This memorable line in the movie Field of Dreams was the message that inspired an Iowa farmer to construct a mystical baseball diamond in his cornfield. With the magical ability to attract visitors from the spirit world, the “field of dreams” eventually brought in a crush of traffic from the real world.
If only today’s business events generated such a crowd these days.
In fact, generating awareness, interest and action for important business events remains a steep challenge today. Customers and prospects are constantly bombarded with email invitations, electronic advertisements and other online offers vying for their time and attention.
So how do you rise above the digital noise and achieve the attendance numbers you desire for your webinars, conferences and meetings? There’s a movement underway to turn to the power of voice – the telephone – to put a personal touch back into event invitations. The advantages to this approach are numerous:
- An alternative to electronic overload: Telephoning event prospects is novel in that it makes use of non-digital communications in this day of electronic overload. A phone call gives the target a reason to consider an event invitation delivered by an actual person – what a concept! Tie a phone call in with other channels of communication for your pre-event outreach, and you’ll find that multiple touch points and mediums help build stronger results overall.
- Reach those who missed the message: Calling the target has the added benefit of reaching those who may not have seen or received the event invitation in the first place. In fact, many emails these days can get blocked by company spam filters, moved (either on-purpose or accidentally) to spam mailboxes, or just missed in the daily onslaught of messages. Ads can just as easily be blocked, missed or ignored – especially by emerging Generation Y, which has grown up generally disregarding mass-market advertising.
- Answer easy questions: Personal discussions enable those who may be considering the event to ask questions and receive a bit more information that may have been missing or omitted from the original communications. Often, such engagements prompt the target to take immediate action to register for the event.
- Discover common objections: By talking to targets, organizations might identify a common – and easily rectified – reason why they are not registering. Maybe the date is a lesser-known holiday or too close to (or competing with) another industry event, or the registration is deemed too expensive. (And if the latter is the case, try this marketing solution: create a discount, early-bird price or two-for-one offering.)
- Better quality attendees: Reaching out to targets via phone also lends an air of depth and quality to an event, as companies who add this aspect to their recruiting efforts appear to the target more invested in the event and committed to reaching the right, screened person matched for it. As a result, pre-event attendance campaigns tend to generate higher quality, more qualified and interested event attendees.
- Higher attendance rates: Those who register for an event have more mental commitment to actually showing up if they’ve made a verbal commitment to do so, as opposed to those who simply register online, and then blow off the event at the last minute as they think no one will care or notice.
- Uncover role changes: People change jobs and companies constantly. It’s possible the target that’s being emailed is in a different role, or left the company long ago, and another person is now in the position. Event calling services can uncover this circumstance when, at times, an unanswered email won’t. In addition, the conversation may identify previously unknown people within the company who also might be interested in the event.
- High ROI: What if a company invests significant dollars in a trade show or user group event, and nobody – or very few attendees – show up? It’s not uncommon in this day of budget crunches, travel restrictions and prospects just being too busy to miss email registration offers. But then sales and marketing teams are left holding the bag (or worse) in front of their superiors. That’s why many businesses often investigate attendance-calling services in the late stages of their pre-event campaigns — when their event registration is suffering. But efforts to rectify the situation at that point can be too little, too late.
Investing in these services up front is when the most ROI is achieved, and it can be more than justified when compared to the time, effort and high dollar amounts spent on events these days. As a result, experienced meeting planners are making pre-event attendance services a part of their overall event budgets right from the start. Doing so may not only save the event, but turn a good turnout into a great one.
Indeed, the reasons to augment electronic campaigns with pre-event attendance services anchored by phone calls are many, but the bottom line is the bottom line: it works to increase quality attendance.
And that’s a home run in any ballpark.
At C-Level Connections, we’re experts at pre-event sales programs, and our experienced team understands the art of successful phone call campaigns that achieve better event attendance results. To learn more and receive a complimentary sales consultation, contact me, Bonnie Rodden, at 512.768.8571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.