Before COVID, we loved events. They were a fantastic way to network and generate leads for your pipeline.
However, in the years since the pandemic, in-person events have slowed down; with many people switching to online alternatives or putting their marketing resources into different channels.
We wanted to find out if this was still the case.
Last month, the Shortlist team attended two of the Marketing Showcase events to not only generate some new business for ourselves but also prove the event doubters wrong!
The reality is, events are back and are better than ever! The crowds we saw in Manchester and Nottingham were far bigger than we could have imagined and the people there were looking to buy from the exhibitors attending – not just learn from the speakers.
I think most people worry that attendees at events are all going to be too junior and don’t have the buying power we’re after.
I’ll be lying if I said we didn’t think the same, but we couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, nearly everyone we spoke to was a decision-maker, with a budget, who was looking to spend – every sales team’s dream!
Looking around at both events, there was also a broader range of exhibitors as well. Whereas usually, sites would be full of CRM systems and Marketing Automation tools, these events had so much more to offer. SEO & PPC tools, Social Media tools, Marketing platforms, branding specialists, you name it, it was there. Not only making it far more useful for attendees but also making it a fantastic networking experience.
Ok, so events are back, but how can you make the most of them?
We’ll touch on this in more detail later down the line. But there are three big areas you need to cover to have any successful event.
1 – Plan your approach. Decide what messaging you’re going to focus on, the pain it alleviates and think of an offering that you can offer that suits it, like a free demo or trial.
2 – Bin your cool freebies, as this draws in everyone at the event. You’ll spend so much time speaking to people who just want a stress ball, that all the decision-makers and people you want to speak to will just pass you by.
3 – Use the data to your advantage. Post-event, use the attendee list, or any data you’ve gained to plan your outreach once you return to the office. Look at the different industries, seniorities and interests and get multiple messages ready to align with their direct pains and needs.
It’s still not too late to sign up to the upcoming Marketing Showcase events! We’re exhibiting in Birmingham on the 8th June, if you’re coming, pop over and say hi!