If you’re at home reading this and the lights suddenly go out; you investigate the cause and discover that you can’t read on because the fuse box is blown, here’s a question: how many of you are going to call a plumber?
My guess is zero. After all, why would you?
Here’s another question. This time, you’re at work. You’ve just invested a chunk of your marketing budget in attending a major industry event. You plan to use it to generate qualified leads for your sales team. Next thing you know, along comes the event organiser to tell you he can arrange the prospect meetings you want, effectively generating those leads for you.
You can see where I’m going with this but just in case not, here’s the point: electricians fix broken fuse boxes and event organiser organise events. The latter have no more expertise in generate leads than the former has in plumbing.
In other words, if you use them beyond their established skill sets (like using an event organiser to generate qualified sales leads), well, what could possibly go wrong?
Plumbers, electricians, event organisers, and telemarketing agencies!
As it happens, quite a lot. And let me be clear at the outset; this is not a knock on event organisers (or, for that matter, electricians). Event organisers are exceedingly good at what they do. What they do is organise events!
Industry specific lead generation companies and telemarketing agencies, meanwhile, are very good at what they do. That is, generating leads and calling people. The point being, if you want to attend an event and generate leads from it, you need two stones to kill two birds. Short-cuts may be convenient, but they almost never get results.
What you need to succeed
Why? When it comes to telecoms events in particular, there are reasons this is the case. First, generating and qualifying leads requires domain expertise (or sector specialisation) which event organisers rarely have, at least to the required degree. You have to understand the industry and know what you’re talking about to communicate with your prospects. That goes beyond being able to say just “come to my event”. And second, even if the event organiser has access to a list of confirmed event attendees, it doesn’t over-ride the need for a broader, larger, database of contacts who may not yet have decided to attend. At eCS we’ve learned over a very long time that these two added ingredients are more often than not the difference between a forgettable event and a genuinely successful one.
Plus, there’s a third differentiator that may be even more important. Expertise. Consider this scenario:
An event organiser contacts delegates and asks them to take a meeting with you. He offers them incentives to say “yes” – maybe a free pass to attend, or an upgrade to a higher tier of pass. Maybe free access to white papers, or some other “conference-related benefit”. Attendees say “yes” to the meeting because the benefit is attractive, not because they want to meet you. This is problematic not least because your meetings (leads) haven’t been qualified in any way. So, when the event comes, of your 16 guaranteed meetings, a typical outcome if that 5 don’t show up at all and 8 of the remaining 11 stare off into space with neither the budget nor the interest to engage with you.
Now, you hire a specialist agency to set up your qualified meetings. This time instead of “anyone who’s attending” they target prospects based on the suitability of their job profile for the topics you want to present. They establish up front that prospects have a clear need for a solution like yours and actually want to find out more about the product or service you’re offering them. The agency you’re using to generate the leads is an expert; not an event organiser but an extension of your marketing department or inside sales team.
They get 16 meetings, 1 or 2 may not show, the remaining turn up because they have chosen to be there because there is proven interest explaining why they are more prepared to listen. After all, they were contacted by ‘you’ and not the event organiser.
The point about databases is worth underlining. Event organisers will claim to have the advantage of current registrations to the event and that, of course, is true but they don’t know who is ‘thinking about registering’ in advance so their information isn’t always up to date. Plus, attendees people register late in the day or at the last minute, too late to have meaningful dialogues about the value of a meeting before it’s set up. A specialist agency will approach contacts well before of any event which gives you the time required to plan for the event properly, know who you are meeting, and come properly prepared. Event organisers can “set meetings up”, but its neither their skill not their priority to do so in a way that ensures you accrue the necessary value.
In our two examples, there’s a big difference between 16 meetings and 16 meetings, isn’t there?
eContact Services: an ally at events
eCS is the latter: an expert agency partner. We can turbocharge the return on investment from any event that you choose to attend with the telco and CSP sector.
In post-pandemic world physical events are working their way back to the level they were at before COVID appeared and event organisers want to return to their traditional model of arranging meetings for attendees. Don’t fall for it. Ask yourself, where does their experience come from? How can they guarantee that the meeting quality you need will be there? How can they ensure that there is some merit in arranging a meeting with that particular person? Most likely, they can’t. They have no history when it comes to meeting arrangement. Compare organisers to eContact services like this:
- eCS can tailor the lead generation admin process to your requirements. You do not have to work within an organiser’s requirements.
- eCS can provide you contact details of who you are meeting in advance and diarise accordingly. Some event organisers do not provide this until the day of the meeting itself.
- Often, organiser-led contacts are ‘hand-held’ to a meeting to ensure they attend, resulting in a certain amount of perceived pressure that’s counterproductive to the meeting’s success.
- eCS offers a more personalised service; booking meetings and generating leads is what we do (not organising events)
A track record of success
eCS falls into the category of being a specialist in our field; generating qualified leads for vendors of solutions and services in the telecoms industry. We have the expert domain experience, knowledge and database that allows us to book meetings for our clients that are high quality and that result in substantive interactions. A such, eCS can make a huge difference to your ROI from events.