Live events are excellent resources for cloud service providers to use to network with their prospects, peers, and clients.
Live events are nurturing environments that use interaction, engagement, and face-time to strengthen and foster business relationships.
When hosting a live event, there are many elements a cloud service provider should consider.
Event specifics (date, time, location, speaker(s), etc.), promotional efforts, and content will all majorly impact the attendance rates and satisfaction of attendees.
Though some of the following elements and processes may seem a bit obvious or tedious, they are all vital components to consider and will directly contribute to the success of your event.
Live Event Specifics
Venue location, food and beverage, and the Wi-Fi connection are the three main components attendees regularly comment on.
The live event should be hosted at a venue that is easily accessible and complements the cloud service provider’s culture.
The event should include food and beverages that cater to the prospect’s needs and wants—not the businesses’— and businesses should select a venue offering a strong Wi-Fi connection to encourage viewers to share and promote their material.
When it comes to setting details like the time, date, and speakers, consider your attendees. Are you setting an event too close to a holiday? Has this speaker been well-received in the past? Are you giving prospects enough time to travel to this area?
The above elements have the opportunity to negatively or positively alter your attendance rates.
The quality of networking is another important component to consider; 76% of attendees expressed the quality of networking as the main factor that influences their decision to attend or skip a conference.
Promoting the Live Event
Promotional assets are essential to your event’s success.
Hubspot recently held a webinar with their EMEA Events Marketing Manager, Rachel O’Higgins, to share tips for businesses preparing, promoting, and hosting a live event.
O'Higgins, listed the following elements as crucial to the success of the promotional campaign:
- Invitation email
- Landing/Registration page
- Thank you page
- Confirmation email
- Customer Lists
- Reminder email
For the invitation, confirmation, and reminder emails be clear and concise and include important details such as date, time, venue address, and speaker information.
It is also useful for the above emails to include a relevant call-to-action directly within the email, and advise prospects to share the email with other relevant prospects.
The timeline and frequency of sending these emails will vary based on how far ahead the emails are sent; O’Higgins suggests sending confirmation emails immediately upon registration and reminder emails at least one week before the event and the day before the event.
The landing/registration page should include a form to capture information and clearly outline the value of the event.
The thank you page should confirm their attendance, provide important information again (date, time, etc.), and include a relevant call-to-action they can visit in the meantime. It is more beneficial to create a thank you page than to use an inline thank you page because it nurtures the customer.
Finally, businesses should carefully monitor and segment their customer lists prior to the live event; dividing customer lists by invitees and those registered is useful information to gather.
A target list (developed by marketing) is useful because it can help with content creation; these lists should be shared with the sales team upon completion. A common goal should be shared amongst the marketing and sales departments for both departments to work in unison.
A promotional timeline is a useful resource to utilize to help businesses keep their affairs and promotional efforts on track.
Content Relating to the Buyer’s Journey
The content provided at the live event should correspond to the stage of the buyer’s journey your prospect is in.
The buyer’s journey refers to the process a consumer/business goes through when making a purchasing decision. Various stages include:
- Awareness Stage: when a prospect is just becoming aware of a problem or opportunity
- Consideration Stage: when the prospect has put a name to their problem/opportunity and is actively researching various methods to address it
- Decision Stage: when the prospect has settled on a solution and is determining the best product/company to utilize
The content the speaker shares should pertain to the stage the prospects is in. For example, prospects in the awareness stage should be provided with educational material to help them identify their problem/opportunity.
Prospects near the decision stage should receive product-specific information and including things like vendor comparatives and demonstrations may be seen as appropriate.
Before diving into their content, the speaker should provide the audience with an agenda that frames their presentation, so they know what to expect.
For longer presentations, include breaks to help the audience remain engaged and alert.
What factors do you consider essential to the success of a live event? Let us know in the Comments section below.
To learn more about preparing for a live event, head over to our webinar on "Webinar Best Practices for Data Centers and Cloud Service Providers.”
Topics:- Data Center Colocation