Attending an event is an enticing thought. Once you’ve identified an event as an excellent opportunity for branding and awareness, the prospect of attending it becomes exciting. But as any event marketing professional can tell you, driving results at the event is a different question altogether.
There are many aspects of the event that need to be evaluated before you decide to pack your bags. For example, the size of the event plays a crucial role in the results you bring back. If the event is a big one, it is sure to be an excellent opportunity to talk about your brand and meet bigger industry players. A small trade show, on the other hand, is guaranteed to give you a lot more time to talk to your customers and build relationships.
On that note, here are five questions you need to ask yourself before committing to an event.
Am I setting relevant goals?
As event marketers, it is crucial to pay attention to what needs to be achieved at the event. Setting quantifiable, relevant, and achievable goals can be the difference between a great marketing campaign and a shambolic one. The goals you set can often tell you the kind of efforts that need to be taken to reach them. But how do you know you are setting the right type of event objectives?
The first step to setting your event objectives is being as specific as possible. This way, you ensure that they are as pinpoint as possible. Next, identify metrics that tie directly into these objectives. This tells you what to measure and how to go about taking the right effort to boost these metrics. And finally, ensure that you keep an eye on these metrics throughout the course of the event to track of progression and improvise if needed.
Am I going to be able to show ROI?
Showing event ROI is one of the biggest challenges of attending an event. Measuring event ROI is just as challenging as maximizing it because success can be subjective. To some, success may be equated to the number of badges scanned at the event, while to others, it may mean high social media engagement.
The first step to anticipating if you’re going to be successful at the event is to carefully analyze your event objectives and to evaluate the efforts you are going to take to achieve them. This will tell you the sort of results you are likely to bring in.
Do I have enough meetings lined up?
There’s nothing as unproductive as sitting in your booth and waiting for prospects to walk in and request a sit-down. There’s clearly no way to estimate the number of customers who are going to walk up to your booth and request a meeting. So taking this approach is going to prove futile.
Instead, before you decide to attend an event, ensure that you have a certain number of pre-scheduled meetings lined up. This way, you don’t completely rely on walk-ins to drive up your numbers.
Am I going to meet the right type of people?
Imagine going to an event and finding out that the people attending it are not interested in your product. Not only is this going to be hugely disappointing, but you’re going to face a lot of backlash from your higher-ups.
There’s one simple solution to evaluate if you are going to meet the right kind of people. Map out the ideal customer persona for your product. This will give you an accurate reference point to help you understand who you are looking for on the exhibitor’s floor. Now, analyze the event to gauge the type of audience attending the event. This should tell you if it’s actually worth taking the trip.
What am I going to learn from this experience?
Every event is a learning experience. Whether you make it big or fall flat, there are many things that can be learned from going to a trade show. Choosing to attend an event can help you meet some interesting personalities, while help you hone your skills as an event professional. If you are going to work closely with a colleague from a different team, the event is most likely going to give you some much-needed cross-exposure. This will not only introduce you to some of their challenges but will encourage you to work as a team to overcome common hurdles.
From a customer’s standpoint, events give you the clearest pictures in terms of how your product is being received and what customers think of your product. Analyzing what your customers have to say about your product can also tell you what worked and what did not. So before you choose to attend an event, ensure that you have a way to collect and implement crucial customer feedback.
Once you have the answers to these questions, you are more likely to take an informed decision on whether attending the event is worth the effort and investment. Successful B2B events can give you a new sense of direction, help you meet valuable influencers, and highlight the things that matter to your brand the most.