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Create an Experience your Prospects Won’t Forget

by Michelle Phelps

 

Your sales goals for the year are set. Now it’s time to get in front of your prospects in a way that they will remember and love. What about planning an event? But not just any event. Something that will keep people talking about and engaged with your brand for months to come.

You may be thinking, “But I’m not an event planner.” It doesn’t matter!

Here are five simple steps to help you prospect with purpose and create an incredible experience no one will forget:

 

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is essential to the process. Setting event goals and knowing your target audience determines what a meaningful experience looks like.

Are you generating overall brand awareness? Are you introducing a new product to the market? Are you creating buzz around a larger campaign?

Asking yourself these questions will help to determine what success looks like and who will attend your event. Your event’s look and feel depend on what you’re trying to accomplish and the demographic of your invitees.

A few other things to keep in mind when setting event goals:

  1. What do you want people to think, do and feel when they get your invitation? Evoking immediate emotion will help drive those RSVP yeses.
  2. Does the date of the event conflict with any other major events in the area? Don’t plan your event around a large industry conference, a major sporting event or a holiday.
  3. What is the competition doing? Being informed about what your direct competitors in the marketplace are up to is a good first step in setting your event apart.

 

Now that you know who your target demographic and what a successful event looks like, it’s time to get creative. Developing a unique theme will help drive the direction and set the tone for the entire event. The event theme will also drive all of your other planning decisions.

Consider your audience’s needs and your brand when looking for inspiration. Is there a way you can play off the name of your company or the products/services you’re promoting? Is there something relevant to the brand that coincides with a new industry trend?

Gone are the days when you could depend on badass entertainment or a killer speaker to get people in the door. Today, attendees want a personalized experience that is both engaging and memorable.

One more thing to remember: the right theme will attract attendees and build brand loyalty, but a theme that is tacky or boring could damage your company’s reputation. Proceed with caution.

 

Your theme is set! Now it’s time to bring it to life.

Sure, being invited to a luxury skybox at a local sporting event sounds fun. But will it help you stand out from your competition? No, because everyone else is already doing it.

If you’re looking to deliver an interesting experience, explore unconventional venues like a glass blowing studio or a paddlewheel boat. Your venue should not only compliment, but also be an extension of your theme.

Create interactive activities like live science experiments or a private mixology course to get attendees involved. These are the type of things that will keep prospects talking about you for months to come, and they may even turn a prospect into a client.

 

Your successful and engaging event is winding down, and satisfied prospects are starting to filter out. Don’t let them leave empty-handed.

Crafting a hyper-relevant giveaway for your prospects to take back to the office the next day will get them chatting with co-workers about their experience.

The giveaway should be practical and relevant to your brand but also as unique as the event theme and venue.

Whether it’s a custom computer sticker for a tech event or a jar of organic jam from a restaurant opening, make sure it helps your brand stand out and remain memorable.

 

After months of planning, the event is over. Now what?

The follow-up in many respects is MORE important than the event itself. Revisiting your initial goals and having KPIs to measure will be critical to gauge the success of your event.

Did you get the RSVPs and attendance you hoped for? Were you able to collect a certain amount of emails? Did you demo your product to a specific number of people? Were you able to generate a target number of MQLs?

You’ll save yourself a lot of time and headaches by building your follow-up into your original event timeline.

Planning an event can be exhausting. You’ll thank yourself for working ahead on a post-event email journey or follow-up sales strategy before the event is fully executed.


Want to see how Red Caffeine makes events like these happen? Take a look at the Experience Amazing Roadshow we planned and produced for Amazon Web Services. Hit us up so we can start planning your next badass event!