Sometimes staying indoors at the office and working hard is just not enough. Attending live events is crucial to make real-time contacts, increase your user base and also give a face to your business. You can collect a ton of leads at such events, that too qualified ones. If you are sponsoring an event or even hosting one, the subject of the event will naturally be related to your business, so the people who will be visiting this event are all essentially potential buyers. In the early years, live events were only a way to promote your brand locally and to make some industry contacts. But with these new and improved digital mediums, one can really increase the sales of the business by generating a lot of leads through these live events. Here are five of the best ways you can do that!
#1. Before The Event: Make a List of Prospects
A live event is no joke. You may seem like you have everything in control with a schedule of the things planned for every minute but trust me when you are there, all this planning will go at least fifty percent down the drain. This applies even more if you are one of the many sponsors of the event. This basically divides the people’s attention to the variety of options they have at the event. So it is important to think from their point of view. Do not focus on what all can we showcase at the event but instead just stick to what can you do for people to come and visit you and the brand for at least a whole minute at the event. Forget them turning into a loyal customer or even a one time buyer.
For this, the lead generation should start before the event such that you have at least a bunch of people who will definitely pay a visit to you at the event. I will be honest, this point is easier said than done. How do we exactly do this though? One easy way to do that is to hit the source. Whoever is organizing this event, will probably have a guest list with them about the people who are for sure coming to the event. This also involves people from the Press who will be there to cover the event. If you try hard enough, you can get the organizer to send you this data which you can then use to personally send an email or an invitation which will help you get a good base for the leads that you can collect in the actual event. You can use the press contacts to actually set up an interview. That will give you an added edge if the event is supposed to last for more than just a day.
Other ways to know who might be coming to the event is through Social Media. Almost every relatively large event these days has a Hashtag to represent it so that people can use it to spread the word around. And people do. If the event is big enough, people are keen to associate themselves with it and see it as a bragging excuse to prove their life is happening. So use it to your advantage. Look up people who are using this hashtag and are excited to be at the event. There are a lot of tools available in the market which will help you fetch email IDs from these social accounts. Connect to these contacts through some perk, like a referral discount or a competition of sorts. That should do the trick.
#2. Everybody Wants Free Stuff
One of the easiest ways to lure your leads in is to give away a free gift. Free stuff really ‘sells.’ This especially works if your live event is directed at customers rather than other businesses. The free gift could be as simple as a key-chain or bottle. Doing this has two major benefits. There is a barter system that takes place. In return of the giveaway, you can win something for your brand. Like a Facebook/Twitter follow, or a subscriber. The best way to do that is by getting a QR code for your Facebook page and putting it up at the live event. You can put a board on it that says ‘Like us on Facebook and win a free gift.’ Every phone has an in-built scanner these days. There’s also a little adventure in this activity for the potential lead as well. So once you get these leads on social media, you can convert them through further social media strategies. Now you may say, that this method is not foolproof as the person may easily unlike the page after they get the free gift. Well, there will always be people like that, we can’t help it. And you would rather not have such people as your lead cause they will give you a hard time converting them into an actual customer. With this, we can move on to our second benefit that comes from giving away a free gift.
You also get free outdoor promotion. Whatever gift you decide to give away, a keychain, a t-shirt, a pen, a water bottle, etc., make sure you have your brand logo on it. One thing to remember while you do this is that the gift should have some utility other than having a logo on it. Nobody wants to come across like a living billboard ad. The product needs to either be cool looking, or it should carry a good message, or it should be a useful thing for the visitor like a t-shirt. It needs to check at least one of these boxes for our potential customer to not be ashamed to carry it around. So yes, even if the person unlikes the page, later on, you can count this as a benefit to your business.
#3. Use Social Media to your Advantage
Social media is another great way to get leads from your live event. This also eventually comes down to the textbook quote- Content is King. Use content to create a buzz about the event. Without social media, it is very easy to go for an event, soak in the entertainment part of it, collect a lot of free junk, come and completely forget about it the next day. But with Social Media, retention has become much easier. Now there are many different ways you can go about it. Let’s discuss some of them.
