Patty Sins

Expert Series: How to Plan Data-driven Event Activations

As all marketers know, data is king. When the time comes for you to incorporate event activations into your overall marketing strategy, it is important that you consider the various ways that you will collect data. Doing so will help you determine whether the ROI of your program is positive and will also enable you to make necessary changes to ensure a successful outcome.

Outlined below are five activities to conduct at your next event activation that will drive data collection. Remember, only if you gather quality data and have an idea of what to do with it, will it truly be useful.

  1. Lead Generation – Event marketing is a great way to engage with prospects, but unless you collect important information before they leave your booth you may not be able to continue the conversation and build the bond that will hopefully turn a passerby into a customer. Lead generation is one important step to getting potential buyers into your CRM system. But what will compel them to give you their private information (at the very least name and email address)? The answer: A sweepstakes! Most people still like the thought that they could be a big winner and with the right prize, most will happily give you their information. This is a great way to collect bulk leads. If you want to attract more “qualified” leads, it is a good idea to spend time having deeper conversations; you will be able to obtain more specific information.
  2. Sign Up New Users – Many companies conduct event marketing activities with the hope of signing up new users on the spot, especially apps that are free. With the right promotion, this is possible. It could be the distribution of a promotional product or an introductory “event only” discount that convinces them to take action. Once a person downloads an app or signs up on your website, he is one step closer to becoming a paid user.
  3. Sell Products – It is possible to get visitors to buy products at your booth by, once again, offering a special promotion, whether it be an “event only” discount or a themed giveaway. To maximize on the spot sales it is important to create a high value proposition whereby customers will have a fear of missing out if they don’t sign on the dotted line. To achieve hard core sales, you must have well-trained, experienced sales reps.
  4. Count engagements – By distributing product samples or free branded giveaways at your booth, you are able to count the number of people who stop by. If they don’t take the next step to provide their information for a lead or buy a product, at the very least you exposed them to your brand and left them with a memento that can help keep your product top of mind when the time comes that they need or want to buy.
  5. Incorporate Social – Ideally every engagement should include a way to gain social followers. You can do this by creating an “enter-to-win” sweepstakes or by distributing a small giveaway to those who post. Regardless of how you encourage people to engage, by doing so, you add excitement and fun to the booth.
  6. Post-event Follow up – It is smart to follow up with leads, new followers, and new customers with ongoing communication in order to develop a solid relationship that will hopefully result in sales and loyal customers.

In conclusion, event activations are only as good as the metrics that they produce. And even then, in order to have the ultimate impact, these metrics need to be shared with your brand’s product development, sales, and marketing teams. Customer engagements provide important insight and feedback into what consumers think of your products and can offer ideas on how they can be improved or marketed more effectively. So take the time to put the right processes in place for your event activations to ensure the best outcome. You will be happy you did!

Patty Sins, President and Founder of On The Avenue Marketing, has spent 30+ years producing, developing, and executing top quality, consumer-driven sales and marketing programs. She started her career as a promoter for the Ice Capades and the Harlem Globetrotters. From there, she went on to earn her MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She has held executive marketing positions at HBO, Fox News Channel, and CBS. In addition, Patty has worked on both the corporate and client sides of event sponsorship including programs with the NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, The US Open, Sara Lee, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, Cadillac, and Target. In her spare time, Patty loves to listen to country music, watch NFL games, go on adventure trips, enjoy quality time with her kids, and walk her dog (the one and only Brando!).