Sponsoring or exhibiting at conferences, trade shows and expos can be a great way to get exposure to potential clients and secure new deals to build your business. However, running an event can also be very expensive and time consuming, and there are no guarantees that the people you’ll be exposed to are in your target market.
Running your own events could have numerous advantages for your business.
1. Lower costs
Trade shows and exhibition stands at conferences can be very expensive. When you work out the number of people you meet, then divide that by the number of your competitors at the event and then analyse your cost per sale, running your own event becomes a very attractive alternative.
2. Increased sales
Because your own events can be cheaper to run, you can afford to hold more of them throughout the year, carefully timed so that you maintain frequent contact with your prospective clients. And that means you stand a greater chance of catching prospective clients when they’re ready to purchase.
3. Cut out your competition.
At trade shows, seminars, conferences and exhibitions, you’re up against competitors who are also vying to establish contact with your prospects. Running your own event takes your competitors out of the equation and maximises your own exposure to your target market.
4. Spread the load
By running a series of events, you create a more consistent flow of sales leads throughout the year, strategically scheduled to avoid “flat spots” in your sales cycle.
5. Your place, your rules
You get to choose venues that suit you and your clients, and you can run your events on dates that fit in with your schedule.
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6. Fly under the radar
Running an event makes it difficult for your competitors to keep tabs on your activity. You can market directly to your prospects and reduce the chances of your competitors finding out your latest strategies.
7. Customer intimacy
By holding your own highly targeted events on a frequent basis, you create more opportunities to get to know your customers and prospects, and for them to get to know you.
8. A reason to talk
Organising an event gives you a great reason to call your prospects and talk to them.
9. Double exposure
Paying for an exhibition booth at an event doesn’t necessarily entitle you to speak on the conference program. However, if you organise your own event, you not only get to set up a trade display, but you can deliver a presentation from the podium as well, establishing yourself as an authority on your subject. You also get complete control over your speaking topic and can position yourself in exactly the way that meets the needs of your market.
10. Select your own audience
At a trade show or seminar, you pay not only for exposure to your target market, but for people outside your target market. Running your own event means you can hand-pick the people you want to attend.
What sort of event should you run?
You could run a breakfast seminar, an information evening, a lunchtime briefing, a half-day workshop, or any other type of session. The important thing is to structure your event to suit your target market.
For example, a business consultant might choose to run a breakfast seminar, whereas an evening information session might work better for a mortgage broker.
Does running an event work as a way to build your business? Please share your tips with us below.