Your Most Straight Forward Guide To Generating Leads For Events And Conferences

Events are awesome. Hosting an event can be fun but at the same time super stressful. Imagine all the things that you need to think about when preparing for an event. All the bookings, managing the attendees, finding a location, locating speakers, the list goes on. The last thing you want to deal with is having to hound down on people to purchase tickets for your event.

You might be an event organizer that’s currently spending money on ads, paying for a lot of marketing and hoping for some word of mouth, but that doesn’t cut it. The important question is what you can do right now to engage with possible customers that’s willing to attend the conference or event that you are hosting.

Start Early

We all know waiting until the last minute before doing anything is bad, but waiting until the last couple weeks before you start asking people to sign up for your event is even worse. I still believe in emails. I believe that email is one of the most direct way to find targeted leads early on, but having a good marketing strategy in the beginning is important too. Do you have all the social media accounts set up? Are you engaged with your fans on Twitter? All of these little things come into play and helps you build your presence.

Social Media

As mentioned above, social media is a very powerful channel that works. The hardest part is receiving responses from social media. Building a list on Twitter of targeted leads is a great way to start. You can pass that list over to a lead enrichment solution like us at InspireBeats for us to help you find their contact information.

Start engaging with influencers on social media. If you’re running a mobile app conference, then you probably want to connect with startups that run mobile apps. You might want to share content that’s related to mobile apps. Don’t use automated direct messages, those are terrible. Instead, try to personalize everything as much as possible. Reach out to each one of them and ask them what they want to see at the event or conference. Ask them who they would like to see speak at the conference.

Forums/Blogs/Niche Groups

A lot of people are saying that forums are dead, but that’s untrue. There are still a lot of active forums out there especially the ones that target a specific niche. Do some googling and you can easily find a list of groups, forum names, linkedin groups, facebook groups and many more. Join these group and start reaching out to the people there.

Of course, none of this is easy and requires a lot of manual work, but it pays off. You can connect with these members directly and have them spread the word about your conference/event.

No matter what sort of promotion you are using, segmentation is vital to getting the right attendees registered for your event. Make sure you spend time on data quality and ensure that the lists can be reused in the future. The same people might be attending the event again. Think of events as a recurring SaaS company, those customers will stay forever and introduce new customers.

Email

Email is probably the most direct way to getting customers for your event. Outbound works most of the time especially if you’re event’s tickets cost are high. Of course, it’s best to already have a list of emails from previous attendees or a mailing list, but that isn’t always the case.

The first step would be to come up with your ideal list of target which you should have done at the very beginning. Ask yourself, “Who can afford my event?” “Who will benefit the most from my event?”, and “What type of people you would like to see at the event?” That is the basic to identifying your ideal audience.

Finding the right number and times for email promotions for an event has a great deal to do with the type of event you are promoting. For a larger conference, you should send a series of promotional emails starting roughly a month or two before the actual event, and spaced a week or a little more apart.

Again, this goes back to starting early.

You can automate this process using a solution like GrowthOK. GrowthOK can help you find the targeted list of leads for you based on any custom data point that you need to ensure that these sales leads will pay for your conference.

This should be planned and implemented months before the event actually occurs. Reach out if you need help!

A sample follow up timeline:

  • 2 months prior — An introduction email about the event/conference and what the attendees can learn from it.
  • 1 month prior — Add additional information and include invite links
  • 3 weeks prior — Run a question base email asking for feedback and what they would like to see.
  • 2 weeks prior — Official invites
  • 1 week prior — Last minute invites
  • 5 days prior — Reminder about event and what they need to be aware of
  • 3 days prior — Reminder again
  • 1 day prior — Tickets reminder

Paid advertising

Paid advertising is one of the best ways to acquire customers for any event. Facebook and retargeting works like a charm for this one and you can easily turn it into a lead generation machine. Here are a few channels that you can use to generate leads for your upcoming conference/event:

Sponsored newsletters, podcast, email list
By using sponsored emails, you have access to a target audience that might not otherwise be reached. Again back to the mobile app example, you can sponsor a podcast that is dedicated to mobile optimization or something along the lines of mobile apps. By doing that, you’ll have a chance to reach out to a large audience that is already passionate about mobile apps.

Twitter Ads (Cards) — Twitter ads are effective for building brand awareness. A lot of times, people don’t buy from Twitter ads right away, but if they see it again or come across the same ad again on another platform, chances are that they will remember it and might purchase.

Linkedin Ads — If you’re running a conference, it might make sense for you to invest in ads on a platform where all the top executives of companies are on. With Linkedin, you can segment the users you are targeting.

Banner and display — These types of ads appear on a website or mobile app. You can either place your ads on sites that you think your target audiences frequent, or you can sign up for a retargeting campaign where your ads are targeted based on your audience’s internet preferences.

Facebook Ads — The best type of Facebook ad campaigns for lead gen is probably the Facebook cards. Define your target on Facebook’s ad manager and make sure you narrow down a few interest so that you can find highly targeted leads from your Facebook ads.

If you’re looking for sponsors, leads, and other personalized/custom sales b2b data, then feel free to reach out to us at GrowthOK