Over the past few months many of Ulistic’s clients have been focused on running events geared toward attracting new prospects and opportunities. Event marketing is killer when it comes to filling your pipeline, and it is one of the key focus areas of the Ulistic marketing strategy, a strategy designed to attract new business, reconnect you with existing clients and position your IT service firm as the leader in your community.
Why do I enjoy event marketing so much? It is an immediate connection with people. After all, people buy from people. Business is about relationships; it is about connecting, and when you have done this, then it’s about the service you offer.
Event marketing can be your magic bullet to success but only if it is done correctly. Here is a short list of things I picked up working with my clients over the past few months:
- Design your event(s) around a theme. I love what the IT support team at Macon, GA-based Infinity Networks has done with the Tech Tartare theme. Infinity’s events are based on food and a corresponding technology. They knock it out of the park, and every event so far has been a sell out. Sushi and Secure Networks, Bistro and Backup, Pasta and Print are just a few of their theme-based events.
- Don’t go on the cheap. Cheap attracts cheap. Consider a class-A venue. Again, I will use Infinity Networks as an example. They have picked some of the best restaurants around Macon. Trust me, the venue attracts the crowds as well. People may not always have an opportunity to eat at these restaurants, so treat them.
- Market, market, market. You have to eat, sleep and live your event. Everybody on the team is responsible for filling the seats, not just your marketing team or sales professionals. Everyone has to be involved in the process. Here is a formula that works when marketing your event: Email, Direct mail, phone calls. Send out email invites, followed by direct mail invites and finally phone calls. Register them while you have them on the phone.
- Confirmation prior to the event. Infinity really has this down. A few days prior to each event, they don’t just call to ask the registrants if they are still coming; they call and take their orders. Once the orders have been placed, the registrant is now obligated to attend.
- Leverage your vendors. Get your vendors involved. No, not to do the talking at your event. To Pay for your event. Why do I say “no talking”? How many vendors have you heard talk in the past? It is all about market share, speeds and feeds and stuff that doesn’t matter to the end user. It is your event; you speak. You share your experiences. After all, it is your crowd, not your vendors.
These are just a few ideas that I have picked up over my time in the MSP marketing world. Ulistic helps IT firms with strategy, marketing and coaching. If we can help you market your business effectively and generate a steady flow of opportunities, don’t hesitate to call.
PS – Did you have a chance to check out TechPulse yet? That’s the event that Success Computer Consulting and MyTech does annually in Minneapolis. They just had it again recently for an audience of 650 people. That could be enough new business to last the whole year.
Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL and Fort Erie, ON-based Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.