Meetings are the building blocks to any event campaign and most often, the manner in which they are organized is a direct indication of how the company functions. Event marketers strive to create successful meetings but the objective is not just to create a stellar meeting experience. It extends to helping the customer make a decision towards buying the product/service.
Event attendees view events as an investment of their time towards achieving a certain business objective. This makes it important for event marketers to use their time wisely. In this blog, we look at a few types of meetings that constitute a great event campaign.
Scheduling the right type of meetings
In our previous blog, we elaborated on things that constitute a great B2B meeting. One of the things we can’t emphasize enough on is the importance of the meeting agenda, and in extension, scheduling the right type of meeting in your corporate meeting planning interface. The meeting agenda has very close ties with meeting objectives and the direction in which the meeting should be going.
Much like the agenda, the type of meeting gives attendees a clearer picture of what is going to be discussed. This makes it easier for them to address the priority vs decision binary and narrow down on who needs to attend the meeting. For example, a product demo will tell attendees that an end user will need to be present to understand how the product works. And if the problem is a pressing one, a higher management decision maker being present will also shorten the time taken to close the sale.
Seven meeting types that make up a great event
1:1 meeting – Your prospect is at the booth and he/she seems interested in what you have to offer based on a previous conversation. This has prompted him/her to schedule a meeting with you. A 1:1 meeting with an executive creates a productive setting to help them understand your product/service in greater detail and how it can help them address their problem. To ace this type of meeting, it is advisable to train executives to create and rehearse a narrative that leads customers to a product demo.
Product demo – Once your customer has understood the value that your product/service brings to the table, it is easier to direct them towards a demo meeting. A product demo helps them get a hands-on understanding of your product. The best way to get the most out of a demo is taking note of what customers expect from it and talking about features that address their most pressing pain points. And most importantly, the pitch needs to be structured around how your product is going to benefit them and not what you have to offer.
Booth tour – You have taken the time and effort to set up your booth elaborately and this has resulted in attendees taking notice. A booth tour can give them an opportunity to experience the facilities you have put together in a unique way. This can, in turn, help you create the setting for an elevator pitch that can lead them into a 1:1 meeting.
Off-site meeting – Meeting rooms tend to create a tad-too-serious atmosphere that can throw prospects off. Sometimes, a change of setting can go a long way in putting a prospective customer at ease. To aid in this, you could direct them to a different venue to either talk about the product or discuss the sales pipeline, depending on where they are in the sales process.
Press meetings – Publicity plays an integral role in the success of events. A press briefing gives you a chance to form a relationship with press personnel. Engaging with press personnel can go a long way in creating a compelling narrative around your product. The content created by the press extends to their user base and can go a long way in gaining business opportunities beyond the event.
Customer meetings – Events are undoubtedly great ways to directly interact with your target audience. But they are also great ways to forge long-term relationships with existing accounts. You can use this type of meeting to introduce them to new product features and releases. Additionally, this is the ideal way to cement them down to a longer term of use and becomes the perfect venue to upsell and cross-sell.
Walk-in meetings – At every event, there is a certain percentage of meetings that are not pre-scheduled. But just because these meetings are not on your calendar does not mean that you do not prepare for them. Walk-in meetings are just as important as pre-scheduled meetings. With these meetings, you know that you have the perfect opportunity to deliver brand messages to suit the situation and the prospect.
Meetings are beneficial to both parties involved. Preparing and managing meetings take a significant amount of time and patience. Setting the right type of meeting type at the outset can take away a lot of the effort in helping internal and external attendees in preparing for the meeting and addressing every point on the meeting agenda.