What is Event Marketing? - Instapage Marketing Guide

What is Event Marketing?

Why should you read this guide?

Discover how events can be used in your marketing strategy to build awareness and increase customer engagement.

Find out how companies are using event marketing in their campaigns.

Explore the different types of events and various roles your company can have at an event.

Learn how to prepare for your event to ensure successful results.

What is Event Marketing?

Event marketing is a strategy marketers use to promote their brand, product, or service with an in-person or real-time engagement. These events can be online or offline, and companies can participate as hosts, participants or sponsors. Marketers use both inbound and outbound event marketing strategies for promotional purposes.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the event industry will grow by 44% from 2010 to 2020, exceeding most growth predictions for other industries. So why is the event industry growing so quickly and why has it become such an integral part of successful marketing strategies?

Event marketing is one of the best ways to:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Increase customer engagement
  • Generate leads
  • Educate prospects and customers
  • Upsell customers

Why You Should Include Marketing Events in Your Plan

An event marketing plan can help your company stand out in a crowded marketplace. By combining event marketing with your digital campaigns, you create a more meaningful and longer lasting relationship with your buyers.

Whether it’s an exclusive appreciation dinner, an informational webinar, or you’re a sponsor at a trade show, events offer a unique chance to interact with your customers on a more personal level. Having a direct interaction is invaluable to fostering a long and prosperous relationship.

Events, if done right, can be one of your most impactful marketing channels.

Dunkin’ Donuts used Facebook Live video on Valentine’s Day to create an event that showed viewers how they create new products and ended with the creation of a gigantic donut-themed wedding cake.

The Facebook Live event had a total of 43,000 viewers, that’s 43,000 people engaged in watching donuts being made:

Dunkin' Donuts Facebook Live Video Event on Valentine's Day

Still not sold on the power of event marketing, just look at the stats:

Why are Companies Using Event Marketing?

Branding and Awareness

74% of event attendees say that they have a more positive opinion about the company, brand or service being promoted after the event

One of the biggest reasons companies participate in, or host, an event is to establish and build their brand name and identity. With the increasingly fierce competition in almost every industry, being able to differentiate yourself is crucial.

You may choose to participate in specific marketing events to associate with the host’s name and ecosystem, to gain access to a highly targeted audience, or show off your brand’s personality.

Let’s take a look at some different events and why a brand would choose to participate:

  • Dreamforce: you want to penetrate the Salesforce ecosystem. You’re trying to sell to their target market and customers.
  • The Super Bowl: you want your brand name to reach a broad audience and associate with some of the biggest names in advertising.
  • Fashion Week: you’re a lifestyle brand that wants to establish yourself in the luxury category.

When selecting which event you want to participate in, or the type of event you’d like to host, first think about who your customer is and what kind of event they’re likely to attend. That’s where you’ll want to focus your resources.

By creating a memorable experience at events with your target buyers in attendance, they’re more likely to think of your brand first when they’re looking to purchase and more likely to buy from you in the future.

Another way companies build brand awareness at events is by connecting with reporters who will be there. If done right, they can establish relationships with influential journalists or bloggers in their industry, get press coverage on their product, and position themselves as thought leaders.

Customer Engagement

In-person events help humanize your company and create a more authentic connection with consumers. By immersing your customers in a unique and memorable experience, they’re more likely to have an emotional tie to your brand and will be more inclined to share their experience with friends, and maybe even other businesses.

Word-of-mouth is the most effective means of generating new customers. And happy, engaged customers are more likely to talk about your product or service and refer others.

Engaged customers also buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction and are five times more likely to buy from the same brand in the future, according to research conducted by Rosetta Consulting.

By creating a meaningful interaction between your brand and your customers, you have a higher likelihood of increasing client retention and creating brand loyalists in the process.

Lean Cuisine managed to engage customers through their #WeighThis event by creating an experience for their customers that was non-disruptive, it allowed customers to share their personal stories on what they have accomplished, or ‘what they want to be weighed on’.

