Ben McGill, new business director at brand storytelling platform Turtl, on the important relationship between sales and marketing at events.
Events are often where networks come to life. News is shared live, existing relationships confirmed and new discoveries made – the best events generate buzz.
To sell an event and to create the pre-event buzz that guarantees sales, marketing and sales need to work hand in hand. An up-to-date agenda helps bring the event to life, content creates insight and value and quotable sound bites and highlights make people want to return to the next event.
Events also generate vast amounts of written material: brochures, delegate packs, specifications, summaries and synopses post-event. All of these help build a sense of professionalism around the event. And the presented content that makes the meat of the day is also written, with an additional value that it can be shared more widely, over and above the attendees on the day.
But conferences and events are like weddings – you can never be sure what will happen on the day, and print needs to be committed to weeks in advance. Even when the change arrives just in time, amendments have to be made through multiple PDFs and PowerPoints, increasing the chances that everything is not quite as seamless as planned. If items have already been printed, it’s too late.
Meanwhile sales and marketing are like brides and grooms: it’s the organisation before, during and after the event that will lead to rows. So is there a way to make the relationship work more smoothly?
If agendas and content takeaways are live on a cloud-based link, the whole experience of the event on the day is improved. A last minute change to timings or speakers can easily be incorporated. New biographies and logos can be quickly inserted. New highlights can be tweeted out.
Let’s look at an example of a cloud-based tool at an event. The B2B Marketing Summit in June 2015 was an enormously exciting day in London, with four concurrent speaking streams, a keynote theatre and an exhibiting space.
Creating the complex Summit agenda in Turtl made it weightless and easy to use – socially shareable through a link, so delegates could access from phone, tablet or laptop, on the move or in conversation.
As Turtl successfully renders across multiple screen formats and is fast and simple to create with, it was ideal for delivering best bits from the event. Because Turtl makes it easy to tweet quotes in soundbites, delegates could easily share quotations from the day with their personal networks.
At 5.15pm, presentations finished and the best bits were shared with delegates at that evening - excitement was still running high and that energy fuelled sharing.
Given that we are in an era where the social sharing of content has never been easier, cloud-based tools extend the reach and impact of the event. Event attendees can share cloud-based presentation tools with colleagues back at the office. A great audience comment made on the day can also be added into the content by the author – the reader just needs to press refresh on their browser to get the latest version.
Now imagine that, as the event organiser, you could send out your own content at the end of the day, with key highlights: the insights and best jokes that speakers have made or the links to the various pieces of content presented. Imagine this content could include interactive opinion polls to explore how the event could be improved, what attendees had most enjoyed.
Using this data, sales and marketing could optimise future pricing packages, understand what content worked best (from seeing how much it had been downloaded and shared) and how to manage the future agenda. Using data generated from their own live content, events can optimise the value of what they offer to attendees in the future.