Make sure your own people/visitors/customers/clients know that you are going to be there at the event. You can do this by hosting a fun online competition, whose results you will announce at the actual event. This acts as a strong bridge and will help you get more leads. The competition can be a selfie competition along with a compelling caption, whoever gets the most likes on their post wins. This will not just create a buzz about you being at the event but will also increase the number of people who you know will surely show up at the live event to know the results of the competition.
Use audiovisual to create a hype about the event. You can create a simple video which can talk about the happenings at the event, or it could just be the CEO or the entire team announcing that you’re going to host or be at the event. It adds a nice personal touch. You can also write blogs about topics surrounding the event. You can write about the city the event will take place in or the cause that this event is supporting.
As mentioned earlier, use the event hashtag. Or even more so, create a separate hashtag which is related to the event hashtag. For example, if the event hashtag is #Hackathon you can create a hashtag like #HackathonXEduonix. And then push this hashtag out to your users. The results that come from tracking this hashtag will be more accurate and qualified than the generic hashtag. And there are a lot of tools in the market to do so.
Go live on Facebook when at the event. This will help if the event lasts more than just a day. If on the first day you go live on Facebook, people will be excited to join too and might actually turn up the next day. Also, post picture stories from the event along with proper hashtags and location tags. Really helps.
#4. Make Your Ads More Relevant with GEOfencing
Organically, using location hashtags at the event is a good way to source for leads. But there are also certain paid ways to do so. The content that you will be creating during the event, like photos, schedules, live updates, etc. You can also use the same content and boost it out to more people who don’t fall in your contacts. This will extend your reach even more. If you managed to get that guest list from the organizers, you can use some tools to find those contacts on LinkedIn or Facebook and then create a boost ad for them. One problem that arises with this, is the list size issue. To solve it, you can fill in the target audience with other leads which are not necessarily at the event already but if the post is enticing enough, they might turn up. Interests and location are two good factors you can use to poof up your targeting. You will have to do some math here, to figure out the budget of the campaign. Or you can see what the cost per lead is in the first few days of the campaign and then adjust it as per your spends.
Now if the event organizer is not exactly a nice person and refuses to give you the list. You can try GEOfencing. This is google’s blessing to micro-target your audience on the basis of the location of the event. This can actually get very intricate, you can target a specific business, or a particular part of a street, or a locality using the GPS in their phones. Sneaky isn’t it but works for the business. A lot of big companies use this Geofencing feature, to run an ad in their entire building so that the CEOs and other employees see the Ad first before it goes live to the people. Isn’t that cool?
While doing this sort of targeting, you need to make great content to put out. Here are some tips for the same:
• Have a discount offer or a giveaway in the Ad. This will help you double the conversions and increase your chances of getting those leads.
• Let the users go to a landing page which is specifically designed for the live event and collect their email addresses and phone numbers there in return of the above-said offer.
• Use tracking pixels so that you can use the same audience for re-targeting.
Email marketing is an excellent choice for many. If you are someone who wishes to be proficient in it, you can try ‘Email Marketing With Aweber Email Marketing For More Sales’ online tutorial.
#5. Hit the Iron While It’s Still Hot
One important factor in successful leads is time. There is no point in collecting leads if you don’t do anything about them while they are warm. Even when the event is currently going on, you can use these leads and connect to them on social media, address them with the event hashtag. Just as marketing before the event is important. Post-event marketing is just as important. You can start making connections right after the event so that it is still fresh in their minds. You may have also received a lot of visiting cards during the event as well. Collect those emails along with the once we already collected with the above-mentioned ways and send them an email. Something as simple as ‘It was a great meeting you at the event. We would love to stay in touch. “For the contacts that you have collected over social media channels like Twitter or LinkedIn, you can follow them and send them this personal message. If the conversation extends from there, even better. Even if not, you have a connection successfully made.
Live events are a great way to meet a target audience which is very relevant to your business face to face. It is an opportunity to make a real-time impact. Especially with all these ways mentioned in this article, you can convert a lot of these leads into actual customers. And if this particular event is an annual event, you can use all this data next year as well, to make your live event even more successful!