How to Make Event Marketing Profitable

We all have asked ourselves before, "How can I improve my profits, revenues, market share, and new business?" Wasn’t the rise of the internet supposed to improve and revolutionize all of our businesses?  Markets are created and changed in a blink of eye and you better have strong relationships to weather the winds of change.
Event Marketing is any event held indoors or out that creates face-to-face personal contact.  Face-to-face interactions allow you the opportunity to engage, educate, and persuade the passive consumer. This event can be a professional sport like a PGA Tournament, local sponsorship, city fair, or even a high school football game. Event Marketing is the opportunity to put your best asset, your people, in front of your most desirable goal - new customers.
The most popular Event Marketing opportunity, in any community, can be your local Chamber of Commerce business show. This showcase can be the Super Bowl for businesses to shine and make a real impression. You can launch new services and products, you can introduce new employees, and you can also show everyone in the local community that your business is the one to turn to for your services or products.
There is a proven formula to Event Marketing that will provide you success and build your business. The formula, of course, has a Top Ten Rules list:
1)      Pick an Event that has proven attendance. Select a show that has been in existence for 5 years or more.  The first year, walk the show and talk to vendors at the show before you attend. If you cannot physically attend the show, ask the show promoter for references on exhibitors, and media sponsors.  (Select the right Event)
2)      Once you have selected a proven Venue to exhibit, choose the right location.  Just like the saying in real estate is true... Location Is Everything. Select high traffic areas, at the entrance, near concessions, bathrooms, or major sponsor booths. (Research the Event)
3)      Make sure you know why you are going to this event. The number one reason to go to a show is Brand Positioning and to gather leads. (Have a Reason for Going)
4)      Make sure your company has a commitment to this event for a minimum of two to 5 years. A show will take a few years to make an impression on customers.  Do not be in a hurry to get fast pay back. Too many businesses pull out after a year and they lose their investment. (Commitment) 
5)      Set realistic goals over the time period committed to the show. For example, we will collect 100 leads and make 20 appointments from those leads. We will handout 500 brochures and demonstrate the product to 250 new prospects. We establish 10 new accounts over the next 12    
      months.  (Set Goals)
6)      Only send people who want to work the show.  Make sure these people are truly excited and well trained to represent the company. (Training)
7)      Dress your people in a coordinated way. For example, all attendees wear the same shirts or all wear business attire.  Your people are your image. (Dress Professionally)
8)      Every lead collected at the show gets a follow up call, letter, and email.  These leads and related sales may be tracked by your Accounting Department.  Conducting a sales analysis on these clients will prove the Return On Investment (ROI) on that show. Analyzing total sales for all clients who were obtained from the show, from the date of the show and forward, will contribute to the revenue generated from your company’s exposure at the show.  (Follow Up)
9)      Purchase the size booth that is functionally right for you, and determine the proper staffing level for the booth. Do not purchase a booth space that is too big for you. (Right-Size Your Booth)
10)  Create an environment that captures the core of your company image, and culture. Project the right image and position your company’s exhibit so that your people feel proud to be in the exhibit.  (Create the Right Corporate Environment)
If you follow the above Top Ten Rules list for Event Marketing, you will not fail. However, if you cannot do the above, your Return On Investment (ROI) and results will suffer. As an Event Marketing Professional, our advice is simple. If you cannot do the above well, and you feel like your just go through the motion of showing up for an event, don’t do it. 
Event Marketing is growing at incredible rate. I encourage everyone to go out and meet your clients face-to-face. This is the quickest way to lower your cost of lead gathering and allows you to see many of your customers in one day.  Our advice to you is to revisit how you are doing it today, and put some new energy into your approach.