Events are significant for all stages of the buyer’s journey. Besides building brand recognition and driving new business into the pipeline, companies should run events to strengthen relationships with existing customers and achieve higher up-sell and cross-sell rates.
Events are essential to keep nurturing the connection with existing customers. Also, they’re key to transforming transactional relationships into a long-term business collaboration with customers, getting them to:
- Contribute to the overall product development
- Showcase the success they’ve achieved by using your product
- Spread the word about your brand and product
To achieve these results, though, you must strategically approach communication at events. In other words, apart from offering flawless event experiences to your attendees, you also have to build a plan on how you’ll communicate with customers efficiently.
In this article, we’ll explore the role of communication in maximizing the benefits of events. Also, we’ll discuss practical strategies to communicate with and foster brand loyalty during your events.
Types of Events Companies Can Run For Their Customers
There’s a wide variety of event types companies can run to nurture and strengthen their relationship with existing customers. Here’s a quick list you may want to consider when building your events strategy for brand and product evangelization:
Workshops are interactive events offering your customers hands-on training, education, and knowledge-sharing opportunities. You can organize workshops around topics related to your product or service, industry trends, or other areas of interest for your audience.
You can conduct workshops in person or virtually. Workshops are great for deepening relationships with your customers by providing them with valuable insights and practical skills.
Masterminds are intimate gatherings of like-minded individuals who come together to share ideas, collaborate, and learn from one another. Organizing masterminds can create a sense of community and belonging among your customers, fostering long-term loyalty and advocacy. You can structure masterminds as small group sessions led by an industry expert or a facilitated discussion forum.
→ Fireside chats
Fireside chats are informal conversations with thought leaders, entrepreneurs, or influencers, where customers can gain inspiration and insights into industry trends and challenges. These events can be a great way to create a personal connection with your customers. Fireside chats can also showcase your brand’s thought leadership and position your company as an authority in your industry.
→ Award Ceremonies
Award ceremonies recognize the achievements and contributions of your customers and partners. By hosting an award ceremony, you can showcase the value of your relationship with your customers and promote brand loyalty. You can structure award ceremonies around various categories, such as the most innovative use of your product or service or the most significant contribution to your community.
→ Monthly Challenges
Monthly challenges are ongoing campaigns encouraging customers to engage with your brand, promoting loyalty, and driving sales through gamification and rewards. Depending on your product type, these campaigns can take various forms, such as outdoor activities.
By organizing monthly challenges, you can create a sense of excitement and engagement among your customers, nudging them into sharing their experiences with others and promoting your brand.
→ VIP Events
VIP events are exclusive gatherings for top-tier customers, providing personalized experiences and insights that reinforce the value of their relationship with your brand.
These events can take various forms, such as private dinners, behind-the-scenes tours, or access to exclusive content. By hosting VIP events, you can create a sense of exclusivity and appreciation among your most valuable customers and foster long-term loyalty.
→ Incentive Events
Finally, incentive events are destination trips or experiences that reward high-performing customers or teams, incentivizing continued loyalty and promoting advocacy for your brand.
These events can take various forms, such as luxury travel experiences, adventure tours, or access to exclusive activities. By organizing incentive events, you can give your customers unique and memorable experiences that showcase your appreciation for their loyalty and contributions to your business.
However, apart from the event experience, you’ll want to consider a list of communication strategies to engage your customers in meaningful conversations.
The Benefits of Communicating With Customers During Events
While events are a great way to showcase your products, wow your attendees, and provide unforgettable brand experiences, communicating with your attendees is critical to nurturing long-term relationships and maximizing the value of your existing customer base. Here is a list of key benefits of strategic communication with customers during events:
→ Increase customer loyalty
Communication with customers during events can help deepen your relationships, increasing people’s dedication to your brand. By engaging with your customers, asking them for feedback, and involving them in developing your products or services, you can demonstrate that you value their opinions and are committed to meeting their needs.
→ Understand your customers’ needs
You can better understand customers’ needs and preferences by communicating with customers during events. Subsequently, this will help you tailor your products or services to their requirements. By asking your customers for feedback and opinions, you can identify areas where you can improve your offerings and recognize new growth opportunities.
