Oftentimes holding face-to-face events is the best way to connect with potential customers. But there’s an art to it. Especially if you’re not a social butterfly. You need to know how to build interest in your product, while maintaining a comfortable conversation. We’ll give you some tips on how to do this on today’s episode!
Jeff Lambert: 00:01 Oftentimes holding face to face events is the best way to connect with potential customers, but there's an art to it, especially if you're not a social butterfly. You need to know how to build interest in your product while maintaining a comfortable conversation. We'll give you some tips on how to do this on today's episode.
Jeff Lambert: 00:31 Hello and welcome to Inbound Academy brought to you by Rizen. I'm your host, Jeff Lambert. So attending and hosting external events are a really great way to get up and close and personal with existing and potential customers, but there's an art to engaging people in this type of environment. So if you're looking to expand your marketing game and try and reach people on a face to face basis, this is a great way to go. So to provide some tips on how you can throw a successful external event. I'm joined by Rizen CEO Rogelio Rodriguez. Rod, thanks for coming on the show.
Rod Rodriguez: 01:06 Thanks for having me, Jeff.
Jeff Lambert: 01:08 So as as far as I know, you host external events on a regular basis, is that correct?
Rod Rodriguez: 01:13 Uh, yes. I'm part of several networking groups that I attend, and I've hosted several offline events you can call them, right? Where people get to interact with each other.
Jeff Lambert: 01:27 So can you talk to me a little bit about, you know, external events, they feel like more of a traditional marketing approach and we've talked about how people are moving away from those types of outbound marketing strategies. Why are external in-person events still a good thing for businesses to do?
Rod Rodriguez: 01:45 Sure. Typically these events, the reason they're so good to attend is because you get to interact with people and start building relationships. And you're not intruding into someone's life, right? These people found this event and we're attracted to it for a reason. So as long as you are providing some sort of a helpful relationship or connection then it's a good thing. It can be an easy implementation into an inbound strategy.
Jeff Lambert: 02:20 Now, when you're dealing with people face to face, that's obviously a lot different than having a digital conversation with them. So I'd like to just pick your brain a little bit on ideas that you might have, some tips, if you will, of how people can throw these external events and make them actually productive events instead of people just standing around and eating plates of food and not getting that networking aspect. So why don't we start off? Can you give me...what's the most important tip that you think that people can keep in front of them when they're planning these types of events?
Rod Rodriguez: 02:52 Sure. I think the first element is really setting goals, right? Making sure you are understanding why you are hosting this event or participating in the event. You know, a simple goal if you're attending an event could be meeting five people, or having five people signed up to your email newsletter list; by the relationships that you build. So, these could be part of your content-building strategy really for the content compass, and part of your S.M.A.R.T. goals as well.
Jeff Lambert: 03:29 Okay. And for our listeners, we're actually going to be talking about the content compass in a separate episode. So stay tuned for that. So Rod, I've taken time to set goals for my meeting so I know exactly why I'm there and what I'm trying to accomplish. What's another tip that you have?
Rod Rodriguez: 03:46 So I think spreading the word is super important, right? Making sure that you are active in any offline situation. If you're sharing it with a networking group, share it on social media, make sure that you're promoting it on your website as well. You know, really trying to leverage your own connections to spread the word and make sure that as many people know about the event as possible.
Jeff Lambert: 04:15 Now, I found it helpful a tool when I'm using social is to search based on location. If I'm looking for something in the area or even using hashtags, have you found that to be successful?
Rod Rodriguez: 04:25 Absolutely. You can organize or you can have your content as part of these hashtag groups; groupings on Twitter and on a lot of the social media mediums. And it makes it easier for people to find you by using hashtags. So absolutely. Use as much relevant hashtags as possible.
Jeff Lambert: 04:47 Okay. So we've set our goals, we've broadcast our event and spread the word to other people. What's the next step that you have?
Rod Rodriguez: 04:54 Yeah, I think being prepared at the event with something tangible to be able to provide to people. You know, I think oftentimes in my networking, I've met a lot of people that don't bring business cards and I think that's a mistake. I think it's something that people will hold on to and use as a memory hook to remember you. Maybe they may not remember other aspects, but they'll remember the card and the conversation that they had with you. So it can really give you that advantage or that opportunity to be called back upon.
