January Jig: Event Strategy #2

      The Power of an Event Strategy!

It’s all about Marketing Strategy. We as entrepreneurs (finally!) get to the place where we have a clear(er) picture of our ideal client. (Ideal client description below – read on.) We have our infrastructure in place, our programs created and we’ve been helping clients for a while. Now we want to build and grow this business and ideally work with clients who understand how we can help them. These clients “get” the purpose and passion of our business and they “get” the value that delegating to an expert can provide.

So, to get to the question that I hear very often, “Where can I find these ideal clients?” This post will suggest some answers to that question.

Keys to success:

  • Value-Oriented Content. It’s critical to provide excellent content about your area of expertise. Your ideal clients want to learn and understand the depth and breadth of your knowledge. Most of us are very busy and may not have time to absorb it all, but having a resource – a font of knowledge – and knowing where to go (website, Facebook page, e-mail notes) is critical. Provide great content is builds credibility and is also a portal to learning more about how we can engage for service and support for our business and personal needs.
  • Form and Function. Create a way to share information and content that feels great for you and speaks well to your ideal client audience. Although I love to write, I also love to talk and my enthusiasm and passion translate well on video. In 2012 I’ll be posting more videos (vblogging) and encouraging my clients to connect with me via web-conference (e.g. Skype), so we can engage more fully.
  • Focus on your Passion. Most entrepreneurs LOVE what they do. However, we all have to do the administrative, marketing, development, strategy, financial things or non-passion areas that we don’t love. Figure out which of those areas you must do and for the other areas, find excellent resources to support you in your business practice. Having a strong business infrastructure and great vendor partnerships is an important investment of time and resources. Vendor partners are often great Advocates and Champions for your business.

I highly encourage my colleagues and clients and you, dear reader, to create a Marketing Strategy with a specific Events and Networking component.

Begin by developing a one-page summary of your business goals/objectives and 8 – 10 key detailed characteristics of your ideal client. **What’s an ideal client? The person you and your business can help the most and you’ll enjoy the experience of working together. **

Create a brainstorm session for you and your business. Have some fun and be focused. Create (guess) answers to these questions or others.

  • Do they need education and training (for certifications or skill set improvement)?
  • Where do these people do business (coffeeshop, office, on the road, home office)?
  • What is important to them (saving time, connecting with others, saving money, more time for their passions)?
  • How do they spend their time (working for clients, focused on their non-passion areas of business, with their kids, at professional association meetings)?
  • How can I most help them (based on the services and products that my business provides)?

Now that you’ve created your Event Marketing Strategy, you can share it with your “Micro-Network”TM of Advocates & Champions. They will support you in implementing your plan for success. Not sure what I mean by a “Micro-Network”TM of Advocates & Champions? Sign up over there on the right panel and I’ll send you an audio recording of a tele-seminar that I recently recorded. It’s 45 minute of great content & expertise!

Imagine the impact of hosting, speaking at or sponsoring a well-executed event, in which your target clients and micro-network advocates are in the audience and you are center stage (in name as a Sponsor or in-person as a Presenter). Collaborating on or creating the perfect event can establish you as an authority in your industry and a talented specialist to potential clients. It is the # 1 way to enhance your visibility, motivate others to take interest in your business, share your knowledge to many and increase your revenue.

Four (4) ways to leverage your Event Strategy:

  • Speak/Present at an event
  • Create an event
  • Sponsor an event
  • Host/Collaborate on an existing event
  • Network at the best events for you!

Choosing to include an event strategy in your marketing & business planning is critical. An event (for the purposes of this post) is defined as a goal-oriented gathering of specifically selected people, so it can be a business development coffee meet-up, a networking happy hour, a focus group, a product launch, a client appreciation party, a business meeting, etc. It can get you connected, increase your visibility and enhance your ideal client relationships!

Q1. Why create/join/sponsor/attend an event?
A1. A well-planned event can boost your ability to connect with people. It’s great to connect one-on-one, but it’s more powerful to share knowledge and expertise with many people at the same time. Do you want to host, speak at or sponsor the event? What are your goals and how can you reach them with an event?

