How do you keep a business running? Do you invest more in your marketing project? Do you focus on refining the product design? Do you grow a successful management team? These are all important aspects, but they’re not as important as designing a conversation growth strategy to serve as the forefront of your communication with prospects and clients.
You might be wondering what this strategy has to do with running an event … well, at first glance, not so much. But if we compared events to businesses, we’d find multiple similarities.
From goal setting and marketing strategies to action plans and ROI evaluation, there are relevant and actionable lessons we can apply to event planning and management.
One of them is conversational growth strategy. So what does this mean, and what does it have to do with achieving better results?
Let’s find out.
More information, more personalization, faster
A conversation is an interactive communication between two or more parties. Extending this definition to conversational growth strategy, it refers to using different channels that deliver or stimulate a conversation that is consistent and relationship-focused.
According to HubSpot Academy, “This can help your prospects feel valued because they’re chatting one-on-one with your company.” A strong conversational growth strategy allows brands to build relationships with prospects over time, as they “deliver the right information to the right person at the right time, every time.”
In other words, a conversational growth strategy refers to engaging the audience by conducting active listening, providing necessary information, and building a long-term relationship.
This happens when brands are reactive, provide relevant content, and base their attitude toward their prospects on personalization and customization, depending on people’s needs. A conversational growth strategy helps companies gather data about their leads or clients while also gradually establishing an emotional bond.
Adapting this concept to events, we see a real opportunity to strengthen our interpersonal connection with our attendees by setting up a similar strategy before, during, and after the event.
How can this improve the guests’ experience and benefit our planning goals at the same time? First, this strategy will give you a communication-oriented mindset. You’ll always be engaging with your (potential) attendees and discovering what their needs, expectations, and motivations are. This information will help you craft better event experiences.
Second, it shows attendees that you are proactive, which will strengthen your position as an industry leader. Moreover, you’ll make sure you’ve built a strong narrative to convince people to attend the event, and eventually display the desirable behaviors.
Finally, it’ll increase your chances to transform these attendees into business leads (if it’s a brand event), and subsequently into customers.
How to apply the conversational growth strategy to your next event
Applying the conversational growth strategy to events refers mostly to accompanying the attendees through dialogue and communication—from the capturing their attention to achieving your end goals (for example, get them to purchase your products).
Here’s how you can use this strategy at your next event:
Step #1. Build an attractive and dialogue-oriented website
The event website is where you’ll attract potential attendees with details about the event and hopefully persuade them to register. However, setting up a simple website is not enough—it should also facilitate the communication with your (potential) guests.
For example, you can integrate a chatbot and generate a smart conversation. You have different options in this case. The first one is to foresee and prepare several conversation scripts, depending on people’s potential needs, with the possibility to connect to a human if needed.
The second one is to collect the information about your leads and have them schedule a meeting or phone call with someone from your team (if, for example, you don’t have 24/7 customer service).
Your chatbot design will greatly depend on your goals and logistic possibilities. A website can also include a contact form or a live chat that visitors can access if needed. The idea is to be open to dialogue and make your communication options apparent to your website visitors.
Step #2. Be present on your social media profiles
It’s crucial to meet your (potential) attendees where they are. Once of these places is the social media environment. Pay attention to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and/or Twitter to all possible messages or mentions.
Don’t forget to consider the Time-to-Live (TTL) indicator. According to HubSpot Academy, TTL refers to “the amount of time that is perceived as acceptable from when a message is sent to when a response is received.”
In other words, you don’t want people to be waiting for days for your replies. You’ll have to stay reactive on social media during all the three event phases (before, during, and after).
Step #3. Verbally engage in conversations with your guests
During the event, you’ll want to engage with the attendees face-to-face. These conversations will give firsthand insights about their needs and motivations. Imagine you’re planning an event as a marketing strategy for your company.
These in-person conversations will help you build a stronger bond with your guests (aka prospects or loyal clients), with the possibility to take the dialogue further (closed sales or upselling, for example).
Step #4. Get your attendees’ feedback
The communication shouldn’t start always with the attendees. You’ll also want to engage them in post-event dialogue, such as filling out a survey or giving their feedback about the event experience.
Make sure not to design the same survey for everyone. For example, if you’re planning a brand event, let’s say you identified cold, warm, and hot leads. You could send your cold leads a survey regarding their overall experience and ask them if they’d be interested in further communication. For your warm leads, you could design a survey based on brand experience and how they perceived it. As for the hot leads, instead of a survey, you could follow up with an offer to jump on a sales call.
Step #5. Follow up with useful content
Regardless of attendee segmentation, you’ll want to follow up with everyone and provide meaningful event-related content. Whether it’s to send photos, articles, or videos from the event, reengaging your attendees may translate into a possible sales dialogue or leads that need to be nurtured until they’re ready to make a decision regarding your brand.
Applying the conversational growth strategy to your events allows you to connect and foster one-on-one personal relationships with your (potential) attendees. Apart from that, it can help you figure out what type of communication and platform works better for your attendees, and you can focus on strengthening the aspects that work best.
For more information, download your cheat sheet to apply conversational growth strategy before, during and after the event.