How To Stretch Your Field Marketing Event Budget
You are probably an expert at staying within your field marketing event budget. But how can you make sure you are getting the most of of that budget? The ultimate goal of your event should be to create and accelerate pipeline for your sales team. That means that your spending should all be directed at accomplishing that goal.
Here are seven things you can do make sure get the most out of your budget while accomplishing your revenue goals:
Focus on what really matters
With any marketing event, you want to provide a great experience for your attendees and give your sales team an opportunity to engage with their prospects and customers.
But it’s easy to get carried away on the event planning side and spend too much on things like decorations, banners, and branded swag. You want your event to promote your brand and product, but there are many things that will be more impactful in terms of driving revenue with your event.
For example, giving your sales team the support and tools they need to maximize their in-person interactions and have meaningful conversations with their prospects is far more important putting your logo on every last item. But you still need to brand your event! So, how can you balance your budget to have it all?
Get creative with your venue
Sites like EventUp are super useful for researching venues in most major cities. Start looking as far in advance as possible to get the best rates.
When hosting an event in a new city, double check your LinkedIn and other social networks to see who you might know that lives there. Locals will give the best recommendations on logistics like neighborhood, venue, and the best time to host an event.
Co-working spaces can be great options for the budget-conscious! If you want to save money by skipping a site visit, ask your contact at the venue to walk you through on Facetime or take a video of the space.
Don’t wait to book travel
If you are hosting roadshows or other regional events, you’ll definitely have team members that need to travel to get there.
If you’re thinking about your field marketing events strategically, you should know which people and functions need to be on-site for your event to be a success. Give them a due date to book travel – after all, traveling to an event is a privilege!
Leverage your network for speakers and panelists
Having a speaker from outside your company helps give your message credibility. But your small field marketing event probably doesn’t have the budget to pay a well known speaker to present. Instead of looking for a professional speaker, get someone like an executive from a company in your target industry or a rockstar in a position that matches your target persona.
Their motivation will be building their own personal brand as an expert in their field. These speakers will end up being more insightful and relevant to your audience than paying big bucks to bring in a professional thought leader or business celebrity.
Keep numbers low but quality high
Field events are a key part of any great account-based marketing plan, but you don’t want to end up spending a fortune to give free cocktails to a bunch of people who aren’t in your target market.
Keep your event invite strategy tight to avoid wasting money on a great event for the wrong people. You are much better off hosting an intimate event for 50 people that are all from target accounts than a big event for 500 people with only a small percentage in target accounts.
Choose your food and drink options wisely
Anyone who’s hosted an event has run into this problem at one point or another: paying upfront for far more food and alcohol than you needed. While it’s nice to be able to encourage your team to have another expensive drink at the end of the event since you want to inch closer to hitting your minimum, it can be a big waste of money.
Unless your audience really expects a full open bar, a beer and wine only bar can save you a lot of cash. The same goes for food. Start keeping track of exactly how many appetizers your attendees actually eat so you don’t overdo it on food. You’ll still have to hit your minimum, but it’s waste to pay for more drinks when food goes untouched.
Factor event technology into your yearly budget
If you are just hosting a one off field marketing event now and then, you should probably reevaluate your strategy. Event marketing is an ongoing strategy, not a collection of separate events. If you are hosting many field marketing events, at the very least you need to be using technology to capture registration and attendance data.
If you want to drive revenue with those events, that technology also needs to integrate with Salesforce and your Marketing Automation Platform, empower your sales team, and help you track ROI. Using event technology won’t just make the registering and checking in to your event more seamless for your attendees, it will help your sales team have relevant conversations and drive more revenue from your events. And that means more budget for you! Cha-ching!
Article written by Jenna Keegan. Jenna is the Director of Demand Generation at Attend. Follow on twitter @Jennakeegs0