Many businesses are taking advantage of the potential of event hosting in promoting their business. Companies across different industries, from finance to health care to technology, are hosting a variety of events in different venues. Many of these events are recurring, sometimes happening annually or twice a year.
As a small business owner, you might think that events only work for big businesses that have large budgets and manpower. Well, if these large companies are taking advantage of events as a means of marketing, then there’s no reason why small businesses shouldn’t.
Your first event doesn’t have to be a lavish affair with hundreds of attendees and dozens of speakers. You can always start with a small crowd with as few as 20 people.
But why host an event in the first place? Here are a few reasons:
Hosting an event is a great opportunity for your business to gain exposure, especially to local potential customers. Because your company’s name will be associated with the event when you host, you can promote your business and market to your audience without overtly selling. The better the event you host, the more your company will be remembered.
When people attend events, it is because they are interested in the event itself. This is especially true if they have to pay a fee to participate. Surprisingly, paying for attendance does not deter people. In some cases, a paid event has an air of exclusivity, as if the activities and workshops are premium experiences that they would not be able to get for free. Guests who are willing to pay the price to attend an event often anticipate that their experience will be valuable or, at the very least, they are interested and curious about what you have to offer.
Since attendance is purely by choice, you know that participants are willing to hear or see your message. Brute force selling, on the other hand, is often unwanted and unwelcome
Better Customer Interaction
There is something that makes events marketing different from other forms of marketing. According to Karen Hartline, event manager of Mashable, “There’s something different about meeting face-to-face and having a conversation that’s not delayed or happening through Facebook messages or limited to 140 characters”.
This is true because suddenly you are surrounded by potential customers in such a short period of time and you have the opportunity to make a good impression on them at such close proximity.
You have the opportunity to mingle with customers and, in return, they can walk up to you and ask questions. You can really market to them directly. You can’t really do this with other traditional marketing tools such as TV, radio, print media and other forms of advertising, can you?
With events hosting, you can establish a relationship with customers on a more personal level. They get to see, touch, smell, or taste your products, and see the face behind the business.
As you can see, event hosting can have positive benefits for your business. However, this doesn’t mean that every event is bound to go smoothly.
Here are tips for hosting a successful event:
a) Have an easy registration system in place.
It is important to have a good system for your events to run things smoothly, especially in the registration process where most of the legwork takes place. It is better to use an online tool such as PandaForm so that participants can have access to the registration form at their own convenience, without needing to drive down somewhere to register.
Also, choose an application tool that’s easy to use. Nothing better turns off a prospect than a hard-to-navigate tool. Here’s how to use PandaForm for event registration as an example.
b) Plan it for people who are part of your target customers.
Whether your purpose of hosting the event is to attract new customers or project a certain image, choose an event or a program that is relevant to your target market. If your target customers are freelancers, you might want to host a seminar on how to boost one’s freelance income or be a happy freelancer. Keep in mind that people would rather receive value and good information. After attending the event, be sure that they be walking away with something of value.
c) Capture the event in photos and videos.
These documentations are good for projecting a stronger impression of your business. They can come handy as social proof that you are involved with the community, that you are a real business interacting with real people/customers. If you can get quotes or video clips on their positive feedback about the event, you can post it on your website or social media accounts to entice attendees when you do a similar event.
Given the benefits of hosting an event, it’s a marketing technique that any business should definitely consider. Now, how would you like to host an event for your business?