This year Roadshows are on the events radar. You've decided to take your show on the road. Great, what next? Roadshows are a highly effective sales tool and a great way to enhance and showcase your brand's personality, but how do you navigate your team towards a successful event?
What’s the Point?
Businesses large and small can take their message on the road and it can have significant benefits for their company. But, there’s no point committing to planning a roadshow if you’re not completely sure what its purpose will be. In order for your event to bring you real value, you need to ensure that each stage of the event is meticulously organised and a clear outcome is identified.
You need to write a concise plan so you know exactly what you want to achieve from each part of the event and put strategies in place to record ROI. When your goals and desired outcomes are clear decisions and planning the route to achieve them becomes a lot easier.
If sales leads are important make sure your plan reflects this. How will you measure and record them? Who will be responsible for following them up? If you’re more interested in spreading a brand message, make sure your plan reflects this. What will be your key message and how best will this be communicated?
You should organise a roadshow only if it fits with your business objectives; without having a clear outcome in mind businesses often have unrealistic expectations and end up wasting money. Organising this sort of event isn’t just a box to tick. Roadshows are a great marketing avenue to bring customers, prospects, and partners together, ensuring a brand message, thought leadership or product demonstrations are effectively communicated, but they're not suitable for every business requirement.
Who do you want to Reach?
Selecting the right locations is a key element to your Roadshow’s success. Your aim is to reach as many potential stakeholders as possible and this needs to be part of your game plan early on. The tricky part is ensuring the content of your roadshow is tailored and appropriate for the audience at each location.
You also have to consider how people will know about it. There’s no such thing as too much promotion. You need to make as much noise as you can about your event.
Create the right atmosphere and environment that will get conversations flowing in a more social arena. If you get it right Roadshows are the perfect opportunity for face to face contact building some really valuable relationships.
Where are you Going?
The exciting thing about Roadshows is you can take your message literally anywhere. But how are you going to incorporate a local aspect to each location you visit? You need to create a relatable, authentic atmosphere that’s familiar, accessible and resonates with your attendees at every location. This could be tweaking the content, speakers or format of the event.
www.geventm.com recommends that once you’ve decided on the geographical locations that will benefit your roadshow, the next consideration is the sites you will want to visit in those areas. Select cities and pick venues that are easy to access and have a high concentration of your target audience. If the majority of your target audience has to travel more than 15 miles to get to your event, it may not be the ideal location.
If you’re unfamiliar with the location do your research and seek advice from your venue finder. The most effective strategy would be to work with a company who has venues nationally and can find you the right venue at each of your chosen locations. Working with one company also make admin and organisaton much easier.
When are you Going?
If you’re choosing a busy time of the year or holding your event when there are school holidays or other work events going on, you’ll be competing for much-needed attention and footfall. Again, this is where careful planning and research before you set off is key. Do your research for each location and find the perfect time of the year for your event. You don’t want to be running an event that struggles to be seen and heard in a crowded events diary.
Who’s Going with you?
You need to establish how many people you need to help spread your message? Who are the best people to represent your message? Do you need to hire staff or can you use internal resources? Do you want to use the roadshows as an opportunity to bring along suppliers to showcase their services or sponsor feature areas? This could be a win for them and you.
What are you going to say?
Your message is key. A clear vision that people will want to jump on board with will ensure that your event is exciting and importantly fun to be involved with.
Make your message engaging, consistent and inclusive. You need to be at the forefront of your sector and spreading the message. Is your message valuable? If not, why should people visit your roadshow? Employ the help of some real thought leaders in your sector. Partner up with some exciting sponsors and contacts. What are key trends and exciting developments you can communicate to your target audience? Ask your sales team what questions customers need answering and plan your event around these topics.
What are Attendees going to do?
You need to be going the extra mile and tailor the experiences you create to attendees at every location you’re visiting. Remember, not all customers or potential customers are the same. One advantage of roadshows is they’re less conventional and allow you to be more flexible and experimental, this means you can really push some creative buttons and introduce an engaging interactive element. People are savvy to a traditional pushy pitch, so surprise them.
Creating extraordinary experiences will be key to making your event memorable. There are so many opportunities to engage and inspire your attendees. You need to be striving to create experiences that people want to share and most importantly tell everyone how great it was. This will mean your roadshow is more likely to become a regular event and one that attendees look forward to attending.
Check out this great example for an interactive competition by JetBlue - The Ultimate Icebreaker…
‘’To promote the launch of JetBlue’s new direct flights from New York to Palm Springs, the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau invited New Yorkers to “break out of the chill” of winter. Two ice moulds with prizes frozen into them were dropped in Manhattan, one in Flatiron Plaza and one in Washington Square Park, offering New Yorkers the chance to win free airfare and accommodations to the desert oasis.
The six-foot by six-foot stacks of ice blocks contained prizes like golf clubs, sandals, pool attire and party sneakers—all the accessories needed for an extended stay in Palm Springs. And to make chilly New Yorkers work for it, brand ambassadors gave out simple instructions: use whatever you have on you to crack open an ice block, whether it’s your keys or your Equinox membership card. (Word is one consumer ran to the local hardware store to buy a hammer.) Of course, one block contained the golden ticket: that free trip.’’ The two brands offered a digital blast of warmth as well. Those who couldn’t be on-site could virtually break out of the chill on social media by posting how they’d spend their time in Palm Springs with #JetBluePSP and @thegpsoasis to win prizes such as a GoPro or a BMW performance driving class.
Take full advantage of the event technology available to maximise engagement and ROI.
How will you know you’ve been Successful?
Put clear strategies in place to measure whether your event has actually been a success and worth the time and energy.
If your goal was brand awareness, product sales, social media mentions or press hits will help you determine the amount of coverage you received. If your goal was revenue, event sponsorships and ticket sales will be your key metrics to track.
We can help you get from A-Z in your roadshow planning and organisation. Speak to one of our experts today and start your journey to a fantastic Roadshow.
Sources - bizzabo.com
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