Events and the Marketing PlanWednesday, February 29, 2012
I know social media brings us into relationship with a vast universe of contacts that the walk-a-day life can never offer. We spend hours at our key boards making ‘friends’ and building connections. In today’s marketplace it is essential to develop a consistent on-line presence that builds and reinforces your brand. But, there is nothing like personal connections to solidify a contact’s impression of you as a leader in your profession offering quality products and services that they need.
In person events require a great deal of resources, not the least of which is time. For the solo-entrepreneur there is no way to organize a quality event in a manner that truly compensates the time and efforts required to organize it. That being said, it is important to acknowledge the benefits face-to-face events offer your marketing plan:
- You may think that people are interested in your product or service, but it is really YOU that they are investing in. Believe it or not, there is something in the way you present yourself that attracts clients to you. When people buy your product or service what they are really saying is, ‘I see something in your presence that I am interesting in cultivating in myself.’ There is nothing like sharing time together, in person, to heighten this relationship and convert someone’s curiosity into their becoming a solid prospect, and converting prospects into clients.
- Events make you strengthen your skills and ability to present them with confidence. The time between announcing your event and executing it is one long exercise in refining your message and practicing its delivery. This is brand development in real-time.
- The value of friends, not the Facebook kind, but real people who have shared space and perhaps a hug with you are much more likely to interact with you on the various social media platforms. Each time I organize an event I gain new followers, and I see a marked increase in the amount of comments I receive on various posts from those who attended the event.
So, as you flesh out your marketing plan, make sure you consider the value of at least one public event each year. Here are some suggestions that I use and recommend to clients:
- Organize at least one fundraiser per year where participant come to learn from you for no cost, but they are asked to make a contribution to a charity of your choosing. For those of you in the Greater DC area, Kristen Dorsey of Divine Journeys is hosting this event for the benefit of a local charity.
- If you are releasing a new product line, consider organizing a launch party. This can be at your office, in your home, or at a local retail establishment/restaurant. Think of it as a Christening Party for your new baby!
- Always keep in mind the more high-end, conference-like event. You have interests and knowledge that other people need. Your extended network increases that knowledge at least a hundred fold. Organizing a conference that is either half-say, full day, or several days long allows your followers, customers, and clients to benefit from your professional network and its wisdom. You will most likely need an event organizer for this, but it is well worth exploring.
So, I am curious, have you sponsored an event recently? What was your experience?