→ Improve customer retention
Effective communication with customers during events can help to increase customer retention rates, reducing churn and ensuring that your customers remain loyal to your brand. By engaging with your customers and providing them with valuable insights and content, you can demonstrate the ongoing value of your products or services and build trust and confidence in your brand.
→ Create opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling
Effective communication with customers during events can also create opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling. By engaging with your customers and understanding their needs and preferences, you can identify areas where you can provide additional products or services that complement your existing offerings. This can increase revenue and maximize the value of your existing customer base.
→ Ensure positive brand perception
By communicating effectively with customers during events, you can create a positive brand perception, increasing the likelihood that your customers will see your brand as trustworthy and reliable. One-on-one conversations with your customers at events will help you put a face on your brand and connect with people at a more humane level.
However, to maximize the benefits of communicating with customers during events, it’s crucial to have a clear strategy in place. This strategy should focus on listening to customers, engaging with them meaningfully, providing them with valuable insights and content, and demonstrating the ongoing value of your products or services.
Ensure Efficient Communication With Customers at Your Events
By communicating with customers at your events, you acknowledge their input to your company’s growth and showcase your commitment to their success.
Having this in mind, here’s a quick list of tips you can deploy at your events to ensure efficient communication with your customers:
→ Run one-on-one networking meetings with your customers
Hosting one-on-one networking meetings with your customers is a great way to keep the conversation going. This dynamic allows you to connect with each customer, learn more about their needs and concerns, and address any issues they may have.
You can ask your Sales and Customer Success representatives to send meeting invitations to your attendees and hop on quick virtual calls (for virtual and hybrid events) or in-person meet-ups to discuss topics related to your products. By providing a personalized communication experience, you’ll show your customers that you value their time and investment in your brand.
→ Create smaller groups and engage in many-to-many conversations
Creating smaller groups at your event can facilitate many-to-many conversations and allow for more in-depth discussions. This approach encourages attendees to engage with each other and share their experiences, ideas, and challenges.
You can facilitate these conversations using roundtable discussions, breakout sessions, or interactive workshops. Encouraging attendees to participate in group discussions creates a sense of community and fosters a collaborative environment.
→ Give your audience a voice through live polls
Live polls are a great way to engage your customers in real-time. You can gather attendees’ feedback and tailor your event to their preferences using interactive tools like live polls. Polls can also help you identify potential issues or concerns and address them proactively.
Eventtia offers live polling and attendee engagement solutions that can be easily integrated into your event app or displayed on a screen, allowing attendees to participate using their mobile devices.
→ Invite your successful customers as panel speakers at your event
Inviting successful customers to speak on a panel at your event is an excellent way to showcase their achievements and provide valuable insights to other attendees. It also highlights the positive impact your product has had on their results, increasing the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand.
Successful customers can share their experiences, best practices, and challenges, providing a unique perspective that resonates with other attendees. Moreover, spotlighting your successful customers will help you open the dialogue with them and strengthen the connection with your most important brand stakeholders.
→ Follow up with your customers after the event
Following up with your customers after the event is crucial for maintaining the conversation. Sending personalized emails, thank-you notes, or surveys shows that you value their feedback and appreciate their attendance.
This follow-up communication will allow you to address outstanding issues, gather feedback, and provide additional resources or information. Following up with your customers keeps the conversation going and shows your commitment to their success.
Events provide an excellent opportunity for companies to strengthen their relationships with existing customers and ensure higher up-sell and cross-sell rates. A strategic approach to communication is required to achieve this goal.
Companies can nurture and strengthen their relationship with existing customers by running workshops, masterminds, fireside chats, award ceremonies, monthly challenges, VIP events, and incentive events.
Effective communication during events can increase customer loyalty, understand customer needs, improve customer retention, create opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling, and ensure a positive brand perception. Overall, a well-planned event with strategic communication can foster long-term loyalty and advocacy and maximize the value of a company’s existing customer base.