Category: ABM

Tip of the Month: P³: Plan Perform Post-Event

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Congrats, you just had a great field marketing event with the right quantity and quality of registrants!

BUT…

The real work begins after the event if you want to maximize ROI.

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Your job doesn’t end just because you filled the room with the right people, delivered compelling content, and ran a flawless event.

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It’s critical to create and execute a post-event strategy that clearly outlines how marketing and sales will effectively partner to make sure all leads are captured, tagged, assigned, and contacted after the event.

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How to successfully wrap up your events:

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Immediately after your attendees leave and before your on-site team disperses, schedule a mandatory post-event debrief. The objective of the debrief is to capture as much new information that was learned about the prospects in attendance.

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Hopefully your event embraced an interactive format that allowed your sales reps and execs to be a sponge and absorb your attendees’ questions, feedback, and insights. Discuss each and every attendee, what was learned collectively, and outline a plan of action for next steps. These notes should be taken formally, using a laptop so you can easily transfer the data into your CRM system.

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As the adage goes, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”. This is especially true with event ROI. When you enter each lead into your CRM system it’s important they are tagged properly so you can claim credit when the opportunities move throughout the pipeline and hopefully convert into a new revenue producing customers.

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Unfortunately, the emotional shelf life of happy attendees that experienced a quality event is very short. We recommend immediate follow up within one business day. Every day that goes by decreases your sales rep’s chance of being effective. It goes without saying that a thoughtful “thank you” email with relevant thought leadership content links should be sent also within 24 hours.

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Tip of the Month: Prep Your People

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So you are ready to host a field marketing event with the right quantity and quality of registrants. Great job!

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BUT…

To maximize ROI, your sales team needs a plan.

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It’s not enough for you to fill the room with the right people, deliver compelling content, and run flawlessly through the program.

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Prepping your sales team is what turns your event into new revenue opportunities. You need a detailed plan that spells out how the sales team will prep before, act during, and follow up after the event, making sure roles, responsibilities, and expectations are crystal clear.

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BEFORE THE EVENT, communicate clearly the time commitment you expect from your sales team. For example, each sales person should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the event start time and plan to leave at least 30 minutes after the event ends. “I need to leave during the event to catch my plane” is not acceptable! In those 30 minutes following your event, the entire sales, marketing, and thought leadership teams should formally meet in a debrief where each attendee is discussed, notes are taken, and followup activity is agreed upon. Do not settle for a meeting the following week – it’s human nature to start forgetting the details of conversations that may be the key to personalized followups. All of this fresh data needs to go into a CRM system such as Salesforce.com and be coded in a way that you can track and measure results over time.

Prior to traveling to the event, the sales representatives should recieve a full registration list so they can analyze the individuals, the represented companies, and any existing relationships. This way, they can easily research the registrants and attending companies (LinkedIn or Google both work well) so they are better prepared for introductions and conversations during the event.

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DURING THE EVENT, the sales team should be actively networking with attendees, not talking with each other. Instruct them to actively listen, and be a sponge- the more the attendees share, the better prepared you are to focus on their needs and convert them to new customers. Take care to set boundaries with your team- during the event, they shouldn’t spend too much time talking about your company or your products. Instead, it’s a valuable time to listen and learn- they’ll soon find themselves armed with more than enough business development intelligence to build real relationships.

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AFTER THE EVENT, it’s critical that followup is done within 24 hours, so the attendees’ experience is fresh in their mind. Our data proves that the success rate is greatest within 1 day of the event and goes down as time goes on. It’s also important that any and all followup activity is logged in your CRM/Salesforce system so that both the marketing and sales team can measure and quantify the results and ROI of the event.

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Tip of the Month: Registration Communication

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So you’ve got a strong response from people interested in coming to your event? Awesome!

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BUT…

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You may be surprised to learn that the need for registrant communications increases after folks have RSVP’d yes to your event. It’s not enough to have a strong response from folks interested in attending your event, you have to keep the line of dialogue open in order to maintain engagement and minimize the dreaded no-show rate. Keeping your registrants engaged ensures that your event is top of mind.

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At BDI we use proven methods to confirm all registered attendees prior to the event in order to minimize the percentage of no-shows. Advance cancellations are preferable to day-of no-shows because you can best equip your team with all the information you need to have a killer event! In the weeks prior to the event, we take steps to re-confirm all registered attendees and cancel registration for those who can no longer attend.

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Having accurate registration numbers puts us in the best position on the day of the event for two significant reasons: the venue can prepare the meeting space based on the most accurate head count, and the client is made aware so they have realistic expectations of the number of final attendees.

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This is how we pull it off:

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  • Immediately after a guest registers: send a calendar invitation with all relevant event details.

  • Two weeks prior to the event: send an update featuring the speakers and sharing the registration list in order to garner excitement about the upcoming event and networking opportunity.

  • One week prior to the event: send an invitation to all registered guests encouraging them to bring a colleague. In the event that the registration list is full this becomes optional.

  • Two days before the event: make personal phone calls to every registrant to further confirm they’re still planning on attending. Leave enthusiastic voicemails for any registrants that cannot be directly reached.

  • Day before the event: send a final confirmation message and include the updated registration list and request that if they are no longer able to attend to please let us know. Additionally, we request that if/when possible and, if possible, to send a colleague in their place.

  • Morning of event: send an enthusiastic “See You Today!” message reigniting their interest in the event and including any last minute details (e.g. notices about traffic, directions, valet instructions, etc.)

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