If you’ve ever worked on the events-specific side of marketing and sales, you know that hosting, attending or even sponsoring major events and conferences – and minor ones – can be both extremely effective and also extremely expensive.
Sponsoring events is a cost in and of itself, but even if you’re simply hosting a small event yourself or co-hosting one with a partner, you know that it’s easy to underestimate the amount of work that goes into creating a truly powerful event experience. So why do organizations continue to do it? Because it’s a great way to build relationships, generate leads, make industry connections and drive revenue.
“It’s easy to look at event marketing as its own silo, and to move on to the next thing when your event is over, but the true value to be gained from hosting or attending an event comes after,” says Sean Ochester, Executive Vice President of Digital & Integrated Strategy at Sage Age Strategies. “By employing smart digital marketing strategies to your events outreach, you can not only gain more sales prospects, but nurture those relationships so that they turn into paying residents over time.”
Before you can employ different marketing tactics for following up with your event leads, you have to get those leads into your system! Let’s talk more about ways to effectively capture leads at your next event, and then what you should do with that information the next day and beyond.
Don’t Let Them Walk Away!
Events can be overwhelming, especially if you’re at a conference, tradeshow or other major occurrence. You want to talk to as many people as possible, hand out relevant materials and make connections.
Talking to a ton of people, though, won’t do much for you after the event if you don’t take the time to capture those potential leads. By doing so, you exponentially expand your ability to generate ROI from the event by increasing your opportunities for engagement. Here are some simple ways to capture leads at your next event.
Create a simple sign-up form. Easy is key here – no one wants to stand at a booth or table spending ten minutes filling out a two-page form. You can get those details later; instead, create a simple form that asks for the barest information needed, which is usually a name, email address and/or phone number. Assure your potential leads that you won’t be spamming them with content.
Host a contest. By giving away a prize, you can entice attendees to provide their contact information. This can be done with a form, as described above, or you could have a basket to collect business cards.
Use an app. This method is quicker and simpler than the ones mentioned above and gives you an opportunity to add notes about what type of lead you are putting into the system, such as whether they have a particular interest about some specific topic or if they seem like an especially hot lead. Some common apps include iCapture and QuickTapSurvey.
Follow up Right Away.
Leads are only hot for so long. You have a limited window of time to follow up with the leads you get at an event,confirm them and start the nurture process. So whatever method you have for capturing leads at your next event, be sure to get that list of leads into your system and start following up ASAP.
It’s a common mistake to take that list and sit on it for days or weeks. The problem with this is, once you finally do follow up, your leads will probably have forgotten about you and may find you reaching out to them to be burdensome.
Avoid this by immediately organizing your leads and assessing the best way to reach out to them. Doing this work right away also gives you a chance to take down notes you’d likely forget in a few days, such as the topics you discussed or questions they may have had. That information can help you tailor your approach.
Be Specific and Consistent.
As mentioned, taking good notes and organizing your leads immediately post-event is powerful because it equips you with the information you need to create a tailored approach to each potential customer.
Sending a mass email to your entire lead list is probably better than nothing, but it’s definitely low-hanging fruit. Go a step above the rest and tailor your outreach to each individual lead. This method obviously takes more time, but it also yields much more fruitful results.
So consider what leads might be more receptive to a phone call, versus which ones might like a handwritten note or a quick email. Also consider how this outreach fits into the overall messaging and outreach you are doing, because chances are, your potential customers may have some familiarity with your brand and community already.
Above all else, when you follow-up with your new leads, you want to make sure you are providing valuable, relevant information in a timely but non-aggressive fashion. No one likes to feel like they are being sold to, so don’t! Instead, use the event as an opportunity to reach out and provide information or resources that you know they will find useful. Doing this will strengthen your relationship and increase the likelihood that each lead will think of you when it comes time to consider senior living for themselves or their loved ones.
Proven Sales and Marketing Expertise That Connects with Today’s Seniors
If you are managing a senior living community and are in need of expertise in precisely profiling, targeting and connecting with your target markets, contact us for more information today. Sage Age Strategies is a multiple award-winning, strategic growth and marketing organization that operates exclusively in the senior living industry. For more information, please call or email Adrienne Mansfield Straub at 570-601-1720 ext. 100 / firstname.lastname@example.org.