Organising an event? Build these tips into your plans

Events can be a great business development tool. Not only to position your agency as a thought leader, but also as an excuse to get back in touch with old contacts or to keep front of mind with new business prospects.

Most agency owners have at some point in their past put on an event with the aim of marketing their agency and winning new clients. In most cases they’ll look back months later and conclude that they didn’t win any business from the attendees and so don’t wish to repeat the experience.

Whilst it’s right to analyse the ROI on all marketing and new business spend, when it comes to agency events, the reach and impact you review should spread much further than the pool of people in the room on the day.

"The reach and impact of your event should spread much further than the pool of people in the room on the day"

The Invitations

First up, the process of inviting potential future clients to your event is your greatest opportunity to re-kindle conversations with prospects, and re-iterate your specialism and position as a thought leader. Whether they can attend the event is almost irrelevant. You have a great ‘excuse’ to pick up the phone to them. Ensure you have a few questions ready up your sleeve to expand the conversation beyond the event, or offer to take your presentation to their office to share with their team at a convenient time.

On the day

If you’ve managed to attract some fresh prospects to attend your event, be sure to take a look at their faces on LinkedIn beforehand so you can spot them and be sure to introduce yourself.Consider asking all attendees to complete a one or two question questionnaire before they leave, which might give you insight into their business position and guide you as to whether a follow up meeting might be valuable to both parties.

After the event

The stressful part is over, but you still have an asset you should be looking to sweat.

Is there a part 2 of the content that can be posted to attendees or a workshop that can be proposed to help them action the insights?

What about all those who signed up to attend but didn’t turn up – it happens! Consider what bespoke comms you can send their way to generate a one-on-one conversation around this topic that clearly interests them.

And then to your wider database who you hoped to engage with the invitation but didn’t hear a peep back. Try sharing some of the key insights shared at the event. They may stay silent behind their inbox, but a percentage will read your emails, share them, and add you to their consideration list for their next brief.

So next time the phone rings with a new business opportunity, be sure to ask where the brand heard of you. They may never have attended one of your agency events, but it might be your events that made a great impression and kept you front of mind.

Other considerations to maximise the return on your event

  • If you’re opening the event with an introduction, be sure to shoe-horn in a brief overview of your agency’s raison d’être and what you do. This intro should lead neatly into the topic of the event.
  • Invite journalists to cover the event.
  • Consider filming or recording the event to create film content or a podcast

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