Why companies hold events? They want to sell, educate, motivate, engage or build partnerships with their stakeholders. Nevertheless, deep down we believe that many of the objectives are secondary, and the one most important is to increase sales. Everything we do, we want to help our clients to improve their bottom line.
Therefore, we decide to present some key elements to demonstrate how businesses can benefit from holding international events. Be it internal or external, companies can achieve higher engagement, provide better learning, strengthen partnership and motivate thier attendees, so all these elements will translate into increased sales.
Product or service updates
The product or service is the highlights of the event and, probably, you want to provide your delegates with an opportunity to learn about your latest updates. There are different ways you can do this. The obvious one is to hold a presentation and go through the latest developments. But there are also other, more engaging ways. For example breakout sessions, project mapping, product demonstrations etc. We believe that people will learn more and remember better if they can actually experience it by themselves and involve more senses.
For example, for a sunscreen product launch we invited the delegates to Sicily, the perfect destination to try the product. We organised outdoors activities to make sure all used the sunscreen to protect themselves from the Sicilian sun. An expert on-site advised on the right protection for the skin type and no one got sunburned. We also organised other activities aligned with the lifestyle of the brand so the delegates (who were journalists, beauty advisors salon owners etc.) spent time with company representatives to ask them further questions about the product in an informal setting.
Analyse attendee needs
We believe that it would be very helpful to analyse attendee needs to be able to deliver a tailor made experience. Here we love using the example of Slido, a Q & A platform that allows interaction between attendees and speakers at the event. Speakers can ask questions in the beginning of the presentation to assess knowledge gaps and therefore tailor their presentation. This way they can also know who is in the audience and the tone of voice they should adopt. This will make the presentation more personalised to attendees needs and increase your chances in closing the sale. The questions can be both close and open to get the maximum information and feedback.
Make a presentation that sells
The hardest part, is to captivate your audience and make a product presentation that sells. The selling process is beyond the product or serive presentation, but you can cleverly integrate it into the entire events. This you can do by setting a theme.
For one of our past events we conceived an event theme entitled “Ancient Roman Technology meets 21st century technology”. The event took place in Rome and welcomed dealers from a leading telecommunication company to participate in their annual conference. The theme was set to stimulate all the five senses. We had a private DJ, Opera singer, motivational speakers and even artists dressed up in costumes from different centuries. The client offered generous buffets with healthy and regional options to suit every taste and diet of the 400 people who attended the conference. Lastly, we also organised leisure activities for the delegates to explore the capital and its hidden spots.
For another event we held in Florence, we designed the theme “Florence Renaissance” for a beauty product. The product was new to launch on the Brazilian market and all beauty salon owners came to Italy for training and education about the product so they can sell it to their clients.
Big part of the event was about how through storytelling the sellers could emphasize product’s features and also company’s values. The values they wanted to bring across were innovation, creativity, and aesthetics in the past, present and future.
The event was very visual, with a fashion show that ignited senses of sight and sound. Further senses were stimulated at the dinner and wine tasting.
Take the event beyond the physical space
For clients, live event is a major financial investment. As a result, we recommend creating an experience that will go beyond the few days event, extend to social media and live its legacy. How can you achieve this? There are different ways to extend event life cycle and its reach. If you can create a loyal community and brand ambassadors your event will reach new audiences. For example, create an event hashtag and encourage attendees share their experiences online and offer incentives for sharing the content, offer a branded photo booth, live streaming from the event, take interviews with attendees, invite social influencers, journalists or bloggers to write about your event.
Lastly, don’t forget to create a call to action: to buy, to download, to register, to take a survey or anything else that will help you achieve your targets.
We don’t see the events as an one off occasion that is happening for only few days. Events are part of a marketing mix, and should be an ongoing activity for several months – before, during and after. This will give you the opportunity to create a stronger community, increase engagement and attendance and extend the event beyond the physical space to reach new audiences online. By prolonging your event life cycle you will be also able to increase your sales.