An event is a chance to create a lasting impression on potential customers/employees and build your brand awareness. Done correctly, an event can boost your sales, employee wait list, boost you to an influencer status, and give your company an extra edge of prestige and credibility against your competitors. Event marketing is a crucial part of creating your best event yet. Event marketing is even more crucial for managed service providers who may not have as much experience with events as say, a catering company.
Here are five tips for event marketing for managed service providers.
Join the Conversation
It’s easy to join the conversation around a nationwide event, like the Microsoft GP User Group Summit. With huge events like this, there are usually pre-existing hashtags, a large following, and even press around the event. In situations like this, it’s easy for your company to join in.
Make sure that you promote the event on your social channels often—this helps you capitalize on the prestige of going to a large event. Going to a large event can give you credibility in the eyes of potential employees and impress potential clients. If no one knows you’re going—no one will be impressed.
Use the pre-existing hashtags on channels that support them, like Twitter and Instagram. The followers of large events will be using these hashtags as well and following what businesses will be attending the event.
Create the Conversation
What happens if you’re hosting the event? How do you create a conversation around it? This is more difficult than just capitalizing on a pre-existing conversation. For example, let’s say it’s your company’s 30th anniversary. How do you ensure that people will be interested in your event?
Make it engaging and exciting for your audience. Create a huge lead up to the event, posting about it often in the month before and hinting at a large reveal at the event. This reveal can be as simple as a super cool raffle basket, ribbon cutting, or statue unveiling. Your event marketing will hinge around this suspense.
Create a hashtag for your event and use it on every single post promoting it. Use press releases to promote the event and push it into broader media channels, such as newspapers and community magazines.
The more you push the event out into your community and make your audience engaged, the more conversation will naturally grow around your event.
Capitalize on Community Relationships
As a managed service provider, you have the ability to create relationships with businesses in your community with every service call or sale. Your clients know your company, from your sales person to your technician, they’ve spoken with and built a relationship with your employees.
Event marketing for managed service providers is made easier because of your subscription business model. Most likely, the same technician goes to the same clients once a month. Your technicians should have built a friendly professional relationship with your clients—enough so that they feel comfortable personally inviting them to your event.
If you’re holding an anniversary event, then most likely your business has been in the community for at least ten years. In that time frame, you should have built networking relationships within your community. Now’s the perfect time to use your connections to spread the word about your event and invite them to join you.
If you’re holding a grand opening or ribbon cutting ceremony, you may have moved offices or just opened the start of your very first business—congratulations! In this case, you may be lacking in networking connections. If this is you, push your social channels, invite the business connections of your mentors, friends, and family and get the word out to your local Chamber of Commerce. Usually when they perform a ribbon cutting, they also put out a press release which can give you good press.
Build the Suspense
We have all had the late night experience of a good mystery book that you just can’t put down. Event marketing for managed service providers can capitalize on that same feeling. As mentioned earlier, every event needs to have a focal point. Whether that’s a speech, unveiling, ribbon cutting, etc. it gives you something to build suspense about.
Closely incorporate your big reveal into your lead up. For example, if the focal point of your event is a ribbon cutting for your new building, give your campaign a theme that centers around your new building. A managed service provider who is moving into a cutting edge technologically-advanced new office could build the theme of advancement and new technology into their lead up. Promote posts featuring the most advanced technologies in your new office— always encouraging anyone who sees the post to come try it out for themselves at your open house.
If your event’s big reveal is a guest speaker and prominent business leader, post interesting and impressive tidbits about their history in a series of posts before the event itself. It gets your audience interested in the speaker and builds excitement for their official speech.
Call a Marketing Professional…
Event marketing for managed service providers is not your average bear. You need a marketing professional who understands the technology community and also has experience with event marketing.
New North is here to help. We can make the most out of your event. If planned and promoted properly, an event can give your marketing department photos, press releases, and content for your social media, website, etc. for months to come. Don’t let that opportunity go to waste.
Contact New North today for more information on event marketing for managed service providers.