With the continued growth of online marketing, it’s easy for business owners to stay behind their screens and rely on social media and email to connect with their audiences. But they’d be doing themselves and their businesses a disservice, and potentially losing sales, by not considering hosting networking events, conferences or workshops.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs could take a cue from larger company marketing departments where, according to Bizaboo, 80% believe live events are critical to their company’s success. Hosted events could make a big impact on your business as well.
Here are some of the benefits of meeting face-to-face with your community that you’d miss by not hosting a live event:
Build Greater Connections
You can build good relationships with customers online or over the phone, but there is something so much more powerful about meeting them in person at your event. Relationships built on face-to-face interaction often become much closer much faster. You see them and talk to them directly, and that leads to clients who trust you and will be much more receptive to your offers.
Retain Existing Customers
It’s well known that holding on to existing customers is much easier and less expensive than getting new ones. By inviting your existing customers to an event or retreat you are strengthening the bond you have with them and ensuring they will stick with you for the long haul. As Sales Coach extraordinaire, Jessica Lorimer, says on her podcast (Smart Leaders Sell episode 100), your warmest audience is where your money will come from. People who have already bought from you are way more likely to buy from you next time.
Have More Time with Customers
In a typical online interaction, your audience’s attention span is only 8 seconds, per a study by Microsoft. That stat has been a bit debated, but even if it’s a little longer it’s nowhere near the undivided attention you’ll receive from your audience at a live event.
During your 60 or 90 minute sessions, your clients will be focused on you. They won’t be multi-tasking – listening to your webinar on their computers with 20 tabs open, while also checking email, Facebook, and even doing some work. They’ll be focused on you and your message.
It’s great to get actionable tips and gain knowledge while listening to a webinar or reading an article, but too often once the lesson finishes so does the work. Most of the time the work needed to implement the solution doesn’t start right afterward. It gets put aside, to be done later, but never gets done. Or your customers may have questions about the topic but can’t get an answer right away.
If your audience is on-site though, in front of you, you can make sure that they actually take action based on your advice and instruction. You’re there if they have questions and you can encourage them to complete the work then and there before they get distracted.
And when they complete the work and reap the benefits they will realize just how much of an effect you can have on their transformation.
Highlight Higher Priced Offerings
If you’re not taking advantage of the face-to-face time with your audience to upsell other offerings then you’re missing a huge opportunity to add revenue. Hopefully, your event has gone well and you have proven your worth, so your clients will be more apt to trust you and buy from you.
Conduct Market Research
It takes a lot of effort to set up and conduct a survey of your audience, and even when you reach out to them a lot don’t respond. At your event, you have a captive audience who will be more likely to give you feedback.
You can ask them what they want and need help with. You can also get feedback on your current offers and gather ideas for new ones. This information is so valuable to understanding your customers and how to market to them in the future. When developing programs and crafting your messaging, you can even use their own words, so your marketing will be more effective and your ideal clients will feel that you’re talking directly to them.
Your current clients can be your best marketing tool. Peer-to-peer client testimonials are a powerful validation of your work. Make sure you invite current happy clients to your retreat so they can interact with those not as familiar with you.
Build a Community
A great benefit of bringing audience members together is providing a way for them to build connections with each other. Obviously, they have some common ground since they’re at your event. Provide enough time and the right spaces during the retreat for them to get to know one another and the resulting bonds will further strengthen your brand.
Conclusion for Hosting Your Own Event
There’s nothing like face-to-face interactions, especially today where people spend so much time buried in their phones. If you haven’t even attended a live event, try it. You’ll be surprised at the benefits you’ll receive.
But by hosting your OWN event you’ll really reap the benefits for your business and your community.
Hosting your own event or workshop doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Grab our free Event Planning Checklist to get a full outline of everything you’ll need to do to plan a successful, profitable event and gain all of the benefits mentioned above!