Event marketing is hardly a sure thing to attract new referrals and new business. However, it is still one of the best ways to gather potentially interested individuals for a specific purpose – the scheduled event. But there are a few simple things that may improve the results of your event as well as a list of 10 successful events held by advisors recently.
First, here are 10 successful and unique events that have been attracting new business over the past 12 months for advisors. Dare to try out something new for your next event? Here is some inspiration:
- A Tesla showroom for a reception and viewing of the newest electric cars.
- Cooking Class and Dinner: Learning how to cook Paleo
- Private tour of a Professional Sports Team facilities
- An evening at an Auto Mechanics Shop for women: Learning what you need to know to not get taken advantage of by auto service and oil change shops.
- A Workshop on how to find and collect Antiques
- French Wine Tasting event
- Whiskey Tasting event
- Casino Night (using “funny money” so no gambling)
- Grandparents Workshop: An overview of the top trips, games and electronics that can be enjoyed with your grandkids (of all ages).
- Vacation Night: An overview from a travel agent on the top 10 trips for those over age 65.
The key is to make the event popular enough so your clients will bring their friends, you can meet new prospects, and you will have reasons to follow up and begin forging new, profitable relationships.
Whether you are ready to try a new unique event or just want to make your existing events better, here are a few easy ways to improve your next event:
1. Create a compelling, “What’s in it for me?” (the reader), invitation. The benefits need to shout out to the reader and must answer the questions, “Why should I attend?” and “Why should I care?” and “Why should I ask a friend to come with me to this event?”
2. Incorporate a campaign of phone calls, when possible, to personally invite people to your event. Let them know why they may want to attend and why this event should matter to them. These calls will increase your attendance, sometimes dramatically, beyond just the mail. And, if your event is a bring-a-friend/referral type event, this can be effectively clarified in the phone call to invite. Without the calls, events today are likely to have much lighter attendance than in the past.
3. Have a systematic follow up plan for AFTER the event. The plan needs to be detailed, in writing, and assigned in advance. Design your reason, before the event, that you will use to contact participants afterward. You may call to schedule an appointment, send out a picture of the individual(s) from the event and call, or discuss some educational topic from the event. Script it out and simply execute after the event. The red zone opportunity occurs after you have completed the event. Certainly don’t do all the work and then drop the ball on the follow up (although many do). It may be the least fun part of hosting an event, but it’s the only real activity that matters.