Is there one tried and true road to a successful event? Not really. A number of recommendations were first published as advertising for specific event products, so buyer beware! Promotion has turned some of them into myths that too often fail to live up to their hype. It is not how much you spend but what value and convenience you provide that matters.
1- Going first class sells
In reality, the more you spend on an event also might send a message that you will be expensive. This can cause you to draw more moochers than buyers. You want your event to match the buyers’ attitudes re value and price. Spend the money on reusable investments that demonstrate your viability and professionalism. Using an event management system is one example.
2- Location, location, location
This is usually true but not necessarily the way you think. Holding events right in the core of a downtown may seem to make it more convenient, expecting to draw a larger audience. The reality is that convenience also increases both cancellations and early departures. Holding your event in an intriguing location away from the core draws a more committed audience and saves you money too. Also, don’t overlook using electronic conferences held during work-from-home hours. You can have more of these covering a wider audience over time to increase exposure within the same budget.
3- People want free stuff
It is true that many gather trinkets at conferences. Most end up never being used and provide you with little promotional value, if any at all. What you want to offer is a call to action instead that resonates with potential buyers. Trials, coupons and invitations to private events will give you a better return on a lower investment. Make sure that you track who you give them to with your event management system and make sure to follow up after the event.
4- Mass marketing draws
Shotgun approaches using direct mail, telemarketing and email blasts work with big budgets in mass retail markets. In the B2B market, it takes more personalized approaches to carefully qualified individuals. Find out who makes the decisions and call or write to them. It is not only cheaper than mass marketing but establishes the foundation for an ongoing relationship. Your event will provide them with more information, access to satisfied buyers and strategic insight. But only if you get past their gatekeepers that would have received the direct marketing material.
5- Avoid vacation periods
The myth is that there are not enough interested people available to attend events in vacation seasons. Most decision makers usually use those periods to work on the business rather in the business and have more time for that when their employees are away. A well targeted conference providing strategic thinking is good positioning in vacation periods.