So the topic that I seem to be talking about most this week is events. No matter what niche you’re in, there are only three kinds of events:
1. The kind you attend
2. The kind you organize
3. The kind you sponsor
The question I’ve been discussing is are they worthwhile?
To start, if you do not know how your customers will benefit by you going, don’t go. For instance if a good portion of the event is about vlogging, but you don’t see any time in your immediate future to start a vlogging venture for them, don’t go for that reason. That kind of information can be attained when you actually do need it.
That doesn’t mean don’t go. Just think strategically. How can going benefit you now?
Then look for joint venture opportunities. Are there people in attendance that you’d love to work with and form some sort of collaborative project? Can you think of a project that would pay for your attendance?
Finally think about asset production. Can you do testimonial videos? Can you get your photo made with others in your industry? Can you interview someone while you’re there for inclusion in a product?
If you can justify the cost with one of those three, everything else is icing on the cake. But the filter should be. . . how is this going to benefit my audience?
Live Events should never be the ultimate final “product”. They should be an entry point into your business for some of your audience and a learning/networking opportunity for others.
Ultimately, a live event is a showcase of what you have to offer your market. A good portion of your live event content should be a preview of what’s to come. Speaking still of podcasting, if you offer a podcasting session, let it be the place people can sign up for your podcasting series coming up in the next month. (If people chose the session already, then they must be interested) .
The next live event should not only be planned but flyers ready and in hand. Customer acquisition is a huge time and money expense, with people already there – don’t lose the momentum. Offer a great deal and a giveaway drawing to those that registered for the next event (live or not). And that doesn’t have to be the next live event – just make sure you’re “snowballing” your audience into the next thing each chance you get.
Continually think “this is an entry point” and plan around that paradigm.
What a great opportunity to become “human” in your marketplace. First and foremost be available to answer every question that’s asked of you. If you can, record every question and answer and offer it to your community as a podcast after. But if you can’t make sure to take notes while answering so you can turn them into blog posts and FAQ’s.
Which brings me to the role of Sponsors at events. Your first question should be “What will I have 6 months after the event has completed?” What long term value does the organizer give me? AND more importantly what can I create for myself?
Think about all the testimonial videos you can do with attendees who use your products and services, think about the product shots with users, the interviews for YouTube. . . Think about getting feedback on book covers and project ideas. . . Think about tagging new friends on Facebook. . . videos you’ll need 6 months from now. . . and challenges you can initiate with attendees that will last 30 – 90 days.
Sponsoring may get your name on the Marquee, but it’s the value you personally make by being there that will determine the long term success or failure. Just because the organizer promises value, doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility to create your own as well.
Sponsoring should be your entry point to accomplishing 60 other things. Not the end game for $600.
Dan R Morris is the author of LettersFromDan, a marketing strategy program dedicated to improving your revenue stream from online efforts. Dan is an infomercial producer, niche website owner, product developer, author and Mastermind leader. Dan actively encourages marketers to take that extra step so that “Hope” doesn’t become the marketing plan.