The brand didn’t explicitly sell its products but what it did was create an environment centered around a healthy lifestyle, which is what the brand is known for. The event was a success at engaging customers as it managed to get over 33% increase in positive brand perception:

Lean Cuisine WeighThis Rebranding Event

Lead Generation

79% of US marketers generate sales using event marketing.

Conferences and events are a powerful way to engage with your target audience, gain a more in-depth understanding of their pain points, and facilitate their decision-making process. When people attend an event, they’ve already shown an interest in the product or service you’re offering, and many times they’re ready to make a purchasing decision.

To facilitate the purchasing process, you’ll need a plan in place to capture qualified leads’ information to follow up after the event. Ways to engage with prospects and collect their information include:

  • Demo stations
  • Speaking sessions
  • Social Media
  • Hosting a sponsored party at, or nearby, the event

Where you collect lead information will dictate how you later communicate with that prospect. Each touchpoint shows different levels of engagement and intent to buy, so you’ll need to nurture the leads accordingly.

Capturing Lead Intelligence From Events

Before an event, you should set up a lead scoring model. Your lead scoring should incorporate information collected from scanning a participant’s badge (like company size, industry, and title) as well as how many, and which, touchpoints they engaged with during the event and their previous level of engagement with your company.

Education

65% of consumers said live events helped them have a better understanding of a product or service, vastly surpassing digital efforts and TV advertising as methods of recognizing and learning about a brand.

One of the main reasons people attend business conferences, seminars, and trade shows is to learn about new strategies, technologies, and use cases for a product or service.

  • If you’re sponsoring an event and have a booth, have well-trained staff who can give demos that address people’s pain points and can answer prospects’ questions with confidence. Make sure you collect prospects’ information so that you can send them relevant information and resources after your interaction. This outreach will continue the relationship and keep your company top-of-mind when they’re making a purchasing decision.
  • If you’re speaking at an event, make sure your speech is both informative and entertaining. Think about presenting a unique use-case, hands-on training, or discussing a new perspective on how to use a technology or service. Try to engage with the audience by asking questions during or after your session.
  • If you’re hosting an event, select keynote and session speakers, who can provide a unique viewpoint or can educate users on how to get more value out of your product or service. If you can secure a big name in the industry, it will help attract a more substantial crowd and lend your event more credibility.

You can also use online events to educate current and prospective customers. Tough Mudder used Facebook Live to showcase their event that featured Coach T. Mud. The coach not only taught participants and viewers what it was like to run through the endurance event, but also promoted Tough Mudder’s training programs and other materials.

The event had a total of 51,000 viewers, that’s how many people learned about Tough Mudder’s new programs:

Tough Mudder Facebook Live Event Featuring Coach T. Mud

Upselling Customers

Many times, upselling is a natural extension of educating your customers. Use demos or webinars as a soft-sell for new product offerings.

If your event staff listen to a customer’s pain points and then give a demonstration of how specific features address their needs, it’s likely that they’ll present new features that require a customer to upgrade or purchase an additional product offering.

By demonstrating that your company understands your customers’ needs and taking the time to address how your product or service can fix specific pain points, whether in-person or via a live webinar, it creates more trust. Your upsell will seems less salesy and more helpful.

What Kind of Marketing Events are There?

Online Marketing Events

Digital marketing events offer companies a less expensive alternative to hosting or participating in physical events. They also allow businesses to reach a global audience more effortlessly and to create events that address timely topics that physical events, which require more lead time, can’t do.

Webinars

Live webinars help facilitate engagement with prospects and customers. Webinars revolve around product demos, presentations, and discussions, and are usually 30-60 minutes long.

If you host a live webinar, make it interactive by allowing participants to ask questions and taking polls. This increases customer engagement and makes viewers feel like they received real value for taking the time to watch your webinar. Polling also gives you valuable data that you can then share with your marketing, product, and sales teams.

Get creative with your webinar format and topics to keep participants interested. Think beyond just presenting a slide deck and droning on for an hour without stop.

Instapage hosts a weekly webinar where our lead marketing educator Ander Frischer covers marketing topics such as digital advertising personalization, custom acquisition and message matching:

Instapage Weekly Webinar Series Featuring Ander Frischer

Engage people at the start by asking them a question, like what they’re excited about learning, and then address those points during the presentation. Or bring on a guest to discuss a topic instead of always having it be a one-man (or woman) show.

