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BLOG: Ask "why" before planning another event

Linda CoppellLocal Growth Hub advisor Linda Coppell, Marketing for Businesses, Linda Coppell Integrated Marketing

Conferences, exhibitions, workshops, entertaining - events are often a staple of many a marketing strategy.  They can create opportunities to educate and network with customers, make new contacts and get people talking about your company.

They also create opportunities to explore new channels and ways to expand your business, as well as encouraging your business to grow by reaching new markets. You never know who you might meet, and what you might gain from it.

The key to planning a great event though is to firstly agree the "Why"?  What are you hoping to achieve, who are you trying to reach, why should people take time out of their busy day to attend your event?  What's going to make it a "must attend" for them?  What will they get out of it? Does it tie in to your overall business objectives and strategy?

Only once you've answered those questions, and everyone is agreed on the date and location should you begin to: 

  • integrate the event into your other communication campaigns
  • tailor and target your invitation list
  • know what your closest competitors are doing to avoid conflicting dates
  • agree new products/services you need to talk about/introduce
  • secure all presenters/guest speakers
  • ensure you have all resources in place

Don't underestimate how time consuming planning and delivering an event can be, but if done properly and successfully, they definitely pay dividends.  If all has gone well, once the event is over, you should have a list of customers and prospects to follow up.  Critical to success is the timely following up of those leads and the results of those actions will determine the return on investment.

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