Events should play a role in most marketing strategies for small businesses. Hosting an event is a great way to get your name out there and establish your credibility on a specific topic.
Events can be anything from free online information-sharing sessions to paid in-person workshops – whichever suits your business best.
How do small businesses successfully use events to drive sales?
The key to getting the most out of an event is to make sure that the amount of time and energy you put in to the planning pays off in the outcome. You can do this by:
- Delivering value to your target audience so they want to do business with you; and
- Minimising time (and headaches!) spent on event-planning logistics.
Let’s break this down in more detail.
How can you deliver value to your target audience?
- Be clear on your purpose (what you want to achieve – for youself and your attendees): Establish the purpose of your event. Have you noticed that many of your existing customers have similar questions on how to use one of your products and might appreciate training? Are you looking to build your name recognition in a new industry or area? Think about what your ideal outcome would be (e.g. gain new clients, build existing customer loyalty) AND what attendees will get out of the event.
- Objectives. Make sure you set some SMART objectives. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely objectives come in really handy when you are reviewing the success of your event.
- Define your scope: This is where we consider our who, what, when, where and how. Making sure you have a great run sheet organised will help you not only with your list of resources, but also – consider what kind of budget you will need to run your event.
- Plan your event: Settle on a date, time, and location, leaving yourself at least a month to prepare. Create an invitation for your event and circulate it to your target audience.
- Deliver! Prepare your presentation well in advance, be prepared to answer questions, and show up with a smile.
What is the best way for small businesses to market their events?
If you’re a small business owner, you don’t have time to spend hours on planning an event and worrying about poor turnout. Make sure you get the most out of your efforts by streamlining your event planning and marketing your event widely to get a good turn out.
We recommend using Eventbrite to create and manage your events. Eventbrite is an online event-planning site that will let you create a page for your event, register attendees, and even sell tickets.
Simply create an account and a new event. Eventbrite will walk you through a form to fill-in the particulars for your event (which you should already know from the steps above!).
We recommend taking a little extra time to fill in some information about yourself or your business in an organizer page.
It is also worth it to include an eye-catching event cover photo, which you can create easily in Canva. For more information on what Canva can offer and its pricing check out our article on Canva the $Debate here.
After your event page is looking great, Eventbrite will give you a link which you can share with your target audience. We recommend sending an invitation to your business’s database at least 4 times during the month leading up to the event. We also recommend sharing the link across all of your social media channels.
So how does it measure up?
Eventbrite offers easy integration with Xero, Mailchimp, and Facebook accounts, among others – easy as!
Eventbrite charges 2.5% of the ticket price for each registration, plus $0.99 per ticket. If you use Eventbrite’s payment gateway (recommended), the platform will take another 3.5% of the ticket price.
If you are using Eventbrite to host a FREE event there is no charge to use the platform.
If you get a little stuck you can always ask for a little support. We run training programs or can help with your event administration. Just contact us here.
So what are you waiting for? Get event-ing!