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Event Marketing for Small Businesses Part 3: During and After Your Event

March 21st, 2013 ::

eventIf you’ve been following this series on event marketing for small businesses, you’ve seen in the first two posts that planning a small event like a seminar, roundtable, or breakfast, lunch, or dinner isn’t really that hard – but it is a great way to grow your business and build relationships.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of why and how to do event marketing and how to plan and promote your event, let’s take a look at what to do during and after your event.

During your event:

During your event, tweeting or blogging live or posting photos is a great way to engage your social media audience, show how great the event is, and build interest for a future event. (Granted, you’ll probably be pretty busy during the event, so the following jobs will probably fall to an employee or intern.)

Live tweet

Tweets from events are most helpful when they are useful, so focus on sharing quotes and tips. Use hashtags that are event- and topic-specific and tag people in tweets with their Twitter handle – they’ll most likely retweet your mention.

Live blog

For a seminar or roundtable, it’s especially fun to blog. As with tweeting, keep your blog posts actionable and interesting – you can share insights, tips, advice, etc. – whatever you think is most useful for your audience.

Post photos

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in social media. Take photos of the action – a small group huddled together brainstorming, people shaking hands as they’re introduced, someone addressing the group, the food and décor, etc. Again, use whatever you think your audience will respond to.

After your event:

Categorize leads

If you host seminars and roundtables to generate leads, go through your attendee list and categorize everyone. For current customers, identify upsell opportunities. For potential customers, are they ready to convert or are they window-shopping? Doing this will keep you organized and help you craft messages for the next step.

Follow up with personalized emails

Write template messages for your leads based on category, then personalize an email for each attendee. Remind them of something they said during your conversation, or send them the follow up information you said you would.

Include an offer

For each lead category, what can you offer to get them to “yes”? A special promotion for an upsell? An ebook for a prospect? Your portfolio of work or success stories? Based on what you know about them, send them the information you think will have the biggest impact.

Calculate ROI

Last but not least, calculate your ROI so you know if the event was worthwhile – and worth repeating.  The best way to do this is by looking at how many potential sales you gained and how much each project or customer is worth. Keep track of when you close on each sale and calculate how much that customer cost to acquire. That’s your ROI.

Have you ever live-tweeted or blogged from an event? What tactics have you used to close a sale after an event? Share your tips in the comments section below!

Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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