How to Grow Your Customer Base with Virtual Field Events

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Teaching a virtual workshop. Leading a roundtable discussion on Zoom. Showing off a demo via Facebook Live. Meeting online for a regional happy hour. Field marketing certainly doesn’t look like it used to.

Despite the virtual shift, the opportunities from a field event haven’t changed. These events are an extremely effective way to connect with your most important potential buyers. I’ve seen them turn leads into sales and engage new prospects time and time again.

But only when done right. A properly executed field event should be one of the most authentic and interactive connections your customers have to your brand.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the outcome. Few local sales reps have the support of a field marketer or have access to tools and materials that make events successful. That means these extremely important field events can miss the mark or go off-brand fast if we aren’t careful.

To help avoid any mishaps from your virtual field events, I’ve compiled the most common pitfalls I’ve seen while hosting a virtual field event:

Spraying and praying

Field events are effective, but not when you batch-and-blast the entire region. Ditch the spray-and-pray tactics and work across sales and marketing to accurately identify and meaningfully engage your top targets.

We have an opportunity that we’ve never had before. To not only target customers regionally, but provide them content based on their interests. A mass email promoting your demo of X product may not be relevant to a customer that can’t use this tool. Make sure these VICs (very important customers) don’t start filtering you out by segmenting lists based on preferences or traits to ensure you provide content they truly care about.

Going rogue

Sales teams don’t always know what is and isn’t brand compliant. And with how quickly these events are put together (sometimes seemingly overnight), there may not be time for someone to thoroughly review all the event marketing and programming materials for brand consistency.

Consider creating a clear set of field event guidelines to supplement your brand standards, and circulate that out to all teams. Go the extra mile by using a central hub or technology where anyone in an organization can use marketing-approved materials at the click of a button.

Not looking into details

Thinking of sending a gift or care package to target customers attending your virtual event? Remember that most people are working from home and are unlikely to receive a package if mailed to their office address.

Sending out a pre-event survey or registration form allows you to capture details like the best address to mail event materials. It’s also a great way to get attendees engaged and excited about your upcoming field event. It’s details like these that set your event (and company) apart.

We’re all under a lot of pressure to make great customer connections, but oftentimes field event coordinators have little guidance, resources, or support to do so. Start by aligning sales and marketing teams and providing the data and tools coordinators need to succeed. Once you do that, and take into consideration the list above, your virtual field events are sure to engage and delight your prospects.

Eric Holmen
Eric Holmen is the Chief Revenue Officer of Splash, a next-generation event marketing platform designed to help teams build and host virtual, in-person and hybrid events, and do what they love: create memorable experiences, new connections, and business value. He is responsible for driving the company’s transformative growth in sales, marketing, customer success, services and support.

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