If you think your presentation is valuable for a broad audience, consider putting it up on SlideShare to build brand awareness and to position your company as a thought leader.

Live Streaming Events

Live streaming allows people who are unable to attend in person to see presentations and interact with your brand via social media. It can also be a fun way to offer viewers a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at your event, creating more transparency and giving your company a human face.

Starbucks used live streaming to broadcast their event showcasing the importance of voting. The chairman and CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz and rapper Common talked about the importance of voting and urged viewers to send in questions which they would later answer in order to increase engagement for the event.

The event had a total of 167,000 viewers:

Starbucks Live Streaming Featuring CEO Howard Schultz & Common

You can live stream in-person events that you’re hosting, or participating in, via social media channels like Facebook Live, or invest in a production crew for higher quality broadcasting.

To get viewers involved, ask them questions and have them respond via social media. This will increase engagement and create a sense of community among viewers because they can see people’s responses and organically interact with them.

Finally, you can send out the recording of your live stream to your email subscriber list, or make it available on your social channels. This expands the life of your live broadcast, increasing the ROI of your event even more.

In-Person Events

There’s nothing quite like being able to meet customers and prospects face-to-face. In-person events are a powerful way to move beyond a digital presence, which can seem impersonal to some, and connect with consumers on a more intimate level.

A study by Eventbrite found that 69% of millennials believe attending live events and experiences make them more connected to other people, the community, and the world. By creating a space for people to interact directly with your brand and other customers, you can build a loyal following and create more brand awareness.

There are several formats your live event can take, but the most common are trade shows, conferences, meetups or customer appreciation events.

Trade shows

Trade shows bring together individuals and companies in a particular industry or profession and are often used for lead generation and building brand awareness.

Because there are many businesses present at trade shows, it’s important to think about how to make your brand stand out. If you’re a sponsor with a booth, it’s important to think about the layout and location of your booth.

Xibit Solutions has an interesting infographic on things to consider when designing your booth.

Conferences

Conferences are company-specific events, generally put on by enterprises that have a sizeable and engaged customer base, to deliver information about new product offerings or for educational purposes. The most common example is a user summit.

Conferences typically have multiple sessions and speakers geared towards different interests, roles within an organization, and skill levels.

Sponsoring a conference will increase your brand recognition at the event. With your logo on marketing materials and a presence on the floor with your booth, attendees who are looking for new solutions can easily find you.

Event organizers have already spent the time and money marketing to your target audience and bringing them all to one place. As a sponsor, capitalize on this fact by gearing your entire presence towards this audience. Make sure you have a cohesive, targeted message at your booth, in your marketing materials, and in any presentations you may be giving.

Meetups

Brands can sponsor a local meetup geared towards their target audience to build brand awareness and engagement. These smaller, more intimate events offer brands a chance to network and build relationships with locals. If you have a local business, meetups are a great place to offer specials or promotions to generate new customers as well.

Appreciation Events

Showing your appreciation to your best customers by throwing an event can increase customer satisfaction, retention, referrals, testimonials and even sales. Many times companies do this by hosting a breakfast, lunch, or dinner around a conference that many of their customers will be attending.

What Role Can My Company Have at an Event?

Hosting

Hosting an event is a great way to increase brand awareness and reach your target audience.

When deciding on hosting an event think about:

  • Your customer base: What type of events are they likely to attend?
  • Partnering with non-competing businesses: To share costs and increase your reach.
  • Promoting your event: Will it be more effective to promote your event via social media, email, ads, or all three?
  • How you’ll follow up with leads: What will you do to collect leads’ information and what processes will you put in place for lead nurturing post-event?
  • How you’ll measure your event ROI: Since you’ll be footing the bill, make sure that your event has measurable metrics for success, whether that’s attendee numbers or sales made post-event.

