Why is that?
According to many companies—Constant Contact UK included—events are brilliant for growing your business because they allow you to…
Scale up your sales. When you run an event, you get a whole group of people together instead of trying to sell your products/services on a one-to-one basis. This is a much more efficient use of your time and will speed up your customer sales process.
Get a higher level of trust much faster. As humans, we are psychologically predisposed to respond better to people with whom we have eye contact, and whose faces we can see. So, if you let people see you (and hear your voice, etc.), they will automatically have greater trust in you than if they’ve just visited your website, for example.
Tell your audience what you have to offer. Whilst you have people in front of you, you can use that captive audience time to tell them about your product or service, and any new changes you have.
Get sign ups/sales. You can actually make an offer at that event for instant sign ups. This doesn’t have to be a pressure sale. You can just tell people about the benefits, and ask them to give you their name and email address if they’re interested.
I believe 99% of businesses can use events to help grow their business, but they have to choose the right kind of event for them.
Here are seven different event types—which one would work for you?
1. Customer panel
Get a few of your best customers together and provide drinks and nibbles. Tell them about your newest plans and ask their opinions. You will get really useful feedback to help you in your business AND you can offer them a good deal if they decide to take up your newest product/service if they book now.
This is a great way to present an offer without doing a “big sell,” but if they want to take up your offer they will.
2. Best practices
You are an expert at what you do, simply by virtue of making a business out of your knowledge. So, you have lots of great information you can share with your clients and potential customers. You can run an event where you teach them about the best practices in your industry. This shows your audience you really know your stuff and gives them confidence in you as a business.
You don’t have to be a B2B (Business to Business) company to use this—for example, a wedding photographer could run an event for brides on how to look great in their wedding photos. By the end of that session, their audience will feel comfortable with that photographer and know they are great at what they do, so are more likely to book them for their weddings.
3. Getting started with … or “how to”
Often, your customers will really like the idea of what you do, but aren’t really sure how to best use your products and services. So, simply taking them through that is a way to move them closer to buying.
Similarly, a “how to” session can be very effective. With this approach, you talk about how to address a specific issue, and then talk about your products or services as the answer.
4. Open day
If you have a venue or business location, an open day is a fantastic way to let people see “behind the scenes.” They will feel like they know your business better, and be more interested in what you do.
You will be surprised at how many of your customers and potential clients would LOVE to know more about what goes on in the background—and this will make them more likely to buy from you.
5. Summer/Christmas party
The simple act of getting people together to meet you and talk to each other can be very effective, and a summer or Christmas party is the perfect way to do this.
Whether you host this at your own location or have people somewhere else, think about holding a party and inviting customers, and your “business friends.” People will talk to each other about how great you are and will take the chance to speak to you about specific questions they might have.
6. Networking evening (or lunch, or breakfast)
You have a group of people around your business who would probably like to meet each other. This is particularly true for B2B companies, but also applies to many B2C (Business to Consumer) organisations as well. If you can facilitate that meeting, by getting them in the room together and making some useful introductions (because you know them all), then you will become THE person in the know in their eyes.
If you are the person in the know, then they’ll think more highly of you and your knowledge, and be more likely to come to you in the future.
7. Taster event
If you sell anything you can break down into smaller bits, then you can run a taster event. This includes trial classes for training programmes, or wine tasting events where you sell cases of wine. This is a perfect way to try a product or service for a smaller cost, so they are taking less of a financial risk.
At your taster, you can make an offer on your full service, and give them a discount or something extra if they book on the day.
So, do you think you could do one or more of these types of events? Which ones? Let me know in the comments below.