Events can be a lucrative sales opportunity for B2B companies, but they can also be a huge investment. The question everyone is asking is, are events worth the large investment?
Attending events can be a great way to network and drive revenue. However, not all events have the same impact.
Whether you are determining if you should invest in events or figuring out how to get the most out of a sponsorship you’ve already paid for, here’s X STEPS to take to maximize your resources and time at events with smart scoring and segmentation.
This one seems obvious. Go to events that have the best audience for your business. But, lots of folks struggle to get to the answer of ‘how’ do we know where they are.
Not all events are created equal. Events can attract a lot of attendees, but if those attendees aren't a good fit for you, you're not going to get much out of it.
First you’ll need a sample attendee list. When engaging with the event organizers ask for a past list of company attendees (a current one is even better but those can be hard to come by). It’s important to call out here that an enriched list of attendees is usually part of what will be included in your potential sponsorship, so the list they provide will likely be company names only. Use an enrichment tool like Zoominfo, Clearbit, or LinkedIn Sales Navigator to get the company domains.
Once you have your company domains you can upload the account list into a lead and account scoring platform to determine if an event has a high concentration of people who fit your target audience. Make sure you also check for any behavioral, or likelihood to buy, data to prioritize sponsoring or attending events where you can continue engagement with active/interested prospects. This is what MadKudu does best, so test us out if you’re looking for help.
Optional: to set a budget based on expected % of the very good and good that would come to the booth and cost per acquisition. You can also use this to negotiate add ons.
Don’t have a scoring solution? No problem. Get predictive scores directly in Google Sheets
One of the most powerful outcomes of predictive lead scoring and segmentation is the ability to estimate the value of the event based on the quality of the attendees. This is where you will have clarity around ROI before you even attend.
If an event is likely to attract a large number of high-scoring leads, it’s worth sending more reps to ensure that you're able to engage with your target prospects.
Further if the event will have a lot of high fit, low engagement accounts you could focus more on an awareness play to attract new business. Invest in optimizing your booth experience, having stand out swag, and partner with larger companies for happy hour events.
Also, if you have a multi-day event you can use the first day’s scans to invite high value prospects to VIP dinners and add ons during the week.
Tip: Don’t forget customers that are in attendance that you can do on-site renewals with.
If it looks like there will be high fit, high engagement accounts, use your time at the event to accelerate deals. Invest more in speaking sessions, on-site private meeting rooms, and personal dinners.
Once you've identified which events to attend, it's important to make the most of your time there. Don't waste your energy on attendees who aren't a fit or likely to be interested in your offering.
Instead, use your scored list to prioritize the attendees you engage with. Have your sales reps target the attendees who have the highest scores first, as they're the most likely to convert to customers. Use your time wisely by investing in the prospects who are most likely to yield results.
Ahead of the event, have sales use your prioritized list of attendees to send pre-event outreach (share your booth location, any of your speaking sessions, offers) and to create a game plan on who they want to connect with at the event.
Your pre-event rules of engagement/prioritization can look something like this:
Tier 1: Active Opps
Tier 2: Best Fit Accounts with Lost Opp
Tier 3: Best Fit Accounts with some Engagement
Tier 4: Best Fit Accounts with No Engagement
Now to another critical piece–the follow up. You’ll already be a few steps ahead from scoring and prioritizing the registration list before the event.
Not everyone you meet will require immediate follow-up so prioritize your post-event follow-up efforts accordingly.
Your post-event sales follow-up prioritization can look something like this:
Tier 1: Meetings Booked
Tier 2: Best Fit Accounts that visited your booth, but didn’t schedule a meeting
Tier 3: Best fit accounts that attended your session
Tier 4: Best fit event registrants you didn’t get a chance to engage with
Don’t forget to personalize based on conversations and interactions at the event.
For those with lower scores outside of your tiers, consider adding them to a marketing sequence or a more generic follow-up email.
By evaluating previous attendee account lists (current ones are even better!), using the scoring and segmentation to estimate ROI, and having a strong plan for in event activation and follow up events can absolutely be used as a lever for growth with any budget.
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