Sponsoring

Companies may choose to sponsor an event for a variety of reasons, some of which include:

  • Lead Generation: To gain access to an engaged and enthusiastic audience who will be more receptive to your message.
  • Branding: To build brand awareness with a target audience, as well as align their brand with the host’s brand and other companies hosting the event.
  • Networking: Conferences provide an opportunity to network with other businesses and potentially create partnerships that make sense for your business.
  • Customer Engagement: Brands can interact directly with their customers to build more meaningful relationships and have the chance to answer any questions or pain points they may have.

Instapage Sponsoring the ConvertKit Conference in Boise, ID

Many times sponsorship opportunities are flexible, so work with the event organizer to create a sponsorship that meets your objectives and budget. You’ll want to ask yourself many of the same questions that you would if you were hosting an event to ensure you maximize the ROI of your marketing spend.

Speaking

Securing a speaking slot at events can be competitive or tied to certain sponsorship levels, but having the opportunity to present at an event can be a great way to position your executives as thought leaders.

By choosing a topic related to your business, you’ll show attendees that you’re a trusted resource and that by extension your company is a trusted resource. It’s also important to network during the event to build your brand.

How Should I Prepare for Marketing Events?

If you want your event to be a success, you’ll need to do some prep work. Sit down with other key decision makers and decide what success looks like for your team and set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish. Create measurable goals and create a plan of action for before, during, and after the event to ensure everyone is aligned.

Set Expectations

It’s important to set expectations for your event internally. Make sure that sales and marketing are aligned on goals and expectations.

Some questions to ask sales:

  • Do you think it would be more useful to participate in an event to build brand awareness, or to take part in a highly targeted conference for lead generation?
  • Are there any events in particular, or type of events, that a lot of your prospects or customers will attend?
  • Can you create a list of accounts and contacts that would benefit from an event touchpoint?
  • Customer Success, are there customers primed for an upsell or up for renewal?

Create Measurable Goals

Once you’ve agreed on what event you’ll be hosting or participating in, you’ll need to decide on what your goals are. This will impact how you measure success.

What do you want to get out of this event?

  • Increased customer engagement
  • New sales leads
  • Increased brand awareness
  • A stronger network of other companies for partnership opportunities
  • More educated customers

If you want to increase customer engagement, some things you can measure are the number of demos given, on-site conversations, and the number of touchpoints a customer interacted with around the event.

If you want to generate new sales leads, you can count the number of new contacts collected.

If you want to build brand awareness, you can measure the number of attendees at your event or booth, impressions, and engagement on event posts, and the amount of swag handed out.

If you want to build partnerships, you can choose which companies you’d like to partner with pre-show and evaluate their level of interest post-show.

If you want to educate customers, you can measure how many demos were given, how many attendees showed up at your sessions, and the number of people you were able to upsell by educating them on new product offerings.

Find out what measurements work best for your team and goals. Then ensure that the sales and marketing team who will be in attendance understand their role at the event and the desired outcome.

Create Physical Collateral
Once your design team has settled on the theme and logos for your event, your team can begin planning physical collateral for your event. Those can include:

This can be quite an overwhelming step, and forgetting something as small as name badges can become a huge issue once the event has arrived. Hiring an outside event planner or a consultant could be a much needed injection of help for your first event.

Promote Your Event

Regardless of what role your company has at an event, you’ll want to publicize your presence. If you’re hosting the event, this is essential for securing registrations, sponsors, and speakers. If you’re participating, you’ll want to promote the fact that you’ll be there and in what capacity (booth, speaking, attending), any giveaways you might have, and any social tags you plan on using during the event.

Direct Mail
A multi-channel promotion strategy can help increase registrations and attendance numbers. Many people are inundated with hundreds of emails daily but don’t receive nearly as much physical mail, so a direct mail campaign has a higher chance of being seen.

The type of event you’ll be hosting should determine what kind of invitation you send out. If it’s an intimate customer appreciation dinner, think about sending a formal invitation. If it’s a large event, consider sending out postcards to a longer mailing list for a more cost-effective way to increase registrations.

Here are some event marketing examples of creative direct mail invitations:

Example of Direct Mail Event Marketing

Anabas, a UK-based facilities management company, hired Better Brand Agency to create a unique event invitation that would be fun and memorable. Using a play on the Willy Wonka golden ticket, they sent chocolate bars with their branding to select clients. Inside the wrapper was a golden ticket with an invitation to the Premises & Facilities Management Awards.

