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How Events Build Business

Technology enables us to work faster, get more done and digitally connect with people all over the world. It’s hard to imagine a work environment without screens, and still the fact remains that real business relationships are built face to face. Studies tell us that requests made in person are more effective than emails, phone calls and text messages, but today’s B2B buyers only spend 17% of their buying process meeting face to face with potential suppliers according to a study by Gartner. This makes getting face time a rare, but vital part of building any business. So, how do you get it? Invite your clients and prospects to a unique event and give your team the opportunity to nurture relationships through a shared experience and meaningful one-on-one conversations. In short, get your team an unfair edge over the competition by hosting events that people actually want to attend.

Build trust

Start by finding a shared connection with your guests. It’s no surprise that people do business with the people they like and trust. At the end of the day, all the details of pricing, timing and contracts are secondary to trusting the supplier. Events provide a great opportunity to establish common ground and maintain a solid relationship with your potential and current clients. For instance, you might find that you have a shared interest like luxury sports cars or old-school arcade games. It’s also an opportunity to get current and prospective clients talking. Hearing from happy customers and brand ambassadors might be the final push to get a prospect to become a customer.

Get outside the office

We know what you’re thinking. Why should I spend money hosting an event when I can score face time with a client at their office or mine? For starters, you have a better chance of getting the “yes.” Your clients and prospects are inundated with cold calls and appointment requests. To stand out, it’s essential to make your outreach different. What if they could get a complimentary custom bag or a free pair of designer sunglasses while sipping a cocktail at a new restaurant a block from their office? Even the most in-demand attendee would find that offer tempting. We’ve found that events with a pop-up retail component, or that take place in a retail space are the most popular with guests. Getting invited to a cool event gets clients excited to meet with you and makes them feel special for snagging an invite.

The relaxed and interactive atmosphere of an event is also the ideal setting for forming stronger bonds. By eliminating work-related distractions and taking clients out of an office setting, they can let their hair down and have some fun. Stiff conversation is replaced with an enthusiastic talk about families, interests and personal lives. From there, your guests might be more open to having an honest, in-depth conversation about goals and pain points. Having a better understanding of where your customers are coming from allows you to instill trust and reassure them that you have their back.

Improve brand visibility

Another reason events are so effective is because they provide great exposure for your brand. An event offers multiple touch points over the course of a few months. From invitations and event reminders to the event itself to branded takeaways and follow-up, you’ll have no shortage of opportunities to connect with your clients and prospects. And as the event host, you have total control over the branding, so you can maximize marketing efforts before, during and after the event.

Before the event, find out if the venue has a screen, microphones and speakers or other audio-visual equipment—or use an outside vendor to bring in A/V—to showcase your brand. Consider having your logo projected onto the wall or have a monitor or smart TV playing a looped marketing video. Take advantage of the fact that you have a captive audience, and prepare a presentation about your latest case study or product release. After you’ve wined and dined your guests and impressed them with a VIP tour and scavenger hunt through the National Gallery, they’ll likely be willing to give up their time to listen to your presentation.

In addition to on-site branding, ensure your guests walk away with something memorable from the event. Let guests design their own messenger bag or shoes. By hosting a retail event or an event with a takeaway, your guests will have a tangible reminder of the great time they had at your event. Every time they put on their shoes or cook with their new gear, they’ll think of you and your great event.

Building out your calendar

As you’re putting together your events calendar for the year, it’s important to schedule different types of events for clients in various parts of the buying cycle. Interactive events are great for prospecting because the activity helps break the ice. Schedule larger, lower-cost events to nurture clients that aren’t quite ready to make a purchase. You’ll also want to include some smaller, more intimate and upscale events for clients that are farther along and ready to seal the deal. And be sure to include a few VIP events for your top clients to show your appreciation.

No matter your event needs, the experts at Kapow are here to help. Whether you’re doing your 2018 planning, looking for cool event ideas or need help finding the right event for your client, Kapow has you covered. Click on the chat icon on the bottom of the screen or contact us to get started.

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