This weeks guest blog is from Tiz Porreca – AJUNJO. You can find more about her here.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” African Proverb
One of the most popular options that business uses to engage with their audience is to run an event. This can be very successful for some, but falls flat for many. Running an event is a resource sucking and expensive exercise and many get lost in the logistics, forgetting how to really get the outcomes they are after in the first place. Expensive and tiring disaster!
If this sounds familiar, I challenge you to think of going in a different direction.
Lets look at some compelling reasons why businesses want to host an event:
Face-to-Face interaction – There is no substitute for meeting someone in person to establish a real relationship.
Goodwill – When you get invited to something special, you *feel* taken care of and special. You remember it.
Sales and prospecting – An event can make you stand out to prospective buyers in a very short-term-memory world.
Credibility – Having advocates in the room that can confidently endorse you face to face is invaluable.
Brand awareness – A fun, interactive way to control all the messaging about your organisation to a captive audience.
Product sales – A chance to directly sell/promote your product /services to your ideal market/customer.
Now lets look at the reasons why events fail or companies choose not to run them at all:
* They don’t have a large enough budget
* Can’t find enough people to invite
* Those that do commit don’t show up
* People who do show up are not the right target
* There are not enough resources to run the event professionally
* Always organised last minute, no planning, no strategy
THERE IS NEVER any meaningful outcomes/benefits – NO ROI
There is a solution – In fact a very powerful one.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. In your current customer list, who are your top A-Class clients that trust YOU, clients that would have no hesitation in recommending you to others and you love to work with?
2. What do these customers look like – what is your customer AVATAR?
3. Who are your current referral partners – people you absolutely trust, that you would have NO hesitation in referring your clients to, people you are confident with, ones that trust you enough to refer you to their clients?
4. Compare the customer AVATARS of these referral partners to your customer AVATARS, which ones match?
Being able to answer these questions will allow you to create something that is not only powerful, but also targeted and extremely strategic.
Once you know the answers to these questions, you will be able to create a campaign that will get you in front of 100% targeted and qualified leads, a platform to engage and start to build meaningful and strong connections.
Imagine now if:
* You could co-host a VIP event WITH your referral partners
* Each of you only invites a small manageable number of your top clients/customers
* You discuss which clients each of you are inviting
* You found opportunities not only for each other as co-hosts, but also for your clients
* Then share the cost of a professionally managed Event Marketing Campaign
This is as much about strengthening the relationship with your referral partners (co-hosts) as it is about meeting new leads and potential business.
It is a vehicle for you to be a person of influence with your existing clients, being instrumental in creating opportunities for them to make meaningful connections.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT for this to work is that ALL co-hosts involved need to be on board with the process, each co-host must trust that the other will bring their VIP clients and want to share their contacts – IT HAS TO BE A GIVING ENVIRONMENT.
IT CANNOT include a referral partner (co-host) that is only in it for them.
IT CONNOT be a platform for a PUSH SELLING strategy, but instead one of building connections and nurturing relationships.
It is also IMPORTANT to have the process managed properly by someone outside, keeping the communication ongoing pre and post event and making sure that a campaign is created and set up to deliver the right message.
Done correctly, and with consideration of your other marketing activities, this sort of collaboration will change the way you think about events It’s not about being a hero for an evening of entertainment to who ever shows up, trying to push your wares or throwing money at something that is not sustainable. It’s about real authentic engagement, about showing up to your community (clients and referral partners), about nurturing your connections and being a leader.
“….if you want to go far, go together.”