Events are among the most exciting ways for a business to attract new customers, generate thought leadership, and improve brand reputation.
However, many small companies still think that event experiences are reserved for bigger ventures.
In today’s age of digital everything, the reality is that any company can host an effective webinar, live product demonstration, or a presentation, without spending a fortune.
Even better, the results speak for themselves, with around 70% of B2B marketers saying events are the most valuable component in their content strategy.
Here are some of the best ways for small businesses to use live events to attract new clients and opportunities.
If you’re used to visiting customers in-person to show them how to use something, or you send out instructions leaflets that are almost an inch thick with products, maybe it’s time for something new.
Product demonstrations are among the business processes that benefit from digitalization the most.
A digital product demonstration is a great way to show your customers exactly how to get the most out of the new offering that you’re bringing to market.
You can showcase your most popular features and the things that make your solution stand out, while giving clients the kind of advice they can genuinely use.
To make the experience even more exciting, give your customers the chance to win something or take part in contests alongside your demonstration.
This helps create buzz, particularly if you start promoting the potential contest early enough in advance.
Live Q&A Sessions
If you find that your customers often have a variety of questions to ask your sales teams before they invest, it might be helpful to do a live Q&A session where you can discuss some of those issues in a more engaging format.
Live Q&A sessions are a chance to connect with your customers in real time and address the problems that might be stopping them from purchasing your products.
A Q&A session can also be an excellent way to demonstrate your thought leadership and put your customer’s mind at ease about the knowledge you have of your industry.
Consider bringing specific members of staff into the Q&A session to answer specialist questions. This will show off your talent, while making your company seem more human.
Small businesses often struggle with getting customers to trust them when they first arrive in the industry. That’s because a lot of clients will only feel comfortable with brands they’ve already heard about.
If you don’t have a lot of feedback from other customers and a strong niche reputation, you need another way to make yourself appear more credible.
Conducting interviews in an event with leading influencers and innovators in your space boosts your image by putting you in line with other professionals in your space.
It’s basically like gaining credibility by association.
Consider asking your influencers to work with you outside of the event, with social media mentions and product reviews too.
An influencer doesn’t have to be a huge celebrity to have a positive impact. Smaller names make a huge difference too.
A product launch is a great way to attract a lot of attention to your new product or service, while boosting your chances of making plenty of sales.
With a product launch, you can generate buzz for months before the event, convincing customers to sign up for your launch day experience in exchange for their email address.
This is a great way to collect contact details that you can use later to nurture leads into customers.
You might even offer clients the chance to get a discount on their purchase if they sign up for the event in advance.
This boosts your product’s chances of generating buzz from the moment it becomes available.
Remember, the kind of event you’re running will determine how you promote it.
If you’re hosting VIPs and influencers as part of a product launch, remember to make an effort to boost attendance by having them share the event details with their followers.
How-to events are a great way to present your business as an innovator and educated party in your chosen industry.
Ideally, the aim of these events should not just be to demonstrate the features of your products, as you would in a classic product demo.
Instead, you should be addressing specific pain points and issues that customers can overcome with your product.
For instance, if you’re a SaaS company offering video conferencing services, and you notice that many of your customers are using your tool to stay connected with remote workers, maybe you could have a full how-to event that covers the best way to manage distance employees.
Use it as an opportunity to showcase your knowledge, get input from third parties, and demonstrate the abilities of your product all at once.
Make the Most of Your Events
Events aren’t just a solution for big companies with a lot of cash to spend on real-estate and guest speakers anymore.
Digital and virtual events are rapidly emerging as a quick and convenient way for small businesses to connect with their target audience and generate brand equity in their industry.
With the right event strategy, you can transform an unknown company into a credible brand in a matter of days.
Remember, the key to success isn’t just hosting an amazing event but promoting it properly too.
Give yourself time to generate interest and find the ideal audience before you launch your virtual experience.
Michelle Laurey works as a VA for small businesses. She loves talking business, and productivity, and share her experience with others. Outside her keyboard, she spends time with her Kindle library or binge-watching Billions. Her superpower? Vinyasa flow! Talk to her on Twitter @michelle_laurey.