MDVIP Physician Recruitment Direct Mail Inside Wrapper And Direct Mail

MDVIP hired MDG to create “a compelling invitation package that gets physicians excited about MDVIP’s opportunity for a better, brighter future.” They wanted to drive attendance for their weekend recruiting event, with the ultimate goal of recruiting physicians into MDVIP.

Both companies created direct mail invitations that were creative and because they stood out, they increased the registration numbers. They also both had selective mailing lists, only reaching out to important clients and prospects that aligned with their end goals (customer engagement and lead generation respectively).

Email

When creating an email campaign to promote your event, or presence at an event, you’ll need to think through the timing of your touch points and how to segment your mailing list. The timing of your outreach will depend on the type of event.

If it’s a large conference or trade show, you’ll want to start promoting your event at least a month in advance. A sample sequence of emails would be:

  • 1st email: Event announcement and invitation, which includes details like when and where the conference is and what your presence at the event is. You can include a simple way to book appointments with reps that will be at the show and highlight any giveaways or incentives you’ll be offering.
  • 2nd email: Provide further details about your company and what attendees can expect. Remind people of the prizes and free consultations you’re offering, and highlight if someone from your company is speaking or leading a session.
  • 3rd email: Send a reminder email or two in the week leading up to the event to clients you’d like to visit your booth or to confirm appointments people have made. Send relevant details like a map of where your booth will be at the show.

Keep your emails relatively short and link subscribers to your event post-click landing page for more information. Your event post-click landing page should be where people convert on your call-to-action for the event: register, sign up for a free consultation, win a free prize, etc.

post-click landing page

As a best practice, you should create a dedicated event post-click landing page for your event to increase registration numbers and ultimately generate higher ROI for your event.

Your post-click landing page should include:

  • What attendees will learn
  • The list of event speakers
  • An agenda
  • Location and time
  • A countdown timer for event RSVP or registration
  • A lead capture form with a compelling CTA
  • Social media and email sharing buttons to help visitors easily promote to their network

Link to your post-click landing page from CTA’s in your emails, from your promotional ads, and from promoted social posts. By sending event attendees to a dedicated post-click landing page on your website, you’ll have an opportunity to highlight why customers and prospects should visit you at the show and capture leads’ information so you can follow up after the show.

If you’re a host, the goal of your post-click landing page is to sign up sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees.
Create separate post-click landing pages for attendees, for sponsors, and for speakers. Each will highlight different benefits and have a different CTA.

Below is an example of a host post-click landing page aimed at sponsors. You’re directed to this page from the main event microsite. You reach the CTA ‘Apply to be a sponsor’ after you’ve scrolled down and seen their promo video, the list of speakers, and what other brands are sponsoring the event.

VentureBeat Marketing Event post-click landing page

This post-click landing page is highly targeted towards collecting potential sponsors’ information and has rid itself of any distracting navigational links that could take people away from acting on the CTA, thereby optimizing for conversions.

If you’re an exhibitor, you’ll want a dedicated event post-click landing page to collect prospects’ information and to promote your presence at the event. Think about offering a free ebook, or a free demo, as an incentive for people to convert. Keep your lead capture form short and to the point. If you’re offering a prize, give extra entries to your contest for social sharing.

Here’s an event marketing example of a company offering a giveaway to collect a lead’s information:

Dreamforce Marketing Event post-click landing page Example

While this post-click landing page does a good job of highlighting the contest benefits, providing a simple lead capture form with a clear CTA, and has options for social sharing, it has room for improvement. It has too many links that you can click to exit the page, which increases the chance of people leaving without converting

Paid Advertising

Using paid advertising to promote your event is an effective way to increase registrations and capture new leads for your database.

