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Event sales nature vs nurture: Is it better to focus on attracting new customers or community buildi

Go with the crowd..

Maintaining an engaged community can be both a demanding and time-consuming process and is seen by many as a luxury rather than a necessity. What does remain obvious is that creating a community will never replace the sales and marketing process, as new customers are always needed to sustain growth.

Belgrade Karizma has now been operating successfully for three years, working on over 300 corporate events in that time, giving us a good amount of experience and understanding what promotion methods work best.

We’ve found that a multi-channel approach, using the individual customer’s preferred means works best. While most event organisers will email previous event attendees' regular newsletters, surveys, whitepapers and offers at regular intervals, these rarely keep people fully engaged with your brand – to the point that the customer needs to be fully sold to again before committing to the following event. This is because while some individuals enjoy regularly using different platforms, such as social media, to communicate and engage with their professional network, others prefer more traditional channels such as phone or email.

What is important to remember is that: Every customer must be engaged with; some are just more easily accessible than others.

Every event should have a community of customers who enjoy attending on a repeated basis and can act as brand advocates. Not only can you rely on these individuals to naturally promote your brand through word-of-mouth, but also be utilised (if properly engaged) to help you grow exponentially.

The major mistake that community owners make is to try to use it as a direct sales tool. It is important to remember that people do not take an active part in discussions if the result is to be sold to. Doing so can cause dissatisfaction and a loss of credibility, which once damaged, is hard to regain. We’ve found that maintaining a healthy, active community can give our customers huge value and ROI in other areas of the business.

Benefits of creating a strong community

  1. Creates natural word-of-mouth-marketing

  2. Builds credibility and brand integrity

  3. Keeps you updated on industry trends and hot topics

  4. Helps to maintain a close relationship with key industry influencers

  5. Gives you unparalleled access to potential event speakers

  6. Allows conference producers to ‘sanity check’ ideas for event topics and discussions

  7. Offers a great source of content for production and reports

  8. Gives you the opportunity to receive more useful, usable feedback on a regular basis

  9. Attract sponsorship partners – An event with an active, engaged community will naturally attract the attention of potential event sponsorship partners, increasing revenue.

  10. Gives members a certain sense of familiarity with the brand and each other. This gives a sense of ‘being part of something’ or ‘belonging’ that will hugely increase brand loyalty.

We’ve found that by combining a traditional sales campaign to attract new customers (and previous attendees who prefer to be contacted over the phone) with a dedicated engaged community works best for the event overall. This way you can reap the benefits mentioned above, while continuing to encourage growth.

Over the past three years our delegate salespeople have been honing their skills and perfecting methods of doing this effectively. They understand the importance of creating value at every opportunity across every available platform.

We are currently doing this to help create a close relationship between our clients and their potential customers, generating pipelines of warm leads for both delegate and sponsorship sales.

Contact us today or to find out how we’re helping our customers to grow their events to their maximum potential.


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