Sales are the essence of every event that is unfolded. You already have a set of plans for the arrangement of your event. You know how you want the program to go, and your venue is set. You have probably carried out extensive research on the genre of customers you want, and how to satisfy them.
But how much thought have you put into the achieving of high sales of your event tickets or passes? It is often very easy to underrate the importance of focusing on advertising the methods of your sales. Often, you might feel that the glamor of your event will be enough to draw in the audience in droves. Many event planners are often disappointed to find themselves faced with empty seats and losses in expenses.
As event professionals and event managers we all know that every successful event is the result of tireless and timely planning and preparation. The same then applies when looking at the event sales process, and it’s vital that you give yourself the time to allow for clear headed decision making and preparation from the offset if you want to see the best results.
Divria Events gives you tips on all things events; you don’t have to go through any arduous processes to have a sold-out event. Here are five distinct secrets of successful event sales to help make your programs a huge success.
#1 KNOW AND UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE.
You need to know from the onset exactly what sort of people your event is aimed at. You must understand your audience. It’s vital from the offset that you take the time to identify who your audience and demographic will be for your event, exactly the same as your overall business. Look at the content of your event and think carefully.
Ask yourself critically; who is it going to appeal to? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Would I really want to attend this event if I were a random person? Once you have a clear idea of your target audience, you must focus all your attention on drawing them in.
Every event is, in effect, a little business. It has its own marketing and operational procedure to be followed. Profit and loss accounts must be managed; a team to recruit and supply chain to manage. Therefore, the sales process for each of your events deserves the same level of attention as the overall business. Don’t leave the sales process as an afterthought.
#2 MAKE EXTENSIVE, USEFUL RESEARCH.
This part is really important and the one thing that gets overlooked the most. Yes we are all incredibly busy, but we are also incredibly lucky to live in an age where we have access to a wide resource of information by way of the Internet. Best of all, we can now add social media platforms to that resource. You no longer have to spend hours sifting through printed business directories, trying to find out the best person to contact. And then only to hear those demoralizing words “sorry we operate a no-names policy”.
As an event planner, you do need to allow yourself time to do effective research. there are situations however, where you genuinely have zero time to check up your potential customers. Let Divria Events do it for you! Visit www.divriaevents.com for professional advice and expert researchers.
To know what approach to use in achieving great event sales, visit websites that offer you information in regards to the brand, culture and overall objectives of a company. Linkedin that will tell you the key team members within companies that you need to target and also who they are connected to. Twitter will give you an idea of the personality of those particular team members.
Use this information to your advantage and think about how your customers brand and personality fits with yours. The more information you have to hand on a company, brand and individual, the more powerful this will make you when it comes to the negotiation stage. Furthermore, you will feel more confident in your approach. It also gives you a head start in building long term relationships with your customers which are crucial in the events industry.
#3 BUILD A CONTACT DATABASE AND PROSPECT LIST.
After you’ve spent time collating all of the above lovely information you need somewhere to record it. There are a wide variety of on-line customer relationship management applications that you could use to effectively manage your contacts and prospects. Improvisation is useful for those that do not have the funds or resources to implement a system such as sales-force. If you prefer to keep it simple and basic then a spreadsheet will work just fine, just as long as you record everything. Keeping a record keeps you up to speed on the latest communications and how things are progressing. But more importantly it makes your work much easier.
Your database should have a record of the following basic contact information:
• Job Title,
• Company Name,
• Direct Dial Telephone Number (Great To Bypass Those Pesky Receptionists) And
• Email Address,
• Tone of communications,
• Likes and dislikes.
It should also be up to date and secure, password protected if necessary, depending on the seniority and sensitivity of your contacts.
#4 THINK ABOUT EMOTIONAL DECISION FACTORS: SELL THE WHY RATHER THAN WHAT.
This is so important when it comes to sales and marketing for events. More and more people are moving away from simply being sold to and from old school style campaigns and tactics. Practice consultative and relationship selling. This means taking the time to really get to know your prospects needs and motivations. Find out what is important to them before you mention anything about your brand or event. As we like to say in the event sales world, two ears and one mouth. Listen first, listen some more, then listen more still before speaking about yourself.
Always make sure that what you’re offering in return solves a business and professional need or problem they may be having. People use logic to process the information they receive, but it’s really emotions that drive our decision making and actions. These in turn are driven by our desires and aspirations. From issues such as needing to get ahead of the competition and look good in front of the boss, wanting to expand our network or profile in an industry, or as simple as wanting to be valued and important. Recognize these emotive factors and you’ll be one step ahead of the game.
#5 UP YOUR SALES GAME WHEN YOU FINISH STRONG!
Attracting the right audience, converting leads, and even selling event tickets is only a part of your event marketing battle. Measuring and analyzing the data you’ve gleaned from all your marketing efforts is the turning point in the marketing cycle. These measurements and analyses are the answers to “What could I do better next time?”
Surveys, CRM and email marketing are great ways to keep up with your audience. Having detailed information about your attendees, and a channel committed to hearing and addressing attendee feedback is a crucial element to event marketing success. Bill Gates said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Don’t be afraid of the brutal honesty of your attendees.
Planning a memorable event is all about engaging attendees. Figure out their pain, and use inbound marketing techniques, a solid story and innovative technology to keep them happy and engaged. Remember to surround yourself with good people, utilize social media the right way, and pay just as much attention to the analysis of your event as you do the event itself.
The event sales process should begin even before you have confirmed your venue or started booking your speakers. It’s an important part of the strategic planning process.Building an effective event sales pipeline will start you on the right track to establishing stronger relationships. Event planning is a people industry. Making genuine efforts to connect will only result in your attendees trusting you, your event and the value your event offers them even more. The more time you allow yourself to prepare for this and really get to know who your target audience and customers are then the more effective your event sales and marketing will be in the future.