409 low cost eventsTHESE SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS SHARE:

  • Tips to gather prospects and email addresses assuring you of the lowest marketing costs
  • Secrets to assure your team plenty of high quality low cost leads by adding events to your marketing mix
  • A simple but effective tool to prioritize and size ideas for events and other marketing dollars to achieve the highest ROI and lowest prospect and client acquisition costs
  • Traps to avoid and secrets they’ve learned
  • Low-cost techniques to publicize your event and draw a crowd

Superstar LINDA ALLEN made her State Farm agency a top performer in Fort Worth, TX, using many of the event ideas in this book. Get Linda’s event checklist and tool for burst-150x150prioritizing event opportunities.

Master marketer RON STURGEON used events to grow one of his ventures from one employee to one of the largest of it’s kind in the U.S. before he sold it to a Fortune 5 company. One event he did netted tens of thousands of dollars in sales and 2000 sales leads every time he did it. Let him teach you how to plan, execute, and measure results for your events!

FUN, PRACTICAL, AND POWERFUL, EVENT MARKETING CAN HELP YOUR SMALL BUSINESS BECOME BIGGER, BETTER, AND MORE PROFITABLE. IT CAN SET YOUR BUSINESS APART AND MAKE IT THE ONE EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT.

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At first glance you might think  event marketing is too costly. It might seem  event marketing is something for larger companies,  with big advertising budgets and the manpower to make sure everything goes right. You may think  you can participate in someone else’s event, but you’re not  in a position to put on one of your own.

Don’t place limits on your own success. You don’t need to be big to create  your own professional marketing event, nor do you need  a lot of money or manpower,  In fact, doing a marketing event can be one of the most economical ways to connect with people who need the goods or services  you sell.

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Planning an event to market your business doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does take some time, effort, and thought. Why do it when there are so many daily demands on the same limited resources? What does event marketing offer that you can’t get elsewhere? If what you’re doing is working, why bother with event marketing?
Let’s compare event marketing with some of the other marketing tactics you may be using.

* Cold Calling

Events are better than cold calling. Anything is better than cold calling.

Perhaps you’ve made cold calls and you know how much effort it takes to find a qualified prospect, get an opportunity to offer your product or services to him or her, and close a sale to start a business relationship.

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You can approach event marketing one of two ways: attaching your name to an existing event, or creating your own. Both can generate new business and have distinct advantages and challenges. You can choose to do either, or both, but the most successful entrepreneurs always know what they are getting into before making important decisions.

As you read further in this book, you will see the bulk of it is devoted to helping you create a successful event of your own. I’ll review the strategy and planning that takes place before your event happens, offer hundreds of ideas you can use, and help you determine just how successful it really was when it is over. I believe any determined business owner can pull off an event that helps increase name recognition, associates their business with a positive experience, locates lucrative new clients, and increases the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing efforts. I want you to feel confident about developing  an event plan that both works in your industry and improves your bottom line significantly.

Still, you can “piggyback” another event and still attain some success. In this chapter we will discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of investing your resources in an existing event, such as acquiring a booth at a public show.

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In this book we will provide you with a wealth of excellent ideas for your own event. If you  used every one of them you would have a tough time exhausting the entire list over the course of your career, but I would encourage you to think up your own ideas for events. Be creative. It might be totally unique, something nobody has tried before, and a huge success. The old axiom that “there’s nothing new under the sun” holds true in many aspects of business, but in the world of event planning you might be able to think of something new and reap great rewards from it. As technology and societal trends lead to new ways of bringing people together, there are new events and ways of getting prospects to attend that have yet to been tried. Use the examples in this book and your imagination, and you will never run out of ideas.

While event suggestions vary in scope, size, duration, effort, and cost, they all have a few elements in common. Whether you’re using an existing idea or considering one of your own, there are a few characteristics all good events share. Make sure the events you plan for your business share the following traits:

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Sound planning is crucial to holding a great event. When you start to plan your event, make sure you cover these bases:

 * Know the costs.