The most common forms of paid advertising used for event promotion are:

  • Search (PPC): PPC ads are structured to reach your target audience when they’re searching for you. Target your ad by keywords associated with your event, geographic location, and even by existing customers. To increase conversions, be sure to link your ad to a dedicated event post-click landing page focused on that audience and with the single goal of driving registrations.
  • Banner and Display: Banner ads appear on websites and are useful for building awareness of your event, or for retargeting. Place your ads on sites you think your target audience visits or remarket based on people’s online behaviors, like visiting your website but not registering.
  • Print Ads: Though not as targeted, printing out flyers or advertising in a newspaper for a local event can help raise awareness of your event in the community.

Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool to increase awareness of your event. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, are great ways to reach your target audience using a combination of paid and organic reach.

Marketing an event on social media:

    • Use ad retargeting: Use ads on Facebook for event marketing to retarget people who have already visited your website but left before registering for your event.

Facebook Promoted Posts Example

    • Promote your posts: Extend your reach and impressions by promoting your event related posts on Twitter, boosting your posts on Facebook, or sponsoring content on LinkedIn. Each platform has different targeting capabilities and is better suited for different audiences, so plan accordingly.

Event Marketing Ad Retargeting Example

    • Create a video: Create a video that highlights the benefits of attending your event and builds excitement. Post it to YouTube and Vimeo and share the link in your promotional emails, on your event post-click landing page, and use shorter clips to promote your event on your social channels.

 

    • Create a dedicated hashtag: Use this hashtag in all of your social promotions. Encourage people to use this # when posting about your event.

Twitter Dedicated Hashtag Example

What Should I Do At The Event?

Promote Authentically: Soft-Sell with Demos

One of the main reasons people come to conferences is because they want to learn more about a product, service, or industry. Many times, people are actively in the market to buy and want to see how different products work to determine what will be the best fit for their company.

This is an opportunity to use a demo as a soft-sell. Show them how your product addresses their pain points and how it’s different from your competitors (especially those at the conference).

Your sales team should secure demos with important prospects before the show. But to increase the number of potential leads, have a prize giveaway or a contest at your booth, and to receive the prize or enter the giveaway, require that people scan their badges or watch a product demo first.

Engage with Customers

If you have valuable customers attending an event you’ll be at, have your sales reps or customer success managers reach out for a friendly check-in. Use this as a touchpoint to engage with your clients, make sure they’re happy with the service they’re receiving, and put a face behind the digital outreach they usually receive.

Putting in the effort to nurture your customer relationships with face-to-face time can go a long way in retaining high-value customers. And according to research done by Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

Live Product Demo Soft Sell Example

Use Real-Time Social Media

Another part of your event marketing plan should be using social media during the event to increase attendee engagement and as a way to interact with people who were unable to attend.

Hosts

If you’re hosting an event and have created an event hashtag, make sure to include the official hashtag in your marketing materials and incorporate it into your tweets and Instagram posts during the event. Broadcasting attendees’ posts live on monitors throughout the conference is also an easy way to leverage individuals’ excitement to encourage more sharing, because people will want to see their posts shared on screen.

Participants

If you’re attending an event, make sure to use the official event hashtag in your posts. This will increase your posts’ visibility and make them searchable if someone is looking for event related posts.

Hosts and Attendees

An easy to way to keep the momentum going and engage with people at the show is to:

  • Share Photos: Live tweet pictures of your team at the conference. According to Twitter’s blog, photo posts get 35% more engagement than standard posts. Share select team photos on Instagram and Facebook as well.
  • Share Videos: Live stream important sessions and ‘behind-the-scenes’ style videos. Don’t be afraid to show your brand’s personality. On Twitter, videos saw a 28% increase in retweets, and on average people spend 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video compared to a video no longer live.
  • Tweet Quotes: During keynotes and sessions, tweet soundbites from well-known speakers and tag the speaker to increase the reach of your tweet. Quotes see a 19% increase in retweets compared to regular tweets.
  • Share your location: Let people know where you’ll be at the event so you can meet other attendees and encourage people to come by your booth. Designate someone from your team to be in charge of live tweeting, live streaming any relevant sessions on Facebook Live or Periscope, and responding to people’s comments and questions on all social platforms. Be sure to create engaging and useful content for both those at the conference and those who were unable to attend.

What Should I Do When Our Marketing Events are Over?

