Public Service Announcement: Field Events Aren’t Dead
So, this isn’t your typical feel-good public service announcement (PSA) about the importance of education or not smoking, but nonetheless, it is an important topic for marketers. Field events are not dead.
On a daily basis, we’re bombarded with messages from a multitude of online sources from pay-per-click ads on our Facebook feed to daily deal emails to geo-location coupons popping up in our mobile apps. With all of this digital connection, sometimes we can end up lacking authentic, HUMAN connections, which is why Arianna Huffington recommends disconnecting from our digital selves on a regular basis. And what is one great opportunity to do that? A field event!
Now more than ever, people crave an in-person connection, so take advantage of this desire and let your prospects and customers know you genuinely care about spending quality time with them! Here are four reasons why field events could be your new bread-and-butter:
1. Enable Your Salespeople to Build Relationships
With a field event, you can help get your salespeople in front of their prospects and customers—perhaps even those they’ve had a hard time reaching. Also, field events provide them with an excuse to pick up the phone and engage them with a valuable offer:
Salesperson: “Hey Susie! We’re hosting a luncheon in a couple weeks featuring three CMOs who will be telling stories of how they’ve transformed their marketing organization to increase ROI tenfold! Since you’re in a similar situation, I wanted to make sure you know about it and can come learn from these experts and ask your burning questions.”
Susie: “Oh wow! Yes, I am struggling to figure out how we can best reorganize our team structure to be more efficient and successful. I’d love to come and meet these CMOs and hear their stories!”
BOOM! Registration collected, prospect engaged, and sales is well on their way to closing a deal!
2. Emphasize Your Company’s Status as a Thought Leader
People like to buy from brands they respect and trust. By bringing topics of strong interest to your audience, you establish credibility as an expert in your space. Of course, you want to present key topics that are also tied to your own brand story. For example, if you’re selling computers to IT leaders, you might want to explore how the newest technology can encourage adoption from their employees vs. trying to tell them about how home usage of computers is climbing.
Tip: Come up with 3-5 topics that you think would be of interest to your customers and ASK them—send out a quick survey like the one below to ensure you have the right pulse on their interests so your event(s) can be a hit!
3. Spark Interest in Your Offerings and Leave Them Wanting More
After you present your thought leadership content (another tip: consider using third-party presenters like industry analysts and customers) and give your attendees delectable food/drinks, you’ve earned the right to tell them more about what you do. Keep it short, though—just a little taste of how your company can help them achieve the results presented during your event. You don’t want to overwhelm them or give a demo. Instead, give them just enough to pique their interest and have your sales team follow up immediately to book a meeting to show them more.
4. Create Repeatable Success and Strong ROI
Gather and review feedback from your attendees to continually improve your content and event structure. Analyze the data on attendance rates, sales-driven vs. marketing-driven registrations, pipeline/opportunity creation, and ultimately, influenced revenue.
Did you strike gold with your program? Consider taking it on tour! Repeatable successes will help you be more efficient with your field events and get the most bang for your buck for all the pains that come along with new content creation. Not to mention, you’ll have found a proven program to continue to build pipeline for your company!
All in all, a field event is the PERFECT opportunity to create pipeline and drive revenue. Why? Your salespeople can reach those they may not have otherwise, connect on-site to create true human-to-human connections, and follow up on their newfound interest to show them how your company can help them WIN. Not to mention, you also win by building your own relationship with your sales team by helping you all be successful as ONE TEAM.
So, don’t let field events seem like something of the past because now we can engage in virtual reality or holograms—sometimes the good ol’ in-person program is the way to go to truly connect with your audience. PSA: What was once old is now new again.
What other perks are there to field events? Or what other old-school marketing methods are making a comeback? Let me know below!