Whether you are hosting a virtual or an in-person event, converting the attendees into leads is an important objective. But how can you accomplish that in an era of omnichannel marketing?

A lot goes into an event, from vigorous planning, investing, and resources to managing expectations. You work hard organizing an ideal event, deciding the location, shortlisting the attendees, and putting everything together. When the day finally arrives, you eagerly check the registration desk, keeping an eye on the number of event lead.

But here is the thing. Even if you have a large turnout, it doesn’t mean they will convert into leads. There could be scenarios when you have a good turnout, yet no lead conversion!

And there could be several reasons for this. Let’s not forget event lead generation is a critical aspect of an event marketing program. What’s important is to identify ways to convert the attendees into leads. In this article, we will cover all the essential pointers that will help you ace your next event and bag those target accounts.

Why events can get you leads

85 % of B2B marketers depend on lead generation for growing their client network. Event marketing can pave the way for attracting more clients to your business. The main agenda behind planning events like conventions, trade shows, and product demos is to connect with your customer base and acquire event leads. It also allows you to showcase your brand expertise and how you will resolve audience pain points.  Here’s how hosting events can benefit your business.

Enhances Communication with Prospects

When you speak to your audience through virtual communication or in-person events, it enables them to put a face to the brand. Direct interaction strengthens the bond between customers and your brand. It’s far more effective than them reading a blog or post about your brand. Presentations are also a means to engage with the audience and involve their views and opinions. It allows a free flow of conversations and provides scope to address their questions.

Attracts clients through word of mouth

Audience engagement on social media and at the event can be measured with metrics but how will you know the customer’s perception of your brand? Word-of-mouth can increase audience reach, and the way to go is to launch an event that generates a response. You can also find bloggers who would write about your brand or a particular event. If people like the events and connect with your brand, they will talk to others, bringing you more customers. The more people talk about your brand, the more leads you generate.

Online Events for Event Lead Generation 

A hybrid or virtual event usually attracts a broad client network, increasing your chance of acquiring more leads. It opens up opportunities to get a global audience miles away from your location. What gives these an added advantage is you can record them. You can share glimpses of the recording on your social media. The entire webinar video could be available on your website for users to subscribe and download. In this way, you increase your outreach.

Event Lead Generation Strategies

When you organize an event, you need to be proactive while it is happening. Whether you are hosting a webinar or an on-site event, it’s important to act. Focus on identifying the high-value accounts and implement these steps to get them on board.

1. Networking

We cannot emphasize more on the word ‘network’. You have organized an event, and the attendees have shown up. Talk to them, connect, understand them better, and mention key features of your brand. When you interact with the prospects, you develop strong relationships, holding the potential to convert into leads. Exchanging contact details is also a good idea for your clientele to reach you.

2. Performing lead scoring on-site

We know you would be tied up, checking the attendee list and making sure all is perfect. But without a lead score, the event is less likely to give you the desired outcomes. The best way is to start scoring leads right after you talk to the prospects. You can build a system that makes it easier for you to track the conversations and the list of priority prospects. Then, you can assign each customer a score out of 10, a higher score representing a high interest in doing business with you and vice-versa.

3. Take Notes

Lead qualification can seem cumbersome, especially if sales reps don’t add any lead context. What happens many times is the sales rep of the event and the account executive who contacts prospects later, are different people. This is why it is a good idea to maintain notes for each lead captured. It could also be used as a reference sheet for others to follow up with prospects.

4. Social Media Marketing

The world has gone digital, and social media is no exception. Before launching an event, create a social media presence. Once the event is wrapped up, you can promote the highlights or live streams on channels your prospects frequent. After an event, reach out to them through messages on social. Such prompt actions can drive more organic leads.

5. Referral Marketing

This approach relies on the network of existing customers and their credibility to attract new ones. Do not hesitate about the idea of asking prospects to put in a few good words for your business to their colleagues and contacts. A referral can enhance brand awareness and improve the probability of closing deals.

6. Share relevant information

While talking to your prospects, shelling out general information about your business may not get you far. The objective is to convey how your business will address their concerns and why they should preferably choose your offerings. When preparing the list of invitees, research the clientele and keep some key points at hand. Include some of these in the event presentation or brief. When prospects can resonate with your brand, it would shift their perspective on the business, promoting the sales cycle.

7. Use Sales Enablement Tools

Interactive content like brochures videos or podcasts highlighting features about the company can be a great tool for lead capture. What you cannot communicate through conversations, such content does so in your favor. Videos and podcasts can explain the offerings more engagingly. The sales reps should always have relevant resources at hand. You could also arrange for a screen displaying the features of the brand. Visual content can create a lasting impact on the clients, promoting brand authority.

8. Conduct performance analysis

While using event strategy as a part of your marketing plan, allot time and resources toward performance analysis. Track the responses you received on social media and the website engagement. Maintain a record of the engagement, including audience queries, and evaluate the statistics. This will give you enough data to plan your strategy forward from there.

9. Follow-up with Event Leads

Following up with a lead after the event will act as a catalyst for lead generation. It is equally important as the event itself, and you must make the most of it. But promptness is a must-have when it comes to following up; any delay would dilute the purpose. Follow-up emails are an opportunity to share additional resources, links, and any relevant data that would strengthen the brand image.

10. Always have a Plan B in your Pocket

An event can bring a mix of outcomes. It can all swing in your favor, or there may be surprises. For instance, the high-value prospect you were looking forward to closing a deal with may decide not to attend the event. Or you may experience a smaller turnout than expected. A backup plan will help you in such circumstances. Instead of relying on plan A, design a solid contingency plan to come out strongly irrespective of the event outcomes. It could be as simple as emailing the target prospects and sending them a link to the event.

Closing thoughts

This comprehensive list can help you generate leads at and after an event. Focus on clearly presenting your brand message and fostering a connection with the audience. Utilize their presence at your event to your advantage, and network as much as possible. Add a layer of efficiency by following up with the prospects who showed interest. When you plan events, leverage them for generating and nurturing leads. However, lead generation is an ongoing process, demanding time and resources. A robust strategy can empower an entire event and its outcomes.

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