Many times, producers and/or agencies plan events without ever thinking about this important question. You spend a lot of time and money planning events, you certainly don’t want to have an empty room!
Here are six important things to think about and plan for when it comes to getting prospects to attend your event.
1. Define the purpose of your event, making sure it’s an appropriate fit for your audience. And then define the details of the event: Topic, location, cost, goals, etc. If the answer is no, go here first.
2. Check out your ideal client profile that you would want to attend this event. There is no way to know how you’re going to attract attendees to an event if you don’t know who you want to attend it. Not sure what an ideal client profile is or how to create one? Check out this article
3. Once you’ve got a strategy and your ideal client profile, then you can start looking at who you want to attend from your pipeline/prospecting list. Is it CFOs? CEOs? VP of HR? Is this a warm or cold prospect? Your message should be directed to your audience, so make sure you know who you’re targeting.
4. What is your message? If it’s simply HEY YOU’RE INVITED…you should think more in depth. If you’re targeting C-Suite, VPs, etc., you’ll need to recognize that they get invited to A LOT of events, so make it clear what makes this one different and what’s in it for them.
For example: If it’s an event on cost-control measures for the benefits plan and you’re targeting a CFO, you might want to say:
“Hi Joe Smith, I know we’ve discussed some of the challenges you’re having with containing costs in regard to your bottom line. Would you be interested in continuing that conversation at an upcoming event that speaks to those exact challenges? You’ll get 1 hour of CE credit and breakfast as well.”
Tip: Are you inviting your clients to this event? If so, have them bring a colleague from a prospect or potential prospect as well!
5. How will you get the message to them? Email? Phone Call? Stopping by their office? Social media? A combination? It’s normally best to do a combination of all of the above over a defined time frame, typically 8 weeks before the event. Check out what an actual campaign outline looks like here.
6. How will you follow up? Define your follow-up plan for both marketing emails as well as sales rep interactions.
When it comes to getting prospects to attend events, there’s more than one way to approach it, but the most important piece of advice is to have a strategic plan around who you want to attend and how you want to get them there.
Before you know it, you’ll be filling the room!