What do you do when you sell a product you have to actually see to believe?

Well, if you’re Automation Control Products (ACP), manufacturers of the ThinManager software, you pack your bags and hit the road.

“Our ThinManager software is really a see-it-to-believe-it type of software,” explains Tom Jordan, vice president of marketing for ACP. “So a couple months out of the year we do the ThinManager Roadshow, where we hold training sessions in cities throughout the US.”

From September 2011 to October 2012, ACP will host almost 30 events between two different ThinManager Roadshows. From Philadelphia to Chicago to Denver to Salt Lake City, they will reach thousands of professionals across the US and will manage it all with one product, Event Marketing from Constant Contact.

Here’s how ACP gets the most out of those events and drives real results for their brand with event marketing:

By looking professional with customizable templates

The ThinManager Roadshow is all about the “Aha moment”.

“We’re in front of professionals from different companies at each event and it’s our responsibility to make sure they get that ‘aha moment’,” Tom explains. “It’s that moment where they see the software in action and are able to completely understand the value it could bring to their business.”

But when you have a professional audience, getting that “aha moment” starts with looking professional in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the events. Looking professional means having invitations, websites, and registration forms for each event that reflect the ACP and ThinManager brand.

“The good thing for us is the ability to create one invitation and one homepage and then customize them for each different event,” Tom explains. “That’s important when each event is part of one road show.”

Tom keeps the Road Show branding consistent at each event with customizable templates.

By scheduling event promotion ahead of time

If you’ve ever managed an event, whether it’s on the road or right in your back yard, you know how hectic your schedule can get.

“We do a lot of events, but when it comes to setting up our schedule, road shows are definitely different,” Tom explains. “With multiple events, in different cities week-to-week, we need to be able to manage our schedule so each event gets promotion.”

To do this, each event is set up online, up to three months in advance. After setting up an event homepage and registration page, the first invitation is sent out about two months before the event. Then, a series of follow-up invitations is scheduled in the week leading up to the event.

Being able to schedule in advance isn’t just convenient, it’s essential, especially considering sometimes there are as many as five events in five different cities in the course of ten days.

By targeting  specific audiences

Having professional looking templates for invitations and websites is important, as is being able to create a schedule that works for your business… but neither matter if ACP can’t get the news of its event in front of its target audiences.

When it comes to marketing their events, ACP shifts their focus from a national to a regional level.

“We’re able to target audiences in each city and state separately by segmenting our list of contacts,” Tom explains. “We also target based on different industries, as our software is used by different types of companies.”

By the beginning of October, the 2012 ThinManager Roadshow will have visited 8 different cities from Charlotte to Seattle. Over the course of that time, a contact list of over 30,000 people will be reached by creating segmented lists of around 1,500 for each targeted region.

By providing seamless online registration

Before Event Marketing, the way ACP was managing registration didn’t exactly reflect the advanced level of technology that’s synonymous with its brand.

“We were processing registration manually,” Tom explains. “It wasn’t working for us and it wasn’t working for our customers.”

To replace the old system, an online registration system was put in place and now customers access it directly from their event invitations and homepage.

Online registration is more convenient than manual registration for both Tom and Road Show attendees.

“We recently had our largest event ever, with close to 200 people,” Tom explains. “There’s no way we could have done an event of that size if we were still doing registration manually.”

Make your events something people need to see to believe

If your events are central to driving business results for your products and services then you want to make sure your events are something people need to see to believe (even if those events are a little more local than a year-long national road show).

Find out how you can get started with managing your events online by attending our free webinar, the Event Marketing Live Tour.