Are You Ready for In-Person Events? 6 Business Factors to Consider
Events are returning. OEM, industry, new single- or multi-day online events are scheduled and in-process for this year. And what about in-person events? A recent study found that 81% of meeting planners will conduct their next in-person event in 2021. 59% of them are planning events for the second half of this year.
As we emerge from a year of lockdowns, restrictions, Zoom meetings, online catchups, and video face time, along with so many changes in life and in business, the decision to go back to attending events in-person is not clear cut. There are many considerations and factors affecting these decisions, including time, budget, comfort level, travel and more. Below are a six business factors to add to your list:
Business has changed since March 2020. OEMs, your partners, and the competition have updated their capabilities and are continually analyzing how to effectively work with their customers. For instance, consider remote log-in solutions. It is a standard that requires security and accountability. By attending live events and talking with solution providers, you’ll be able to see, evaluate, and compare offerings to make the best decisions for your company.
- Customer Experience (CX)
2021 is the break out year for CX. 2020 was a learning year for many businesses.
Salesforce.com research indicated that 80% of consumers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products/services. This means engaging people consistently throughout their buyers’ journey, which includes their preferred channels of communication and purchase.
It’s imperative that companies understand how to provide an exceptional experience. You’ll see good and bad examples of communications strategies as we come nearer to Fall events. You can learn from this pre-show engagement and determine what will or won’t work for your business. While at the event you can uncover the processes and requirements for improving your company’s CX during discussions with the exhibitors.
- Market Opportunity
Events are an efficient way to learn about ancillary markets. You have the ability to learn from experts via speaking sessions, booth presentations, and in-person meetings. For example, are you thinking about the textiles market based on your production equipment and workflow? Where else are you going to learn that, instead of talking about the grain and GSM of paper, you need to know weft and warp of fabric. And oh, so much more. Live events provide the opportunity to immerse yourself into the market space as quickly as possible. Which is important for your success. The exhibitors can help you with that process.
- Persona Focus
Also consider participating in events that your target audience attends or sponsors. This provides an opportunity for you to not only attend or exhibit but also present and create awareness with your target customers. You’ll also gain knowledge regarding their market, their jargon, and the changes that have occurred in the last year.
What’s the reason to attend an event? To maximize the precious time we have per day, each attendee should have a clear purpose for participating in any event. Are they collecting technical information for a new press, workflow, or software? Are they networking? Are they verifying options for integrations? Are they looking to meet customers who recently bought a similar solution?
Events can help you gain intelligence on branding and positioning. Creative companies that break through exhibitor clutter and provide attendees a great experience can inspire you and your team.
Each attendee should have a set of guidelines to use in their event follow-up. These are a few to get you started:
- Potential new products or services
- Environmental issues that may impact the industry
- Company considerations – new products
- who did I meet that I can help
- who did I meet that can help me/the company
Attending events that require travel or that are local can have a positive impact on your staff and your business. The anticipation of re-connecting with partners, customers, and prospects has the potential to be energizing for all.
Are you planning to attend events? I hope to see you in Orlando at PRINTING United!
How are you determining if you’ll attend live events? Leave a comment, share the post, visit my website, KimberlyMeyers.com or call me direct 646.320.8854 for more information. Let’s connect.
Kimberly Meyers is the principal at Kimberly Meyers & Associates, a marketing consulting firm. Kimberly is a Marketing VP for hire. She develops marketing solutions based on strategic assessment of her client’s business, sales and marketing requirements. She lives by the philosophy of ensuring the appropriate message and content is delivered to the target audience – always, focusing on customer needs and satisfaction. Kimberly welcomes your connection at firstname.lastname@example.org.