Not all events are equal. 🤷♀
Some events aim to increase brand awareness, 🚀 while others are trying to ignite brand advocacy.
But all events have one thing in common: they must serve one of your business or marketing goals. Additionally, for more relevance and stronger impact, your event marketing strategies should consider each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Each person, before becoming your paying client, 🤑 will have to go through multiple stages.
✅ For example, there are people who haven’t articulated their problem yet. They have some challenges, but they aren’t sure what they’re looking for. They’re trying to describe their issues and find validation.
At this stage, you’ll want to raise awareness about the issue and help your audience better express what their challenges are and how to overcome them.
✅ There are also some people who have a much better understanding of their challenges and are searching for different solutions. This stage is focused on raising interest for the multiple solutions that exist out there.
✅ Finally, we’ll encounter people who have made up their minds about the solution they want to deploy, and they’re searching for a tool that will suit their needs. At this stage, people are already seriously considering purchasing your product or a similar product.
We can also continue the buyer’s journey by adding stages such as the …
✅ Repurchase …
All focused on continuing to delight your buyers.
You’ll want to plan events accordingly with all these stages in mind and make sure you know exactly who your audience is.
Each stage may involve different types of events and approaches.
To help you figure everything out, we’ve put together a list of things to consider when planning events for each buyer’s journey stage:
📌 Awareness stage: Validate their problems
When promoting your event, always highlight the problem you’ll be solving for your attendees.
👉 For example, if you’re running an event for freelancers, you can indicate in your event marketing campaign that both your company and your speakers will be focusing on showing the attendees how they can get more work and close more deals.
👉 Or if you’re planning a conference for SaaS marketers, you can pack the narrative around the idea of getting a higher MRR or ARR through inbound or outbound marketing.
In other words, you’ll be stating your attendees’ pain, validating it, and reassuring them that by attending the event, they’ll get the answers they’re searching for.
💬 Help people articulate their challenges
How can you do that during an event? The answer is simple. Run framework-based workshops.
This type of activity, when run by experts, will help your audience better understand what keeps them from achieving their results. These dynamics are interactive and get your attendees to active engage in their process of conveying the issues they’re facing.
When facilitated by a professional, your guests will gain the necessary insights to know what their next steps should be, meaning you’ll be providing them value without asking for anything in exchange.
💊 Deliver “painkillers” (action-oriented content)
When you give your audience content that’s packed with action items, they’ll identify your company as a brand focused exclusively on producing value (as opposed to just selling).
To achieve this effect, you can create a meaningful piece of content, such as an eBook 📙 packed with immediate actions, then print it and offer it as a gift to your attendees.
This not only validates and helps them articulate their pain, but it also generates a clear road map they can follow to achieve their goals. You’ll increase your credibility and build trust with your audience.
📌 Interest stage: Provide a list of clear solutions and explain the differences
As we mentioned, those who are at the interest stage will be searching for different solutions to overcome the challenges they have.
In this case, you can construct the entire event narrative around multiple tools and approaches that exist out there on the marketing, informing your attendees about the possibilities and the options they have.
Again, it’s very important to remember that you won’t be selling at this stage. It’s all about creating value and educating your attendees.
📊 Present the industry benchmarks
Another step you could take is to present the industry benchmarks at your event. Since your attendees will have more of an understanding of what they actually need, you’ll want to offer them new material they can’t get anywhere else.
This will position you as an industry leader and help you establish your credibility.
👩💼👨💼 Invite industry experts as speakers
Apart from the experience, event marketing is a good way to deliver high-quality content. However, this is only possible if you attract the right speakers (your industry influencers).
If you move beyond your brand or product and focus on creating an event that actually delivers value, chances are your brand will be seen as a connector, a node that is central to your industry, and capable of providing a strong platform for networking and knowledge sharing.
This is an important step, especially if you want to attract people in the interest stage.
📌 Consideration stage: Ensure a strong brand experience
People in the consideration stage are your buyer personas—they’re the ones who are willing to purchase the solution that meets their needs. That’s a why strong brand experience at the event is necessary.
According to Chris Cavanaugh, EVP and CMO of Freeman …
“For a while, people thought we could just live online and stay at home in dark, dim-lit rooms eating bon-bons and never talking to people again. But we now know that’s not true. The combination of live engagement, dimensionalized experiences, and digital is proving to be the trigger for most brands’ products and services.”
These brand experiences can involve stimulating the senses of your attendees with experiential marketing and provide an immersive environment via mixed reality, powerful storytelling, etc.
🥇 Invite successful clients as speakers
An interesting way to endorse your products is by showing your attendees how your products work and they’ve helped your clients to achieve good results.
Invite your clients as speakers and help them build a compelling presentation and walk your guests through their processes, their challenges, and the ways they’ve deployed your product to achieve the results they were looking for.
🤝 Have meaningful conversations with your prospects
This is something you should do through all the buyer’s journey stages. However, this aspect is especially important when it comes to running events for those who are at the consideration stage.
Make sure people can put a face on your brand, start building meaningful one-on-one business connections, and assist your attendees through their entire journey.
📌 BONUS. Purchase, post-purchase, repurchase stages
- Provide exclusive access to new features
Running events for your clients means giving them things that other people don’t have access to. This also means pre-launching some of your products or even features. This will make your guests feel special and treasure the connection they’ve built with your brand.
- Create networking opportunities for your clients
Solidify your position as an industry connector by offering your guests the exclusive chance to build powerful business connections at your events.
- Invite your clients to private masterminds
Continue providing value through events by enabling the knowledge and skill transfer for your clients.
You can do that by running private masterminds, during which your already paying clients can learn beneficial things about their industry and obtaining information they wouldn’t find anywhere else.
It’s important to highlight that your events shouldn’t be exclusively focused on just one stage. You can easily invite leads, prospects, and current clients to mingle and interact with each other. But one thing to take into consideration is that you’ll have to deliver a personalized experience for each stage, depending on your business goals.