If you are a seasoned marketer or event coordinator, then you know know that even the simplest of marketing and networking events are often more than they appear. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure that the event is a success!
Take a free lunch and learn (like the ones we host each month) for example. They are a fun, laid back, information filled hour and half. Lunch and Learns are a great way to meet others in attendance and also leave with some great nuggets that you can immediately implement in your own marketing efforts. Sounds simple enough to pull off, right? But there is a lot more going on behind the scenes of this casual lunch event, than meets the eye. Let’s take a look!
First we thought about our buyer personas. We considered who our ideal client is and how we can host an information session in a way that is appealing to them. Well, we achieved this by:
- Having free food.
- Teaching great, easy to implement tactics.
- Providing an opportunity to network with like minded folks.
- Hosting it at the end of the week when everyone is ready for a break.
Our marketing efforts are driven by our buyer personas, we want to talk like they talk and be where they are. Which means we are essentially inviting our marketing friends to hang out and share in a meal with us. Who would say no to that 😉
When you are planning your event think about your buyer personas. What do they want or need from an event? Once you have an idea, plan accordingly and the RSVP’s will start flooding in!
People have RSVP'd, now what?
The work doesn’t stop once you have people actually AT the event, there is still a lot more to be done to delight attendees. The moment you have a someone signed up for your event, the courting stage has begun! So, what does this mean for you? It means having a very smooth process that documents who attendees are and what they need. It means making them feel special, and letting them know you are looking forward to seeing them. This personal connection is the most important part of the event.
How do we start developing that personal connection with people who will be attending our event? Well, it’s a multi-step process that starts by asking a few brief questions during the sign-up process. We also send a series of emails asking what they would like us to order for their lunch and to remind them of our event. Prior to the event we look to see who we are expecting, where they work, and any personal connections we have with them to facilitate in conversations and to help them feel welcome at our office. It is just as much about the experience, as it is the information shared.
So, how are we deeming that these events have been successful? What are we measuring? We are measuring how many leads we get (attendees), how many attendees are sales qualified leads, and how many of our leads convert to clients. We also determine the cost to acquire a lead through our Lunch and Learn funnel. After running several of these we are able to then predict how many guests we need to attend to turn out one client. This data can then be used to plan future events.
So when you are planning your next marketing event take some time between ordering food, sending out invites and putting together the event itinerary, to sit down and think about how you want to measure the success of your event. Does success mean more leads, new contacts, or something else? If you have a clear goal for your event, it will be a better experience for everyone. Attendees will be impressed by your thoughtfulness and you will be making your marketing dollars work harder for your company.
Want to check out one of these Lunch and Learn events that I’ve been talking about? Click the button below to find out about our upcoming event!