Marketers face a substantial challenge as they become increasingly responsible for the company's growth agenda and top-line revenue. One key tactic for B-to-B marketing is the user conference. User conferences let marketers connect with customers and prospects in a face-to-face environment. But, putting on a user conference is a costly endeavor, and in the past these conferences have been measured on a primarily subjective basis, making it hard to prove ROI.
In 2014, CRM and marketing automation systems can be integrated with event management technology to connect the user conference effectively with the company's revenue cycle. These technologies can enhance the event as a tool to help nurture attendees from prospects to leads, as well as provide the ability to cross sell and upsell additional offerings that directly affect bottom-line results.
The following tips and best practices demonstrate how event organizers and marketers can leverage user conferences and event management technology to generate bottom-line results for their companies.
1. Focus on the Attendee Experience
Attendees fill out registration form that collect ample amounts of personal information prior to attending a conference. Event organizers can gather specific details about each individual attendee, such as their company's industry, job title and the unique goals they have for the event. Using this information, organizers can tailor the event experience to match the needs of each individual attendee type.
Every attendee touch point and communication should be personalized based on this information. Delivering highly relevant content to each attendee throughout the conference is key. From recommended informational sessions to targeted interactions, every touch should make attendees feel understood, help them achieve their conference goals, and increase their likelihood of attending a future event.
2. Build Participation and Engagement
Attendee participation and engagement are essential to a successful conference. Without the attendees, there would not be an event. Today's social and mobile technologies are here to help by encouraging attendee participation and engagement before, during and after the event.
Mobile event apps connected to social media put relevant conversations and information right in the hands of attendees. Marketers can power these event conversations and deliver relevant information, while enabling attendees to interact with other attendees and event sponsors to build relationships and have meaningful conversations.
Organizers can increase the influence of their mobile platforms by providing the latest event updates and schedule changes directly to attendees in a timely manner. These processes reduce potential stress from being uninformed, and they increase participation in networking opportunities and other events contained within the scope of the conference.
Ultimately, attendees will solidify their position in the buying cycle by becoming educated buyers through the established event participation and engagement opportunities.
3. Nurture Leads After Your Event
When the event ends, the real fun starts for the hosting company. Marketers must conduct a lucrative follow up process that moves leads generated during the conference through the buying cycle quickly and efficiently. This process is enhanced by utilizing the attendee data collected before and during the event. It helps if attendee intelligence gets fed right into the CRM system and the hands of sales and marketing departments, giving those teams the best ability to generate sales from conference leads.
Marketers ultimately obtain the true ROI of their user conferences by knowing exactly how many leads were generated during the event, and how many of those leads translated into company revenue.
User conferences are an increasingly popular way to connect companies with current and prospective customers, creating deeper buyer-seller relationships and ultimately increasing transactions and company revenue. The positive relationships generated from the user conferences are seemingly endless, but due to the high cost, theiy should not be taken lightly or the end goal of generating revenue will be lost.