Q2. Who is in the room? Who is the event audience?
A2. It’s all about being in the right room and making thoughtful, strategic connections. You’ll want to know if your ideal target clients are likely to be attending and interested in this event? What can you learn about the attendees before the event, if you’re the speaker, sponsor or co-host? Sometimes I’ve recommended that a client consider sponsoring the perfect event, even if they haven’t had sponsors previously.

Q3. When and where to schedule an event?
A3. My primary question for this topic is, “How do you want your attendees to feel at this event?” This question sets the tone for selecting an ideal venue environment and contributes to scheduling considerations, as well. Timeline is one of the 3 key components of event management (budget & goals are the other two).

  • What day of the week is best?
  • What time of day?
  • Length of program/event
  • Travel and accommodations
  • Pre-event promotion timeline
  • Logistical event needs
  • Event ticket price, event budget
  • Number of expected attendees
  • Holidays, city or area events

Q4.How do I make a great event happen?
A4. Here are some of the key ideas in crafting a successful event strategy:

  • Communicate & collaborate with clear vision & goals
  • Invite and inspire a team to support you in your goals/event (including ideal sponsors, vendors, friends, experts)
  • What’s the ideal take-away? (promo items or community creation around purpose)
  • Creating communities before/during/post meeting to measure interest & involvement – have an emcee (MC)
  • Create and implement a comprehensive promotions, event & social media strategy
  • Consider hiring an event planner or event strategist. :)

I’ve been curating a calendar, focused on excellent networking events for entrepreneurs and business owners, as well as those in and considering “job transition” in the Cincinnati and New York area. Lots of existing events listed here: “Strategic Connections Recommends” Event Calendar

Thanks to Idea Girl Media for a fabulous January Jig Event!!

Next Strategic Connections event (in Cincinnati): http://conta.cc/StrategicConnectionsEvent-Jan26

 
Connect with Intention | Advocate your Passion | Champion for Results

About Consider It Dunn Strategic Connections
Consider It Dunn LLC is an Event and Marketing Strategy consultancy, focused on Strategic ConnectionsTM. With a passion for working with entrepreneurs and business professional and 20 years of marketing, sales, event strategy, networking, corporate and project management experience, we design strategies and execute programs where you increase your visibility through networking, speaking, sponsoring and partnering with your ideal connections at the best events. Connect with Intention | Advocate your Passion | Champion for Results Learn more about us at http://consideritdunnllc.com/index.php/about/

3 Responses to January Jig: Event Strategy #2

  1. Kittie Walker says:

    Hi Mary Beth,

    Great to connect with you via the January Jig.

    This post is a great resource with so much useful information in it. I’ve already pointed one person over here to read it and I am sure that it is a post that I will often refer colleagues, peers, friends and clients over to.

    Sponsoring/hosting an event and networking at conferences and locally is so important to a business. It helps to generate trust and loyalty to your brand, provides you with the opportunity to gather feedback, heightens your profile within your community/industry/niche and so much more. All of these can help you to increase your sales. I’m always banging on about this to clients, trying to persuade them that it needs to be part of their overall marketing strategy.

    Off to watch your video next!

  2. Gemma says:

    Hey, some really valuable and interesting points in this post. I’m setting up an event for my college course over the next few months so I’ve found the Event Strategy particularly useful, thanks very much. Could you think of any event planning sheets that I might be able to use?

  3. Keri says:

    Mary Beth,

    Thank you for writing specific blog posts for the January Jig — You presented wonderful, quite useful information! What I like about this is…..the points you make are mainly easily-actionable for any entrepreneur!

    You made a very important point — We must be producing value-oriented, helpful content. Hopefully that speaks to our ideal client/customer pains. As the social space changes, those that do not do this will be left behind.

    Sponsorship — Especially when For-profits partner with Non-profits on collaborative projects is often times successful. This is an area where we really need to think and act, in my opinion.

    Thanks again for participating in the event, and for your generous offers to Idea Girl Media fans! :)

    Genuinely,

    ~Keri