applauding at meetingI was a communications major in college. I chose this field initially because I had high hopes of being a newscaster…until I realized newscasters don’t have southern accents and have to wash and blow dry their hair every day. I’m really kidding (maybe). However, I did find out that the communications studies department also encompassed public relations and event planning, which was much more up my alley. My friends will tell you that I jump at the opportunity to organize anything and everything that needs planning. Here’s the thing I’ve learned in my years of event hosting – all of your plans don’t mean a thing unless people show up and are invested in what’s happening. The same goes for events that market your business. The entire purpose of hosting an event, be it in person or online, is to create value for your company in the eyes of the customer.

Many of us are familiar with how to market the event itself (social media, email, phone calls, commercial spots, newsletters, event calendars, etc.). In this blog, I want to touch more on what to do after the preparation is finished. What should you concentrate on when the event is happening? How do companies squeeze the most marketing potential out of their events? Here are the four building blocks of hosting a successful marketing campaign during your event:

  1. Build personal relationships – take this time to engage with your audience. Learn about people’s interests, perspectives and focus. What about your business or product would appeal to this group? Why would your product be important to them? You can do this in a variety of ways. First of all, talk to them! Never underestimate the power of a conversation. Secondly, generate interest via social media outlets. Tweet status updates during your event, or share photos on your Facebook page. Even create your own hashtag!
  2. Build your brand and increase awareness – hosting an event or seminar allows you to convey your message exactly how you want and on your own terms. Take advantage of this by contacting journalists and editors who can create a feature article on your event to reach an even wider audience.
  3. Generate leads – you can approach this the traditional way by having a sign-up sheet within easy access or you can hold a contest or drawing for the purpose of gathering email addresses (with permission, of course).
  4. Follow up with potential clients and partners – just because your event is over doesn’t mean your marketing efforts have ended. It’s imperative to follow up with those you have met. Keep the buzz going by emailing, calling, tagging and even visiting potential customers.

Whether your event is in the form of an online seminar or a fancy evening gathering, all of these tips can help you  maximize your marketing efforts for your company or product. When executed properly, any marketing event can produce excellent results and important leads for your sales team. Happy planning!

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Caralee CulpepperWriter and Message Board Specialist

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