How To Grow Your Business With Live Events
Are you comfortable sitting behind your computer and marketing your business on social media or by using Facebook ads?
You’re doing all the behind the scenes marketing work, right? Like blog posts, email marketing, creating your own marketing graphics, recording videos, and connecting on social media. Would you believe that you’re missing out on a HUGE marketing avenue?
Attending live events is a major marketing opportunity that many business owners shy away from for a variety of reasons.
But remember that in your overall business plan, you shouldn’t be planning ONLY for the quick sale. Ultimately, you want people to remember you and you should develop relationships with others both online and in real life so they will refer you to their circle of friends. Forming that relationship is also how people will get to know, like, and trust you, which will lead to sales and other referrals.
Yes, you can develop relationships online via social media and videos but why pass up the opportunity to meet people in real life? You never know who you will meet; your next big client may be somebody who lives in your home town. Or maybe you’ll meet your favorite icon at a conference and become inspired to achieve more.
Or maybe you’ll meet someone who offers services you can use in your own business. You can never predict who you’ll meet at different events.
Working an online business can also become very lonely, so attending live events is simply a way to get out of the house! Start off easy by attending a business networking meeting or a simple Meet Up in your area. If you enjoyed the experience, you can certainly expand your horizons with a BNI membership or joining a local networking club. Once you start researching, you’ll discover a whole variety of opportunities, from those local events that meet weekly or monthly, to conferences that last for multiple days.
Live events also offer the opportunity to learn new things through classes or workshops held during the event. This allows the attendees to share their business stories and experiences, which is also perfect for learning how to handle certain tasks or situations that may arise in business.
An example is the WPPI photography conference held annually. Those four days are crammed with classes in which experts teach different photography techniques. Not only can attendees ask specific questions but they get hands-on practice in class and then can develop the technique to use in their business.
Even though you can watch a video tutorial on how to perform these same photography skills, there’s just something magical about being in the same room as the teacher. Live conferences make the instructors more approachable than when you’re watching their video online. At live events, they welcome questions and enjoy engaging in conversations with attendees.
You never know what valuable snippet of information you’ll learn from an instructor just by having a private conversation with them.
Here are the 7-Steps to Grow your Business by attending Live Events
Step 1: Which Events Are Right For You
When choosing events that will benefit you and your business, first think about your personality. Are you an extrovert who thrives on big gatherings or an introvert who prefers conversations in smaller groups? While there’s something to be said about stepping out of your comfort zone, how beneficial is it for the introvert to walk into a huge event, alone, on the opposite side of the country? Likewise, will an extrovert get bored at a local event with 100 people or less?
Step 2: Sponsorship Opportunities
Want to get your brand in front of all the attendees? Sponsorships are the way to go. Everything from a mention in the event app to a booth in the exhibitor room is up for grabs, and can work for you even if you can’t attend the event yourself.
Step 3: Speaking Opportunities
Event speakers enjoy instant credibility, not just with the attendees, but with other speakers, and anyone who sees you mentioned on the sales page. After all, only movers-and-shakers who have an interesting or inspirational story to tell are asked to be a guest speaker. Thus, once you get booked for a speaking gig, your credibility soars.
Step 4: Attendee Benefits
Regardless of your business model, there is always something to be learned from a conference. Luckily, every event will have a website detailing exactly who the event is for, what attendees will learn, along with the guest speakers and an itinerary. Keeping your overall goals in mind, read the information on the event websites and decide what sessions and training will help you most in your business.
Step 5: Know Your Goals
Knowing your goals and reasons for attending a live event will help weed out events that don’t meet your criteria. There’s nothing more discouraging than spending good money on an event only to get nothing out of it or to find out it’s not what you were expecting. Whatever your goals, you’ll be much more likely to achieve them if you clearly spell them out in advance.
Step 6: Plan Your Days
Review your goals and determine what’s most important about attending your chosen event. Most multi-day events are jam-packed with workshops, classes, or networking events, which are all beneficial but don’t feel like you have to attend every single one. Think about who you want to socialize with along with the classes you most want to take, and create a daily schedule that suits your individual needs.
Step 7: Review & Follow Up
After the excitement of the event is over, it’s easy to revert to “business as usual.” Don’t do that without first following up on all the connections you made. The best time to follow up is immediately after the event, when contact names and conversations are fresh in everyone’s mind. As time passes after the event, people’s memories fade and reigniting a connection may become more difficult.
Find out exactly how to grow your business and market yourself at Live Events by downloading the Live Events Business Blueprint.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: TORIE MATHIS
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs grow their business with Smart Marketing. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, international speaker + trainer, and the CEO + Creative Director at Lake Shark Media. She also teaches entrepreneurs how to create a business and life they love at toriemathis.com
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