How Pre-event Campaigns Help You Maximize Attendee Engagement & ROI

Events are typically the biggest marketing program budget line item. With so much at stake, driving ROI is vital. Learn how to create effective pre-event promotions that will drive stronger results from your next webinar, tradeshow or conference.

Tradeshow benefits and risks

Are events one of your most significant marketing budget line items? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, An IDC Tech Marketing Benchmark Study found that events account for 21.3% of marketing budgets. And there’s no shortage of events — check out the upcoming marketing industry conferences on these lists compiled by SEMrush and Marketing Insider Group. And why not? When done right, events can be great for learning from thought leaders, networking, engaging prospects face-to-face, and, most importantly: driving high quality leads! But when done wrong, events can be a huge waste of resources with a high opportunity cost and long-lasting negative impact on productivity. With so much at stake, you need to look at every opportunity for driving ROI from the events that your company participates in, and that starts with effective pre-event campaigns. According to a recent EXHIBITOR magazine Pre-Show Marketing Survey, 91% of marketers who set measurable goals for generating sales leads and driving booth traffic from pre-event campaigns reported meeting or exceeded those goals.

The challenge of “blind” pre-reg attendee lists

Sometimes event organizers give their sponsors and exhibitors a head start on their pre-event promotions by providing them access to the list of pre-registered attendees. Unfortunately, it’s typically limited to just titles and companies: AKA a “blind list”. Sure, you get a vague idea of who may be there, but since there’s no way to contact a blind list, it’s not very actionable. If you’ve ever received this kind of list, you know what happens next. Sometimes an unlucky junior marketing staffer or admin is tasked with hours upon hours (or days upon days) of mind-numbing slogging through your CRM, marketing automation system, Google, and Linkedin in an attempt to search out all the data for the missing spreadsheet columns. More often though, someone sounds the all-hands-on-deck alarm and it turns into a marketing, or even marketing & sales scrum that ties up a significant number of team members for quite a long time — the same people who are supposed to be focused on driving revenue.

Forget the pre-show fire drill

Think about that. With just weeks to go before an important tradeshow or conference and all the little details that need to come together perfectly in order for your participation to be a success, your best folks are wasting countless hours on a big data entry fire drill? Even if you order pizza and try to pass it off as team building, that just doesn’t make financial sense when there are trusted data providers that can quickly and accurately enrich your lists for you. And unlike disgruntled team members, who may not do the most thorough or accurate data entry job (especially with greasy fingers), a good contact data vendor will provide high match rates and be able to augment your list with full contact and company profiles, including:
  • First and last name
  • Verified email address
  • Attendee’s social profiles
  • Company location & mailing address, industry, co. size
  • Verified corporate and direct-dial phone numbers

Creating effective pre-event promotions

List enrichment not only leaves your marketing team free to focus on more value-added tasks, they can use the enhanced data to create highly-personalized, tailored pre-event campaigns to extend the value of your event participation and better engage attendees to drive ROI.
  1. Reach attendees first: While your competitors are still looking up names, emails and Twitter handles, your targeted campaigns and invitations will hit attendee’s in-boxes and social streams first.
  2. Set more meetings: Appointment setting gets a whole lot easier and more efficient when you can provide your team with verified phone numbers–and they can focus efforts specifically on people who they know will be at the event.
  3. Engage attendees with personalized content: When you know exactly who’s attending, you can create truly targeted online and offline content and add attendees to appropriate ABM campaigns.
So this events season, forget the pizza bribes and last-minute scrambles. When planning for a conference or tradeshow, plan to maximize engagement and ROI by quickly and accurately enriching your pre-reg list, and engaging attendees before the event.

Rob Weedn

Rob Weedn is Founder & CEO of DealSignal. Having worked in B2B marketing and sales for many years, Rob is passionate about helping revenue generating teams meet their goals by providing them with the immaculate contact and account data they need to target, engage, and convert prospects effectively. Follow Rob on Twitter @robweedn.

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