How to Get More Customers Using Offline Events

How to Get More Customers Using Offline Events

Networking Event

Sponsoring offline events such as conferences, networking events or even meetups can be a successful way to get more customers.  These types of events allow you to engage directly with potential customers to more fully understand and validate your assumptions about the kinds of problems they have.  I can tell you as a small business marketing consultant that this type of marketing is especially usefully when there is no relevant place to congregate online.  In this case, it is more difficult for online ads to reach your potential customers or for you to be able to join an online dialog with your potential customers.  Depending on what type of business you have, these events allow you to meet groups of potential customers in person and begin a dialog.

The first step is to find out what kind of event (or topic/s) your potential clients would come to.  As usual, a good place to start is to ask your current customers.  Then you need a way to get people to the events.  This will be different depending on what you have to work with.  You can invite your followers on LinkedIn, send email or ground mail invitations if you have the requisite address information, use other social media, etc.

Make the commitment process as simple as possible.  If an email invitation, ask them to reply with a Yes in the subject line. Or just call your office and give their name, phone and company.  Do whatever makes sense but try to reduce friction.

If you make the event really valuable for the attendees, you will establish credibility and generate some leads.  You can have another event planned (say in the next quarter) and announce it in the event giving the particulars and ask for business cards as a way to sign up.

Other events you can use are meetups where people come to network, or you could throw a party.  You could combine efforts with suppliers of complementary products or services and have a mini-conference of a half or full day.  The key thing to accomplish is to have your prospective customers get to know you and come away with something that they considered worthwhile.  So consider using offline events as part of your marketing strategy and your marketing plan.

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