Lead Generation for Event Vendors: Tips and Tactics for Offline Leads
Now that you’ve committed to a specific funnel or direction with your marketing efforts, like we discussed in the previous lead generation for event vendors post, it’s time to get to the dirty work. As we stated previously, it’s tough to get started with lead generation if you don’t have a specific strategy or customer in mind, however, it’s equally as tough to get started if you have a strategy but no specific tactics to execute.
Having a strategy is great. Couple a solid strategy with a clear customer persona and you’ve gotten yourself halfway there. But what about the other half? How do you actually capitalize on your strategy and customer knowledge and land big clients that will then do the work of lead generation for you by way of reviews and referrals? Let’s dive into some specific tactics and tips for lead generation for event service providers and get you started on your way to building your business at a sustainable and predictable pace.
Tips and Tactics for Lead Generation: Offline
- Go where the events are. Event venues are a great place to get your name out there and start marketing. The benefit of advertising at a venue is that the leads are generally high-quality because you know that their customers are putting on an event and will be looking to source other parts of it to third party vendors. Something as simple as posters on a bulletin board can get you started. Better yet, build a relationship with the venue manager and have them give you a referral if anyone is looking for your service specifically.
- Advertise in well-circulated local publications. The nature of events is generally localized. There are some major conferences and business meetings that are being planned from out of the area, but generally, events are local. Therefore, if your local area has publications that are well-circulated, it’s a good investment to pay for advertising there. Be specific about your market position and put a timeframe or budget in place so that you don’t go broke with ads that aren’t providing leads.
- Have a presence at local events and shows. If your business is weddings, be on the lookout for local wedding shows or expos. If your business is tradeshows or meetings, always have a calendar of events or shows happening in your area. People who host events are always on the lookout for service providers who can meet their needs, so having a presence at these events, even if it’s just to network or hand out business cards, can go a long way for building your reputation. The more people hear or see your business name, the more likely it is that your name will come up when they are looking for a new service provider, especially if you’ve clearly positioned yourself in the market.
- Build relationships with other vendors. Just as we discussed building a relationship with venue managers, it’s a good idea to build relationships with other service providers or vendors who work the same events you want to. Referrals are a strong way to establish yourself in the market and by having trusted vendors refer their clients to you, the lead quality will always be high without much overhead cost to you (save perhaps a cup of coffee or lunch with the other vendors from time to time).
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By employing these tips and tactics, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring growth for your business. While referrals are often the bread and butter of any event service provider, generating quality leads with these tactics can put you ahead of the game and give you a way to get on your feet before you have a solid portfolio of work to show prospective clients.
One final point to keep in mind: lead generation doesn’t have to break the bank. Many people start out falsely believing that marketing and lead generation are a huge monetary investment that you may or may not see a return on (and if you do see a return, it may be difficult to attribute it to any specific lead generation campaign). However, you can get started with a small budget and by determining how you will measure success ahead of time, you will be able to see a direct ROI with any of your lead generation activities.