Event marketing is an ever-changing industry that positions itself as essentially an industry within many industries. Though event marketing is an industry all its own, it’s lifeblood are the industries that support it through actually needing events.
Over time, event marketing has been interchanged (and confused) with event planning, field marketing, and other similar, yet distinctly different marketing functions. Because of the confusion around terminology and role function, there are critical pieces of the marketing puzzle that have been lost in the mix. Event marketing roadshows is one of those techniques lost in the shuffle.
What is a roadshow?
What if event marketing and field marketing had a baby? The baby would be a roadshow. Roadshows provide a venue and method for getting your brand or product or messaging in front of many people, but at a local level.
Roadshows are usually done in sequence and occur in numerous cities (both at home and abroad in some cases) in an effort to increase brand awareness and product knowledge. Roadshows are one of the best ways to spread the word in an interactive format with those you may not be able to reach with a standard, centralized event.
The format of a roadshow is usually a half-day event that bring customers, prospects, and partners together for thought leadership, product demonstrations, and networking. Some larger cities may even end up doing a multi-day event to provide time and space to reach more people.
How a roadshow can help the modern marketer
Though roadshows can seem antiquated and something that only large, old organizations do, they are actually useful to marketers who work with products or services that are at any part of their maturity curve.
Field events are a boon for any sales team or person worth their weight (or their salary) to an organization. Sales teams love getting out and meeting people – it’s where they truly shine and make their quotas.
The great part about doing roadshows is that your sales team is able to do targeted, personal conversations with potential customers because the events are smaller and the demographic is clearer. It’s not about fighting for attention at a large event or having the impersonal email or phone call – it’s about getting in front of engaged customers.
In addition to being great for having face time with qualified leads, it also helps maintain stable demand generation over the entire year. If other companies sponsor your roadshows it’s good to have them promote your show out to their networks to help with generating deeper sales pipelines. If your industry experiences slower months for sales, roadshows are the perfect way to stay top-of-mind and to provide your sales team with leads they may not otherwise have access to.
Roadshows also provide the modern marketer with a way to make a good impression on potential leads. Having an online presence is great, but it’s not the whole story. Many industries still rely on physical goods or exchanges of services that depend greatly on making a good in-person impression. The events can and should be a mix of fun and education, so be sure to have good food, good entertainment, and good content throughout the event. If they leave having had a good time, your brand will stand out to them when it comes time to make a purchase.
Of all the things that go into a good roadshow, good content is often overlooked. But the content is they why of the event, so it should be a focus during preparation. Having solid content and speakers is one of the best tools you have as an event marketer to spread your thought leadership and messaging. Using the content to drive home your brand message is an essential part to having an effective roadshow. Be sure to map out your goals and messaging before planning these events so you have a solid understanding of the types of content you should create.
Having a roadshow is a fun and effective way to engage with leads, generate new leads, make a lasting impression on attendees you may not otherwise have access to, and to spread your message and thought leadership ideas. Though it can seem antiquated, getting to know people in an intimate setting is a great way to increase qualified leads and, inevitably, sales.