Events can be fantastic for business, raising brand awareness, generating leads and showcasing expertise but they can also be time-consuming, costly and hard to measure in terms of ROI, for small businesses so if you’re considering including events as part of marketing strategy where do you begin?
Here I share five tips on getting started with events and how to make them work for your small business.
Know your goal
What do you want to achieve by engaging with or hosting events?, what benefit do you think this type of marketing activity will bring to your business and what results are you looking for, are you looking to raise brand awareness by getting out to as many events as possible or are you using events for lead generation meaning you’ll need a more targeted approach? Do you anticipate that events will bring revenue into your business and if so how do you plan to achieve that?
Try it out
The great thing about business events is there are literally hundreds of them happening every month, that’s also the downside how do you know which ones are any good? Ask colleagues and business contacts which events they attend and which organisations they’re a part of. There are also lots of networking and business development organisations out there delivering events to help businesses like yours grow and engaging with just one of them can mean you then have access to lots of different types of events allowing you to see what sort of events work for you and why.
Becoming a speaker at events may make some of you want to run a mile but! it doesn’t have to be terrifying and it can be an incredibly useful way of getting your business in front of an audience and demonstrating your expertise and it can be done in a multitude of ways. It doesn’t have to be just you on a stage, consider workshops, round tables or panels all of which are much more low key and provide the confidence buffer of other people being part of the speaking experience with you.
Consider running your own events
If you want to be really targeted then you may consider running your own events, the upside here is you are completely in control of the content and the audience. If you do decide to run your own events, do your research before starting out, don’t just assume what your audience wants to hear about. Take some time to really plan your event, in particular, consider how much it will cost your business, it’s not just the coffee and croissants at a breakfast event that you need to put in the budget but consider how many of your team it will take to execute that event and whether it will attract additional costs like printing or room hire.
Keep the momentum
Whether you’ve been an attendee, on the speaking panel or you were the event host, the work isn’t over once the event is finished. If you’ve collected business cards or details from people you’ve met then follow up after the event with a quick email whilst you’re still fresh in their mind, if the event was yours then straight after the event is the perfect time to connect with the audience and if you haven’t done so already introduce your product or service or even just invite them to your next event!
We run effortlessly executed events for our clients from small intimate gatherings to conferences, from planning through to delivery. If you’re considering how to integrate events into your small business marketing then let’s talk firstname.lastname@example.org
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