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THE CRUCIAL ROLE OF EVENTS IN LEAD GENERATION

Certainly, online has become more important for those in marketing. More and more, the power of offline contact seems to have been forgotten. Face-to-face interaction, making real contacts, quick conversions: online communications is a good addition, but is absolutely not a replacement for it. Events offer an excellent opportunity for this kind of interaction. The value of a live meeting is huge. That’s why I would like to stand up for this often undervalued part of lead generation.

MORE THAN JUST ANOTHER DRINK

A business event can be much more than just snacks, music and a quick return home. It's the perfect opportunity to push your brand and start interacting with your audience. That, of course, requires a proper preparation, but if you manage to excite your visitors, you will strike gold. With the help of visual communication, for example, this will have a much more direct impact than an online banner in the margins of a crowded webpage. There are many options for live, visual impact. Strategic use of eye-catchers or lightboxes can give an event lots of atmosphere to help you persuade visitors.

One of the great advantages of a business event is that you get to meet with your audience directly, without external media platforms getting in the way. Traditional media offer almost no opportunities for direct interaction and online you have to wait and see whether you get the chance to engage in any dialogue. At an event, that's different: No CPC or CPM, no hassle with real-time bidding, just face-to-face interaction. It is an excellent opportunity to get to know customers better and to make a lasting impression. The only question is: How is this done most effectively?

INTEGRATION WITH MARCOM-MIX

The challenge is to integrate events into a broader marketing program. That's easier said than done. Careful planning is crucial. For example, an event can be used as the opening of a long-term campaign. During those moments it is important to make a good first impression and to do this properly you need to be in control. You decide how everything looks and exactly what is going to happen. The integration with an overarching campaign can be achieved in many ways, but it is certain that this integration should offer a great deal of added value in both the long and short term.

EMOTIONS AND EXPERIENCE

Events are all about perception. Digital printing techniques and innovative materials offer unprecedented opportunities to make an event into a great visual experience. By stimulating your visitors visually and emotionally you are able to show what you, as a company, stand for and what you're capable of doing. If you combine this with a strong program – good speakers, impressive videos and relevant influencers as guests – you’re immediately off to a flying start.

ONE LOCATION

Bringing your audience together in one place also offers many exciting opportunities. Not only can they see your product live, but maybe they can even try it out. Good sellers know that this is a crucial element in the sales funnel. The live product experience leads to a more positive brand experience and stronger emotional bond, which over time results in customer loyalty. Moreover, you learn a lot about your audience this way. In time, you can use this knowledge to improve your product or service.

DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW UP

You organized a great event. Everything went well and everyone went home happy. What's next? Obviously, afterwards you send the attendees a message (or maybe you even call them personally). You thank them for their visit and ask how they experienced the event. That input is extremely valuable for your next event and the way you generally deal with customers. In this way you show how involved you are as a company, even if it has nothing to do with a direct order or sale. The call can also provide a good opportunity to schedule a follow-up appointment ... And who knows what will come out of that? All thanks to a well-organized event!

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Image John Faas

AUTHOR 

JOHN FAAS

COMMERCIAL MANAGER

“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

Sam Walton, Founder of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.