Driving Leads and Sales Through Private Engagements

5 Tips for Offsite Event Success

Driving Leads and Sales Through Private Engagements

When asked, nearly two-thirds of marketers planned to host traditional, in-person events in 2023 and 2024. The reason isn’t a secret: Nothing quite compares to being face-to-face with someone to drive interest, education, leads and sales. However, you can’t simply arrange a private, offsite engagement and hope for magic to happen. You need to take steps to ensure that you achieve exceptional results.

This means you need to plan as far ahead as possible. Unless an opportunity to join an event as a partner arises at the last minute, you should plan well to ensure you have enough time to carefully map out every aspect of your event. For example, if you plan to host a small-scale event for a specific group of guests, you may be able to organize everything within a month or so. On the other hand, if your B2B event is on a larger scale, you may benefit from dedicating three to six months to preparations.

The length of time you spend strategizing is up to you. Just make sure to remember the following keys to boost your pre-event, in-event, and post-event lead generation and sales efforts.

Develop Content to Boost Attendance

If you want to focus on a specific type of client or prospect for your upcoming event, let’s say. You can’t assume that sending a single email will result in many RSVPs. B2B clients are busy individuals who may need multiple reminders to agree to allocate time for your exclusive engagement.

With this in mind, collaborate with your content marketing team to create various content pieces that entice invitees to commit to attending. These can include various communication methods, such as email drip campaigns, direct messages on social media, personalized video messages, and traditional handwritten cards. The goal is for your content to inspire individuals on the guest list to commit. Will some still be no-shows? Of course. That’s all the more reason for you to create content that will help you attract a sufficient number of people.

Make Your Event Truly Exclusive and Irresistible

Attracting business executives, buyers and other leaders to attend in-person private events can be challenging. You are unlikely to grab their attention if your event is an obvious sales pitch. Instead, you should strive to create an event experience that they will find irresistible. Once they’re at your event, you can employ subtle sales tactics.

What types of events will excite your B2B prospects? Consider things from their perspectives. Is there a specific problem you could help them solve? Is there something happening in their industry that is making it difficult to maintain a competitive advantage? Is there an emerging product or tool they want to learn more about? Put yourself in their shoes to ensure your event is tailored to their needs, not just your own.

Determine How You Will Collect Leads

Lead generation is hardly a one-size-fits-all process. Lead information can be captured in various ways before, during and after any interaction. An example might be gathering informational data during the spot reservation process. Later, your sales team members could use the information to initiate discussions or connect on social media.

While your event is taking place, consider holding giveaways to gather more insights from attendees. Alternatively, you can simply ask them to subscribe to your quarterly newsletter. The key is to make acquiring leads feel natural rather than intrusive. Your prospects should not feel you hover over them while examining your tradeshow displays. They should feel that you are offering them something valuable, and in return, they are willing to provide you with some of their personal information.

Set Clear Expectations for Goals

Your event planning should include several milestone moments. These are the times when you expect to meet basic expectations. For example, you may aim to have 150 RSVPs confirmed two weeks before the event. In that situation, you should implement measurements to track your progress. Ideally, you should check your RSVPs almost daily to monitor any increases from outbound efforts such as emails, texts, or phone call reminders. The more you stay on top of each goal, the easier it will be to determine whether you will hit or miss your target.

You can utilize products such as event apps to gather even more data on attendee engagement during your event. Utilizing technology can help you identify the most discussed presentations (e.g., by tracking hashtags or conducting social listening), the number of users of your proprietary app, and other relevant metrics.

Train Your Sales Team to Network Like Professionals

Many salespeople have very little hands-on experience networking at live events. Therefore, invest time in training your salespeople. Teach them how to effectively network and maximize their time with prospects.

Consider bringing in an external expert to lead a networking workshop for your company. An impartial third party is frequently considered more credible than internal staff members. Besides, you can always learn something new, and your private offsite event is the perfect place to try untested sales and prospecting techniques.

Are you ready to dominate the in-person B2B event market? With some preparation, you can ensure that any exclusive event is a success for your company.


  • Connor Bartholomew

    Connor Bartholomew is CEO of Trade Show Display Depot, a factory-direct seller and manufacturer of trade show exhibits, tabletop displays, floor displays and fixtures. Trade Show Display Depot has 20 years of experience designing, manufacturing and shipping portable trade show exhibits.

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