Proven Methods for Achieving Lead Conversion with Conference Marketing

From Events to Revenue: 15 Proven Methods for Achieving Lead Conversion with Conference Marketing

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Posted on June 7, 2023

Conference marketing is a popular tactic to engage your audience and raise awareness around your brand. If done right, events teach, inspire, and create a common interest more than any other marketing strategy. 

From retail to technology, brand events can be a valuable opportunity to move leads through the funnel. According to reports, 41% of marketers see events as the most crucial marketing channel. 

There are several ways to run conference marketing for your brand. Whether virtual, in-person, or hybrid, the keys to successful conference marketing are a data-driven approach, thorough preparation, and a solid strategy.

In today’s article, we have brought you 15 proven methods to convert leads into paying clients and boost revenue with conference marketing. 

15 Proven Methods for Achieving Lead Conversion with Conference Marketing

Pre-Event Preparation

1. Define goals and objectives.

You must know what you want to accomplish to use your resources best. So, clearly define your goals and objectives before you plan the conference. 

Outlining your goals will keep you focused on the target throughout the process. This alignment will show in your event’s messaging and let you communicate clearly with your audience. 

Lack of direction causes brands to burn a hole in their pocket and still end up with a failed marketing campaign. Sorting out your priorities early on will ensure every penny spent rounds back to your event’s purpose. You will stick to your budget while avoiding bumps in the event planning process. 

2. Identify and target your audience.

Not every event will appeal to every individual. It makes little sense to spend resources promoting to everyone. Your approach needs to target specific audience segments for the best results. This way, you can personalize your efforts and maximize attendance. 

Your first-party and third-party customer data must thoroughly identify your target audience. The more detailed your data is, the easier it will be to find the right audience

To detect the best audience segments for your conference marketing strategy, here are some factors you need to consider:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Education 
  • Position
  • Buying decision

If you have organized similar brand events, visit your past event attendees. You will understand your audience’s demographic better. 

Send surveys to your email list to gather customer information and zero in on your target group. 

3. Create engaging content and collateral.

Next, you must prepare the promotional materials for your conference marketing strategy. Create engaging content and collaterals for your event to spark and sustain interest. You can even invite your list by emailing them about the conference like Method in Madness.

Live tweet your event ideas and ask for your audience’s input. This will make them feel included and likely to join your event. Attach vibrant pictures to increase engagement and reach. 

Creating reels with sneak peeks of your event preparations is an excellent way to create intrigue among your target audience. Behind-the-scenes videos will also bring authenticity and humanize your conference marketing efforts. You can also shoot some time-lapse videos of the event planning process to add a wow factor to your promotions. 

4. Maximize your digital presence. 

Want your target audience to know about your event? Build an active digital presence. Combining digital marketing with a thriving virtual company will promote your event to a broader audience and maximize participation.

Promote your event content on relevant social media channels. Reshare the reels you created for event promotions. Update your brand’s Instagram bio to mention the event. 

Create dedicated hashtags to build a buzz around your conference marketing. 

For example, the South by Southwest film festival uses #SXSW to promote its event. #CMC2022 for Content Marketing Conference 2022 was simple and effective, with over 10,000 attendees joining the event. 

If you plan to have guests or speakers, feature them in your event’s promotion campaign. Talk about their expertise on your social media handles with infographics, pictures, and videos. Posting countdowns will create urgency around your event and increase reach. 

5. Leverage partnerships and sponsorships.

Partnering with relevant brands for your event will drive awareness among a broader audience base and engagement. Finding the right partners and sponsors adds credibility to your event and increases your event’s budget. 

Find partners with a similar marketing approach. You want brands whose audience demographics match yours but need to be more direct competitors. Thoroughly research their event marketing history to examine their success and check their alignment with your brand image. 

Understand your sponsor’s and partner’s marketing needs and convey how your event can deliver them. If you have executed conference marketing campaigns earlier, show how they boosted your ROI. Instead of promises, share quantifiable numbers. 

Darshan Somashekar, founder of Hearts.land explains, “We’ve partnered with companies who promote our games where the winner gets entered into a raffle. It’s a win-win as they drive fun engagement, and we drive awareness to our games.”

During the Event

6. Optimize your booth or exhibit.

Event booths are a great way to communicate with your audience directly, create memorable experiences, and build quality relationships. To enhance effectiveness, you need to introduce engaging materials. 

If you plan to have pop-up booths and exhibits, ensure your venues are easily accessible. Remember, while an appealing stand may create an excellent first impression, your staff will determine the exhibit’s success. 

Train your staff to talk about your brand and handle different questions. They should be welcoming and encourage people to approach your stand. 

7. Engage attendees through interactive activities.

Include interactive elements in your booths. Product demonstrations and Q&A sessions are a great way to engage the audience and showcase your product’s capabilities. Keep enough pamphlets and handbooks to hand out to your attendees. 

Give your audience a chance to try your product out live. Engage the audience and raise awareness around your product. Consider event gamification to increase engagement if it’s a virtual program.

Casper, a mattress brand, famously disrupted the market with their unique take on experience marketing. The company arranged a 15-city Nap Tour with traveling Napmobiles and invited the audience to try out their mattress.

