a 24/7 customer service team to help out if you’re unsure about what to do next.

Do you have experience of running events to support your wider business goals?  What tips and advice would you share with others?  We’d love you to share with us in the comments section below!

Got an upcoming event you’d like to organise, why not use Eventbrite? Sign-up today, it’s free!