event marketing

It’s that time of year again when Marketers don branded lanyards and Salespeople polish their elevator pitch. Yes, it’s events season and Conversica is no stranger to the conference scene.

This year the Conversica team is excited to sponsor and attend OpsStars, a three-day conference focused on providing quality advice and networking opportunities for Marketers, Salespeople, Revenue Operations professionals and Demand Gen leaders. Like many other Event Marketers, we are hard at work crafting our messaging, swag and experience.

So, in that spirit, here’s a blog post focused on a few event best practices for Marketers and Salespeople to reap the most benefits from their investments.

Starting on the Right Foot with Pre-Event Outreach

While there are plenty of duties to juggle ahead of an event, one of the most crucial is the push to raise awareness. This can be done in several ways. For example, an email marketing campaign can be used to nudge contacts to register for the event or to keep attendees up to date on your speaking sessions. But while this is a necessary activity, it’s not the only message you should be trying to push. There’s another type of awareness Event Marketers should be promoting — pre-booked demos.

Pre-booked demos are one of the most valuable investments Event Marketers can make. Unfortunately, it is also one of the opportunities most often ignored due to the considerable efforts and time commitments necessary to engage and drive leads.

Luckily, a Conversica Sales AI Assistant can handle pre-event outreach on behalf of Salespeople and Marketers. This is helpful for two reasons. First, it engages hundreds or even thousands of would-be event attendees at scale to ask them if they’d be interested in pre-booking a demo. And since the conversations are personalized, persistent and polite, results are much higher than traditional email campaigns. Second, leveraging AI-driven technology to handle tedious and time-consuming outreach allows more time for your team members to focus on creative and strategic projects ahead of your event.

Extreme Networks utilized a Conversica Sales AI Assistant for pre-event outreach and added over $200K in pipeline. So you can imagine what this Intelligent Virtual Assistant could do for your business.

In the Thick of It: What to Do at the Event

Once the event or conference is underway, it’s all hands on deck to make sure that attendees are happy and informed. Event Marketers and Salespeople put a lot of effort into guaranteeing a fun and informative experience that may include giveaways, sweepstakes, sit-down conversations and on-site demos.

Figuring out the optimal technique depends on your audience and the event itself. Some events, like Dreamforce, are known for their fun and flashy atmosphere. At best, it provides an amusing environment where prospects, sellers and thought leaders can get to get together and share ideas. Then again, there might be so much going on that it makes it hard to stand out amongst the crowd. How can your company compete amongst the noise?

While many organizations try to stay top of mind by giving away the best swag or hosting the hottest keynotes (which certainly has its place), one of the best ways to retain significance is to follow up with leads and contacts within the first five minutes following a meeting. This can be as simple as sending a text message thanking the contact for the face-to-face meeting and recommending that he or she follows your company on social media, signs up for your emailing list, or books an additional Sales meeting once the event winds down.

Another way to exploit this same technique is to quickly capture lead information via a tablet or badge scanner, then have a sales enablement platform or Conversica Sales AI Assistant follow up via email or text message shortly after. This ensures that Event Marketers get the necessary lead generation process out of the way, so they can focus on the experience they are trying to create.

Getting the Most from Post-Event Outreach

Even when the event is finally wrapped, outreach isn’t over. The next step is to retouch all of the leads you gathered from your event. Admittedly, some prospects may not be your target buyer or simply may not be interested in your offerings at the present moment. But it’s vital that you reach out to everyone so you can identify and elevate those leads which are ready to talk to Sales.

Digging through a large number of leads after an event is a big task, but the return on investment generated from post-event engagement is substantial. The Sacramento Kings, for example, used a Conversica Sales AI Assistant to touch leads after events and saw millions of dollars added to their pipeline.

Leads that are not deemed Sales-ready are still valuable. Be sure to nurture these leads by providing valuable thought leadership pieces to them via email. You can even tailor the types of Marketing assets you share with them based on the nature of the past event. Over time, the lead may warm up to your offerings and become a customer.

In the end, event outreach is an essential responsibility that ought to run before, during and after your conferences and trade shows.

Interested in maximizing your return on trade show investments? Read our Maximizing Trade Show ROI eBook!

And don’t miss out on your chance to join Conversica in our Tap Room at OpsStars!