VAT, the DTCM 10% fee, and event permit requirements are all things event managers have been planning in their event budgets to ensure they maintain and improve their winning events.
So how do you support the increasing costs, manage austerity cuts on client’s side and still increase your sales? We know personalization is the key, so here are the few ways you might want to consider adding to your event plan now:
Who attends your event and WHY?
Do you know why people attend your event? (Their side of the story not your sales pitch 😊.)
See who attends your events, separate the regulars with new ones and those who attended only once and never come back. See what are the similarities in each group. Find what motivates their decision to attend, perhaps have actual conversations with a few of them to understand your market better. Is there a concern you can address? Are there topics they want to hear about that you can add to your program?
If you see most of your attendees not returning, perhaps your main focus should be to generate more leads instead of working on past attendees. Segment your date based on preferences, past activity, departments / sectors as much as possible at this stage.
Talk their language at their convenience
Ask your attendees how to they want to be communicated, its quite annoying to get a call for some people while a lot of the people we know would love to talk about the event before they decide whether to attend or not and find out more about it. Some love to read brochures while for the digitally savvy, prints go in the bin almost immediately to clear their desk.
See what your attendees want and accommodate as much as your marketing budget can to accommodate them to save both time and money for your sales and marketing teams.
Watch what they click on
Use social media to connect with existing and recruit new attendees. Invest in a good marketing software to track your attendee’s activities while on your website. Someone checking out hotels in your city while surfing your event has better chances of attending your event even if they haven’t contacted you for registration yet. Invest in providing your delegates an experience rather than a product, incorporate hotel and potentially flight bookings within your event websites so its easier for delegates to plan their journey. Most hotels and credible travel agencies would provide you of the online portals free of cost and you can skin them co-branded to provide a 360o experience to your attendees at no extra cost or effort but with just a bit of pre-planning.
Personalize mail content and tracks
By now you should know the basics – who attends, why do they do that, what can I do to improve their experience; use this knowledge to draft mail templates that can be modified by your sales and marketing teams to connect better with their targets.
Don’t send a register now email to all the database when some have already registered, similarly, don’t send a production related topic mail to a management level delegate when a process management track will be appreciated more in their line of work.
Post event interactions
By now you should have spoken to, emailed and enthralled your attendees, for those who didn’t attend this year despite your honest efforts, send a ‘sorry you couldn’t join’ mailer with highlights of the event, some testimonials (ideally skewed to the individual segment you are trying to get in).
Keeping open communication is the key here, for those who did attend your event, don’t stop speaking to them till you need them to pay and attend your event again! It’s a little selfish don’t you think? Since you know them so well, try having a monthly or at least a bi-monthly mailer with news about topics related to your event focus, new innovations they may be interested in. Your speaker submission (research papers, presentations at other events, future speaker related news etc) is all free content that can bring in the big number you are planning on achieving.
In short, learn to be more customer-centric then topic-centric, more focal then direct, more personal than generic. So long as you say what your audience wants to hear and needs long enough and consistently enough, you will have a full show.
So, if you are organizing a conference or seminar, why not email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on +971 50 2186 186 to see how we can improve your perfection!