Your event marketing strategy for post-event should be planned in advance. This will put you a step ahead of the competition and ensure that you reach out to leads while they’re still hot. Emails should be written and designed beforehand, discount offers should be agreed upon, and wrap-up blog posts and social posts should be put in the roadmap.

Follow up with Leads with a Targeted Email Campaign

Email follow-ups should be outlined and mostly written before the event occurs. You can prepare by reading the event synopsis, session descriptions, and blog posts to help craft a persuasive message. Then fill in details after the conference or trade show.

Things to keep in mind for your post-event outreach:

  • Personalize your message: Note where you met a prospect (your booth, a session, a party) and include their name, company, and anything that stood out to you about your conversation with that prospect. If it’s a promising lead, have the sales rep who spoke with them reach out.
  • Be timely: Follow up right away so that you’re top of mind with prospects. If it’s a multi-day conference, send emails out to people who’ve visited your booth each night. Thank them for stopping by, and let them know about any of your upcoming speaking engagements or networking events you’ll be attending.
  • Include an offer or piece of content: Depending on what your product or service is, and where someone falls in your sales funnel, reach out with a relevant piece of content or an offer for a free consultation to encourage them to move further down your funnel.
  • A/B test: Test different aspects of your email including subject lines, offers (content, video, promotions), and CTA’s. If you’re offering a piece of content and sending them to a dedicated post-click landing page to download it, A/B test the post-click landing page as well.

Pardot Thank You Email Example

Repurpose Content from the Event

81% of B2B marketers use in-person events as a tactic in their content marketing strategy, and 75% of B2B marketers said that events are an effective tactic.

To maximize the amount of content you produce coming out of your event, and the usefulness of it for your marketing efforts, you’ll need to do some pre-event planning. Think about who will write the content so they can take notes and pictures at the event. Create a concrete timeline for when the content will be published — the sooner, the better.

There are a number of topics you can write about post-event:

  • A conference recap (blog): Include pictures of your team at the event, discuss your favorite aspects of the event, and any lessons learned.
  • Cover specific speakers or sessions you attended (blog): Write recaps of sessions you think your target market would find particularly interesting and your perspective on them.
  • Industry report (white paper based on a survey you conducted at the event): An easy way to maximize a single piece of content from an event is to conduct a survey during the event. Then package the data into a press release, an industry report, a blog post, and use compelling stats on your social media channels. The great thing about data is that you can use it throughout the year when writing content on a related topic.
  • Customer interviews (if you conducted any): If you have happy customers who will be attending an event, ask if you can do a case study with them. If you have a video team, set up a time for a video interview and then write up a case study for your website.

Evaluate Data and Track against Event Goals

Now that the event is over, it’s time to see if your event was a success and to find areas where you can improve for next year. Look at the data you collected at the show, including the number of visitors to your booth, social media engagement, the number of demos given, etc. and compare it to your lead generation, customer engagement, or brand awareness goals.

If your goal is based simply on event attendees, you’ll know how successful your event was right away.

If, however, you have revenue goals tied to leads generated at the event, it will take more time and require more extensive follow-up. Ensure that all of your leads are scored appropriately and are being nurtured either through your marketing or sales funnels, so you don’t miss out on potential customers and the full revenue-generating possibilities of your event.

Assess whether this event was something you’d like to host or participate in again next year and make your case to decision-makers.

Say Thank You to Attendees

Along with your email follow-up, you should direct attendees to a ‘thank you’ post-click landing page. Go beyond a simple ‘thank you for attending,’ however, to get the most out of your event.

Instead, to maximize your lead generation efforts, add a lead capture form and focus your post-click landing page around one conversion goal. That goal can be to sign up for a demo of your product, attend a webinar, drive subscriptions to your blog, or even drive attendance to your next event.

To ensure you leave a lasting impression, build all of your professional event post-click landing pages, including your thank you page, with Instapage. With over 200 conversion-optimized templates to choose from, a designer-friendly builder, advanced A/B testing analytics, and more, you can easily create stunning post-click landing pages at scale. Your conversion rate will thank you.

Turn more ad clicks into conversions

Try the world's first Post-Click Automation™ solution today. Start a trial or schedule a demo to learn more about the Enterprise plan.

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