How to Use Events to Reach Your Prospects

This is a guest post by Rachel Grate, content strategist at Eventbrite.

Your team juggles countless sales strategies to fuel your business. But only one empowers you to connect with your prospects and customers in person, to build one-on-one relationships, and drum up enthusiasm: Live events.

Of course, your goal is not just to get people excited about your company, brand, or industry. You’re looking to reach as many new prospects as possible for your business. That’s easier said than done.

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A full 80 percent of marketing leaders believe events are crucial to business success. But on the flip side, only 60 percent of those surveyed leaders are currently satisfied with their events’ return on investment (ROI). This means, is the amount of time, money, and effort you put into running an event worth the benefits you get out of it.  If your event doesn’t produce tangible, measurable prospects, it doesn’t matter if people had fun — not to your bottom line.

To tie events to measurable prospect, or lead, generation, you must first set concrete goals to measure ROI against. Then, define what type of event will best support those goals. And finally, choose event marketing technology that connects your marketing efforts directly to sales outcomes. Here’s how our team at Eventbrite approaches it.

Define tangible goals and objectives

“Lead generation,” or finding prospects, on its own is a vague goal. Get more specific: How many new prospects will spell success for your event? And is there a specific type of prospects you’re aiming to engage? For instance, if your business sells wedding cakes, you might aim to capture 100 new prospects in the wedding planning industry at each event.

One way to come up with this goal is to assign a value to each new prospect or lead. If the average lead is worth $100, and you’re spending $5000 to throw the event, you need to generate 50 leads to make the event worth it. But you don’t just want your event to be “worth it.” You want it to be highly profitable in terms of ROI. So your goal might be to create 150 new leads.

Define your event’s format: Online or offline

“Event” doesn’t always mean an in-person get-together. Online events such as webinars and livestreams are increasingly popular, scalable ways to generate interest. People who might not want to commute or travel to an all-day workshop might tune in for an hour from their desks.

For this reason, online events can reach more people. There’s no geographic barrier or fire codes to contend with, so in theory, the audience has no cap. Online events can also be much cheaper to execute. You don’t have to rent a venue, hire a caterer, or pay for staff.

In-person events are still incredibly important, though. Millennials, in particular, are known as the “experiences generation,” eager to attend events and socialize in person. When it comes to networking in particular, the impact of face-to-face interaction is huge.

Consider combining the two types. For instance, bolster your in-person event by livestreaming just a section of the event. That way, you capture both in-person leads and online audiences.

Check in with your audience after the event

The push to promote and pull off an event is huge, and your urge might be to pursue some R&R right after it’s over. But there’s still one very important thing to do: Circle back with your attendees.

Post-event communication is critical to the relationship you’re building with your prospects. A quick email follow-up lets them know you’re serious about their business, and gives them the nudge they need to take any next steps.

Using the Eventbrite and Constant Contact integration, you can automate the syncing of event registrants to your Constant Contact database. That way, you can segment your follow-up email campaign to only hit the people who actually attended the event. You can also create and send a separate email to prospects who were unable to attend, and let them know when your next event will be.

With email marketing automation, you can schedule your follow-up emails before the event even happens, so R&R can still stay at the top of your post-event list.

Calculate the value of your event

With everything you’re doing to ensure success for your business, make sure your efforts don’t go unnoticed. After the event wraps up, it’s time for a debrief with all the persuasive facts, like:

  • Key attendees/businesses
  • Total registered attendees — and their total value
  • Any qualitative feedback from your post-event survey

Make sure that you capture the human element of your event by including photos and videos of the event as well. Sometimes, human emotion is a compelling success metric of its own.

From start to finish, you can tie lead capture closely to your events, so start planning your next event today!

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Start your free 60-day trial today. Learn more about our 60-day free email marketing trial.

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