8. Deliver impactful presentations and sessions.

Creating a fun experience is crucial for successful conference marketing. But your event must deliver value if you want your attendees to take you seriously. 

Here’s what you can do to make your event more impactful: 

  • Invite industry experts as guest speakers. It will establish your credibility as a brand while delivering value to your audience. 
  • For corporate events, holding networking sessions will pique your attendees’ interest in your event. 
  • Hold seminars to offer industry knowledge. 
  • Deliver graphic presentations. 

9. Provide value-added giveaways and rewards.

Incentivize your audience for attending your event. The rewards don’t have to be grand but should show you value their participation. 

If it’s a virtual event, organize social media giveaways. You can also hold competitions to keep the energy high. Include small gifts, vouchers, or exclusive offers as rewards. 

Keep brand swag, like t-shirts, bags, mugs, etc., as parting gifts. Consider arranging goodie bags with product samples if it’s a small event. Keep refreshments and snacks ready for your attendees. Free lunches are another great way to incentivize people. 

10. Capture and qualify leads in real time.

People attend your events only when they find your brand interesting. So, while outlining your conferencing marketing strategy, ensure proper lead-gathering protocols are in place.

Use in-person interactions with your attendees as an opportunity to capture quality leads. While conducting seminars, distribute forms to collect their emails and contact numbers to follow up later. 

Booths and pop-up exhibits are also suitable mediums for gathering leads. Train your staff to assess audience interest and gather real-time information. 

Apart from in-person interactions, you can also try these:

  • Social media: Use social media platforms like TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to engage with potential attendees before, during, and after the event. Create content for your target audience and share it on these platforms. It’ll help attract and engage leads.
  • Incentives: Offer incentives to attendees who provide their contact information. This could include things like free trials, discounts, or exclusive content. It should be valuable enough to get them to provide their input.
  • Targeted email campaigns: Use this for potential attendees. Segment your email list based on demographics, interests, and behaviors to ensure relevance.
  • Partnerships: Identify organizations with a similar audience and partner with them to promote your event. This expands your reach and generates leads from a wider pool.
  • Paid advertising: Use targeted advertising on platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads to reach potential attendees. When done right, you can target low-hanging, BoFu leads who are actively interested in your industry.

Post-Event Follow-Up

11. Develop a follow-up plan.

Concluding your event on a pleasant note is not the end of the road. To meet your conference marketing objectives, devise a solid post-event follow-up plan. It lets you convert the gathered leads quickly while the event is fresh in your attendees’ minds.

Here’s what you need to do to create a practical follow-up plan: 

  • Arrange post-event surveys 
  • Create personalized thank-you emails
  • Gather user-generated content from the event 
  • Create content about the event’s success 
  • Use white-label video conferencing solutions

12. Prioritize and segment leads for targeted outreach.

Segment the leads you gathered in your event. Divide them according to demographics like age, location, gender, product interests, attended activities, etc. This way, you can create a targeted outreach and personalize the post-event follow-ups. Your attendees will notice your attention to detail and opt for your business, especially if you offer an incentive like Semrush.

13. Create personalized and timely communications

Personalized follow-ups can make or break your event’s success. Ensure you reach out to your attendees right after the event. You can thank them for participating, like Maze Design, share post-event surveys to take their feedback, and then deliver a follow-up pitch for the best results. 

Remember to greet the attendees by their first names. To sweeten the deal, include relevant offers with your follow-up message. 

Leverage automation to streamline follow-up. 

After a big event, a manual follow-up process with every attendee is hectic. It also makes personalization error-prone and compromises your chances of conversion. 

With an automated follow-up system, you don’t need to worry about precision. Every attendee will get tailored post-event messages at the right time.

You can choose email automation software to set up automated email sequences based on triggers, such as when you add a new contact to your list. Then, segment your lists. Next, create target email sequences and set up triggers and timing to ensure timely action. 

You can also test and optimize this based on the metrics you want to achieve.

Nurture leads through the sales funnel.

To improve your effective sales outreach:

  1. Refrain from assuming your lead’s interest after a successful event.
  2. Nurture their journey through the sales pipeline by reinforcing your product’s value.
  3. Ask about their pain points, provide relevant solutions, and answer queries with the correct information.

This way, you will build strong relationships with your leads and ensure future business. 

Remember to evaluate your approach and pivot your strategy to get better results. Also, since every lead is unique, personalize your outreach and messaging to incite action. You can even experiment with fresh approaches to increase conversions.

Conclusion

Planning and promoting a brand event takes time to execute. But with the right approach, the benefits are just as rewarding. You can create a timeline to help you affect changes and track progress to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Here are a few parting suggestions: 

  • Offer inc.tives for early event registrations to enhance interest 
  • Examine your budget at every stage of the planning.
  • Take the insights you gather from post-event surveys seriously to enhance your conference marketing strategy in the future.
  • Use social media for live event coverage

Gather the right team, find the right sponsors, and ‌get creative with event marketing strategies.

 

Mehdi Hussen is a SaaS marketing and organic growth consultant. He helps SaaS businesses drive organic growth and customer acquisition through SEO and data-driven content marketing strategies. Mehdi spends his spare time musing about startup growth strategies, personal productivity, and remote work. Connect with him through Twitter or LinkedIn.

 

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