Dana on Marketing Messages: How to Host Client Events

Printer as party planner? As Frank Romano likes to say, “Gimme a break!”

Hear me out.

Yes, you barely have enough time in the day to do your real job: running a printing company. And all the noise about social media activity and “upping” your content marketing can be deafening. (I contribute to that noise and make no apologies for it—it works!)

However, there is another effective way for printers to market their services: private customer events. By hosting a customer event, a printer can do ALL of the following: build good will, enjoy out-of-office face time with customers, strengthen customer relationships, inform customers about new or existing capabilities, impress prospects and turn them into customers, showcase your strengths, feature your team leaders, gather critical customer feedback, set your company apart from your competitors, and earn “props” from customers for providing them the chance to meet and mingle with their peers.

A customer event is different from your average lunch-and-learn session, or similar educational offerings that many printers have. I’m talking about a special customer event that’s as social as it is educational—maybe even more so.

Having spent roughly 10 years producing and emceeing print buyer conferences, boot camps, dinner events and networking sessions, I can tell you that hosting an occasional event for your customers will help you reap rewards that last a long time. And besides, print customers love a good party.

Why Private Events?

Getting print buyers to attend a private event hosted by a printer is easier than getting them to cross the country for a national event. There are three good reasons for this: 1) cost, 2) convenience, and 3) workload issues.

Cost is always an issue. Print buyers are not typically C-suite employees. It’s a challenge for them to get budget approval for national events that may be far from home. A private customer event produced by a printer is free for customers. That’s a huge plus right there.

Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched her new business in 2013 as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. Now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content.

You may know Margie as the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference. Although she’s exited the event production business, she’s still publishing her Print Tips newsletter. She looks forward to helping companies create and style all of their content so their potential customers sit up and take notice. For details and to sign up for her Print Tips and new marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com or e-mail Margie at margie@margiedana.com.
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  • Steve Counts

    Margie this is really helpful. I noticed in the recent NAQP Sales & Marketing Strategy that "Shop Tours" rated above all other marketing efforts for return on investment. Although the event you discuss is a bit different and perhaps more involved it is extremely close and frankly should provide an even better return. It will take effort but what type of success doesn’t. Good job.
    Steve Counts