95% of marketers agree that a networking event is the best way to form personal connections within an increasingly digital world. In a tsunami of irrelevant and poorly-thought-out cold email spam and relentless online advertising that B2B buyers often feel like they’re in the middle of, meeting people face to face is a way of legitimising your firm, building trust and establishing an emotional connection.
Events are going to increase in popularity in the wake of GDPR too as many marketing and BD functions wonder how to move away from a reliance on digital data. At Propero, we are strong believers in multichannel channel lead-generation approaches. Digital channels are our bread and butter but we always marry online strategy with complimentary offline channels such as events or PR.
However, there’s a big difference between attending an event, and running one.
The benefit of running your own event is that you can be in a room full of your ideal leads.To get to that point requires in-depth research, targeted marketing campaigns and a specific guest list. We’ve created an easy to follow how-to guide on how to run a successful lead generating marketing event for your law firm.
1) Define the networking event’s purpose
Establish why you’re running the event. Is it to make a profit? Is it to generate leads? Is it to portray thought-leadership? If your main aim is to generate leads, you need to centre your event around what your target audience needs. Prospective clients won’t come if they don’t see a benefit to them. As an example, law firms have recently been inundated with GDPR related work. Putting on an event answering your client’s burning GDPR questions will attract the leads you want.
Tip: Even if the aim of your networking event isn’t to generate profit, by charging for tickets it ensures less people will drop out.
2) Determine a date, time and venue
This largely depends on who your target audience is and the format of your event. If you’re targeting professionals who are senior decision makers, be sure to schedule it early on in the day. An event scheduled in the afternoon is more likely to have drop-outs, as people are less likely to leave their desks in the middle of the day.
Tip: Always have a networking event mid-week, as people tend to forget about events straight after the weekend, or tend to make plans closer to the weekend.
When choosing a venue, it’s important to keep it as central to your target audience as possible, and easy to get to from public transport. Also, make sure the venue reflects your firm’s brand–for example, if you’re an established law firm make sure you go for a location that’s clean-cut and professional.
3) Promoting your firm’s networking event
Promoting your firm’s networking event is one of the hardest jobs, yet one of the most important. To get the right people to attend, your marketing has to be specifically targeted, requiring a lot of time-consuming research and understanding.
Ways to promote your networking event include:
- Send out invitations to your regular mailing list. Try to identify who your ‘high engagers’ are (those who interact with your firm regularly, by opening and clicking through on emails, for example) and tailor emails towards them.
- Create display and retargeting ads to attract online attention. Display ads help your business gain brand awareness amongst people you aren’t currently engaging with. . Retargeting display ads, on the other hand, are more helpful for people further down the sales funnel, as they’re aware of your brand but need a reminder to revisit your site and take action.
- Research and collate a list of specific potential clients you want to attend and send out personal invitations—these can be emails, although phone calls are more personal and separate your message from the volume of emails received every day.
- Clear and regular communication that has the vital information included, such as date, time and title of the event. This may seem obvious, but its a vital feature that can be missed all too often.
Tip: By using a platform such as Eventbrite to sell tickets on, you’re not only making the payment process easier for yourself and your attendees, but it helps legitimise your event.
4) The day of the networking event
When networking at your own event, it’s crucial to introduce yourself and make yourself known to everybody there. However, don’t spend the entire time trying to talk to everybody–establish your ideal clients from the ticket sales information and make sure you dedicate your time to speaking to them. Alternatively, if you’ve got a team at the event, allocate certain attendees to your colleagues so there’s less overlap and you spend your time more efficiently.
While speaking to attendees, a useful tip is to take note of why that person is there and what they’re hoping to get out of your event (we usually ask for a business card and write key information on the back). This is all valuable information which will make your follow up much more personal, which in turn will yield higher rates of success.
Tip: Make sure your firm’s branding is everywhere. Show your logo on TV screens and banners, and bring along case studies and external marketing documents to give out. If you’re short of branded documents, give us a call on 020 3369 6844 to find out what Propero can do.
After the event
The followup to your event is as important as the event itself. Ensure you contact everyone that attended with a personal response, either through email or a phone call. Within professional services, relationship building is extremely important, so following leads up with personalised messages is integral to the success of the event.
To generate right-fit leads from the events you run, it’s integral that your firm’s marketing campaign is high-quality and targeted.
Propero’s expertise lies at at putting the right message in front of the right people, and with our knowledge, you’re next networking event will yield the clients your firm is looking for. We can identify branding opportunities at events and produce collateral to support your events to give your potential clients a consistent memorable experience. To find out what we can do for your firm, drop us an email or have a quick chat to one of our account managers.
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