Jeff Lambert: 05:36 So there's a start. Yeah, absolutely. Is there any other types of souvenirs or things that you've used that you've seen success with that some of these events?
Rod Rodriguez: 05:45 Yeah, I mean, anything that is useful. Like I have socks from inbound events and I still wear them. I mean the sock says "you got this" on the bottom of them, so they're great. You know, I felt like they were something that I could use every day.
Jeff Lambert: 06:02 And when you're feeling down, you can just look at the bottom of your foot and get that reassurance.
Rod Rodriguez: 06:05 There you go. Yeah, absolutely.
Jeff Lambert: 06:06 Okay. So it's good to have not only business cards, but a little bit of swag basically to give up.
Rod Rodriguez: 06:11 Yes.
Jeff Lambert: 06:12 Okay, great tip. Let's move on to the next one. So, you know, we planned out our event, we broadcasted it. We've got some fancy buttons, maybe some key chains, some business cards to hand out. We're ready to give people free stuff to take home. What's the next step that you have?
Rod Rodriguez: 06:27 I think dress for the occasion, right? Different events have different rules around how you should dress. So just be aware of that and make sure that you dress appropriately. Oftentimes, and I can say, look at the annual inbound event. It's very casual, a little bit more laid back. You don't have to wear a suit. But, I've been to networking events with attorneys and they're always in suits. So, they typically look at someone that has sneakers differently, right? So I think you've got to dress, to really get with the idea that you want to be perceived on the same professional level as they are. Right? So just be aware of that and address for that occasion.
Jeff Lambert: 07:17 That makes sense. Completely. Trying to fit the clientele that you're you're meeting with. Let's go ahead and talk about one more tip that you have for people just to round it out. What's one more thing you think you could offer people that would benefit their event planning?
Rod Rodriguez: 07:32 I think network. Just have that in mind. Build relationships. Collect data. Try to remember as much as possible from your interactions. Document those interactions so that you're better able to reconnect with those individuals after that event. It's super simple, and really it's a smart investment, right? Trying to expand your customer base by building relationships at individual networking events because that really helps establish awareness of yourself and your brand. But also the more they see you the next time at the following event that's tied to it, the more trust you're going to build. And typically, people like to do business with people they trust.
Jeff Lambert: 08:21 Do you have any examples of ways, maybe in the past, that you've been able to collect information more easily from people or to be able to get some of that networking information instead of just trying to say, "well, I'm going to remember this three days later" but actually getting it down tangibly?
Rod Rodriguez: 08:37 I tend to take notes as much as I can from every meeting and I try to collect their business card as well. I mean I use the Hubspot app, so I scan the cards right into my CRM, which makes it a lot easier to collect the data. But also I try to make it about them. And when you make it about them, it's easier for them to open up to you and give you info. I mean, you wouldn't believe the amount of information they give you, you know, from revenue numbers to goals to all kinds of things on a first meeting; so long as you're asking the questions right and somehow documenting them.
Jeff Lambert: 09:19 So really the key is just to ask?
Rod Rodriguez: 09:21 Ask. Absolutely.
Jeff Lambert: 09:22 Okay. That's a good point for us to end on. Just to recap, Rod, we talked about setting goals, spreading the word, bringing stuff to hand out to people, dressing for the occasion. And then of course, the all-important networking and collecting of that data. That sounds like a great foundation for our listeners to be able to get started on hosting external events. And Rod, thank you for taking the time to be able to come and talk about this topic a little bit more.
Rod Rodriguez: 09:44 Thank you Jeff,
Jeff Lambert: 09:46 And thank you for joining us today for another episode, everybody. You can expect a new episode every weekday, always no longer than 10 minutes, and always filled with advice that's going to help you grow your business. And remember, if you're looking for an experienced, friendly and results driven team to help you, check out Rizen by going to go www.gorizen.com. That's Rizen with a "Z". You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin by searching for the username Rizen_Inbound, that's one word, Rizen_Inbound. And remember, you can help us reach new people by leaving a review on the podcast app of your choosing. Thanks again for your support and we'll see you on the next episode.
Want to stay in the know?
Join us, and get all the podcasts and more straight to your inbox.