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3 Tips For Running Your Own Successful B2B Event Or Seminar

Running a face-to-face event or seminar can be a great way to interact with your target market and, of course, generate new business. But it’s getting harder and harder to encourage people to leave their workplaces and attend an event. So the way in which the event is managed and delivered will be the difference between its success and an empty seminar room. Here’s 3 practical tips to help make sure your next event is a success.

1. Get your metrics right

Firstly, start with your commercial objectives. If we assume that the event is a vehicle for generating new customers, then what is your likely average gross profit per new customer? Once you have this, multiply that by how many new customers you think you will generate from the event. The resulting monetary figure will give you an idea of how much you have to spend on the event. In other words, you probably won’t want to spend £5000 on the event if the GP you’re likely to generate is £4000. It might seem obvious, but it’s worth doing these basic sums; you might find that the potential return is larger and therefore justifies spending more on the event’s venue or a guest speaker.

Once you have your budget, consider your invite process. Make sure you have enough people to invite to achieve the target number of delegates. So for instance, if you want 25 people in the room, don’t think that 500 or possibly even 5000 invites will be sufficient to fill the room. Unless the target audience already knows you well, you could need as many as 1000 invites for each delegate registered. So, if your target audience quantity is only in the hundreds or low thousands, you may need to consider other options such as telemarketing to help improve your ratio of invites-to-registrations.

Also, remember there could be a fairly high drop-out rate. So, again, if you don’t already have a relationship with your delegates (e.g. as previous customers), you could see as many as 50% of your delegates either drop out, or just not show up on the day. This might mean you need as many as 50 people booked to hit your target of 25 delegates.

2. Get your delegates right

A common oversight with events is that too much focus is placed on how many people attend the event. The number of delegates shouldn’t come before their quality.  There is little point having a packed room of junior people who are simply there on a fact finding mission (unless of course your target market is junior staff).

For many businesses, they would probably be better to have a ‘roundtable’ event with 10 managing directors (or 10 ‘buyers’ from any industry you’re targeting) than a seminar with 25 junior people, or 25 fact-finders. Also bear in mind, if you have too many delegates, you won’t have time to speak to them all during the breaks, so you might well find some delegates leave after the event and no one has spoken to them.

3. Get your content right

If you put yourself in the shoes of your invitee for a moment, this is how you might perceive the event you’re being invited to: a hassle to attend, boring, and just an opportunity to be hit with the hard sell.

I know that might sound a little severe, but it’s worth assuming your invitees have this mindset – often they will initially – so knowing this, your invite and content knows what it must overcome.

My advice is always to give, give, give – but don’t sell. So, give as much really valuable information as you can. Solve the delegates’ problems, give them answers, tips, and actionable free advice. Give them all you can. Don’t worry about delegates then taking your information and ‘doing it themselves’ – and if any do, they’re likely not a good customer for you in the first place. All the other ‘good’ delegates will instead see you as the expert you are, and therefore see you as the default choice for the service you offer.

About the Author: Andrew Huggett is a professional marketer who helps businesses gain greater results from their marketing.

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