You don’t need any financial surprises once you commit to a certain event. It’s important to know exactly what resources you need to pull it off properly. Find out what you need and what it will cost, including any prizes or gifts, decorations, amenities (anything from bottles of water to snacks to food, depending on the event), tables, chairs, or other items.
Essentially, this is your last chance to rule out an event based on cost. It’s very important you go over all aspects of your event and determine just how much you need to spend to do it right. They don’t have to be the most lavish and pricey amenities, but—as we discussed earlier—you need to put your best foot forward and make a good impression. Walk yourself through the event from beginning to end, giving yourself a fair estimate of the cost for everything you need. If you can, consult with someone who has held a similar event to see if you’ve left anything out.
If you think you might be going beyond your budget, don’t be frustrated. It’s good to know that now, before you actually commit to an event and advertise it. (Don’t forget advertising costs in your budgeting, by the way.) You might find that you can save money in some areas, or you might determine the potential benefit of the event is worth the added expense. Finally, you might decide to go with an event that costs less. Whatever you choose, the decision will be based on an accurate idea of what it really costs to make the event happen—and that means your decision will likely be the best one for your business. In any case, budgeting before you finalize your event is critical to its success.

* Know the logistics.

Where will your event be held? Is it easy for people to get there, and will there be enough room for everyone once they do? Is there enough parking? How will you get everything you need to the location? Do you have a truck or van available if you need one? Do you need recycling and garbage containers? Can you do everything yourself, or will you need help setting up, breaking down, and during the event? What happens if someone doesn’t show up? What if it rains?
Those are just a few of the questions you should be asking when you plan your event. There are more, of course, but you might not be able to think of them all. So when trying to root out any and all variables that can limit the success of your event, ask an outsider to review your plans. Family members, friends, and even existing clients with whom you have a close relationship can give a fresh eye to your event plan and uncover angles you might not have considered. A friend or associate with a lot of event experience might even think of some ways to save money or make the event better, but they will probably think of some potential pitfalls you can easily avoid if uncovered in time to build in a contingency plan.
Many entrepreneurs are natural optimists, which allows them to take
chances, visualize success, and work toward achieving it. Most of the time, their optimism is enviable. However, when looking for what could go wrong with an event, being overly optimistic might prevent you from seeing likely obstacles. Consult with different people—including some who don’t see the glass as half-full—and you’ll get a good idea of what preparations are needed to  insure your event comes off smoothly and successfully.

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This is my favorite chapter, and I love teaching folks how to use the “Growth Matrix Optimizer™” , (or we also refer to  to it as the Big and Easy Tool) to choose, size and prioritize their events. More importantly, this tool is great for doing the same with almost any initiative, increasing sales, reducing expenses, or virtually any strategic ideas to explore. Often time’s businesses try to do everything, and do none of them well. This tool will get you focused on the events or initiatives that will produce the best results with a minimum amount of effort. You can learn more about the tool at my website, visit http://www.peerbenchmarking.com/strategic-analysis-tool/

 

Engage your staff

One of the best things about this tool is that it trains your staff to think strategically, and to better understand the relationships of revenues, expenses, resources and priorities. Refer to the case study from Linda on this topic to really grab hold of its effectiveness. When you teach your staff how to size and prioritize, they start thinking like that, and that provides leverage to your efforts, and eliminates them bringing you ideas that don’t make sense. Hosting a meeting to work though the current ideas on almost anything gets them fully bought in, and then they are more of a team. I love using it for topics like how can we be more efficient or increase sales, but it’s a great tool for planning future events, using the list provided in the book, or yours and their ideas.

Tracking your results

If you can, always assign a unique code to each event. A number can be just fine, and hopefully your computer sales system will allow you to enter such a code, so you can track which events brought the most clients(or prospects), and even which events produce produced the clients that spend the most. If your system won’t track them, just keep a spread sheet and have everyone keep track of their clients and send them in or write them down for later entry into the spreadsheet. Eventually you may learn which events are truly the best, and need less of this tracking, but it’s not very hard and can yield big results.

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Client Acquisition Cost

What is Client Acquisition Cost?

This has to be my second favorite topic, but admittedly I am a numbers guy. I am all about metrics, numbers, and financials. This chapter is about something simple, yet most business owners don’t think about it. Client acquisition cost is exactly what it sounds like: i.e., what does it cost you to get one new client?

You should have an idea what your cost is, and what a good or bad cost is, but these numbers vary from business to business. In my consulting for different types of businesses, I have seen sky high acquisition costs and really low ones.

As a starting point, you should divide your total advertising expenses by the number of new clients. That’s only a starting point, however, because you probably get some new clients’ from referrals or walk ins. Knowing this number is still useful.

I served on an Internet gaming company’s board for a while. Their subscribers paid $15 per month to play the game, and the typical subscriber stayed for 6 months—spending a total of $90. It’s easy to see that you cannot spend a lot of money to get a customer who only spends $90. However, that doesn’t preclude using higher priced media to attract $90 clients.

The gaming company’s lowest client acquisition cost was from TV commercials. Shocker! A commercial placed in the right television program cost $750 to run and netted the company 25 new customers, so they had a client acquisition cost of $25. (The $750.00 cost divided by the 25 new clients). With an average $90 sale, the company had a gross margin of $65—or a 61% gross margin and 39% cost of sales for the television ad campaign.

What you can spend to get a customer depends on how much you earn from each sale and the number of times that customer will buy from you. A new car dealer can spend hundreds to get a new client, but a company selling time shares in jet usage can spend thousands.

To get a rough idea of what you can spend, think about what you sell, what your gross margin is, and how many times the client will place order with you over the life of the relationship.

 

Prospects, Clients and Close Rates

As with client acquisition, prospect acquisition cost is similar. The difference between client acquisition cost and prospect acquisition is the close rate of the prospects.  Divide your event cost by the number of leads you have generated. If you spend $500 to have an event and get 20 leads, then it cost you $25 per prospect or lead.

Close rate is also just what it sounds like. If you get 20 leads at a cost of $25 per lead, and you sell something to half of them, your close rate is 50%, and your client acquisition cost is $50. (Divide your prospect cost by the percent closed). In most industries, a 25% close rate is likely to be good, though yours may be much higher or lower. You probably know what good and bad close rates are for your sales team. If you don’t, you should track this metric every month for every one of your salespeople.

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We know you are going to want to dive right in, but this list can be overwhelming—so think about a strategy for tackling it. First, make sure you have, at a minimum, read the chapters on how to choose your event and client acquisition cost. I would then suggest you take the list and mark out the ones that could not possibly be a fit for you, or don’t give you any ideas. Then, gather up your staff and work through the rest, eliminating the ones that are easy to eliminate. When you have got it down to roughly 50 potentials, use the growth matric optimizer tool described in the other chapter.

Alternatively, you might consider visiting with your staff members and discussing how to size and prioritize  events, (or ask them to read those chapters), then ask them to go through the list and bring the20 events they want to do that could meet the business’s criteria.

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This book provides you with the resources to get you started in event marketing, choose the type of event that’s right for you and your business, prepare for its success, and measure its effectiveness afterward. Armed with literally hundreds of different ideas you should be ready, willing, and able to add successful events to your prospecting arsenal.

However, to be honest, this book does not have everything. That would be impossible. There are other event ideas I have not covered, tips to a successful event I have not shared, and pitfalls to avoid I have not mentioned. I wasn’t holding anything back,  but–just like your business environment–things are always changing and the most successful people must always adapt. People whom I’ve never met have tried events with great success, and they have insight nobody else has. Others have made mistakes from which everyone can learn, while still other entrepreneurs have created all new events that could help your business succeed. There is no way to put everyone’s collective knowledge and experience in one book, and there is no way to keep revising it to accommodate all the new information that comes along.

409 Low Cost Events

$19.95

FUN, PRACTICAL, AND POWERFUL, EVENT MARKETING CAN HELP YOUR SMALL BUSINESS BECOME BIGGER, BETTER, AND MORE PROFITABLE. IT CAN SET YOUR BUSINESS APART AND MAKE IT THE ONE EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT.