Roadshows – Are they good for business?
By Custom Trailer in Blog
Roadshows are a great way to bring your brand to a large and diverse audience. At Custom Trailer we specialise in making your brand mobile – have a look at this fabulous roadshow trailer that we recently manufactured.
We found two interesting articles about the benefits of doing a roadshow. We hope you enjoy the read!
By Rachel Yarnold
“Roadshows. What are they and why are they so important? Roadshows, in a nutshell, are the ultimate field event: just think of them as field events on steroids. The purpose of roadshows is to take your company’s message and brand—you guessed it—on the road. Roadshows are often done in sequence and occur in a handful of cities in an effort to increase brand awareness and product knowledge. Roadshows are a great way to spread the word in an in-person, interactive format and reach those you may not have been able to otherwise.
Typically, roadshows are half-day events that bring customers, prospects, and partners together for thought leadership, product demonstrations, and networking. Many companies do roadshows for a variety of reasons. For Marketo, the roadshows bring marketers from around the globe into the Marketo Marketing Nation. Click here for more information!
Over three months, we travel across three continents to 11 cities in order to meet and engage with thousands of marketers, all hungry to learn how they can up-level their marketing strategies.
Roadshows can be crucial to your company’s bottom line for various other reasons, too. Let’s dive into the top four reasons now, and hopefully you’ll get inspired to bring your company on the road next summer!
1. They Give Your Sales Team What It Needs
I’ve never met a sales account executive who would turn down the opportunity to get out in the field. This is their bread and butter. These events allow sales to move beyond the phone calls and email and actually create face-to-face relationships with potential customers. Conversations seem to flow in an environment when everyone has something in common: they all showed up to learn more about marketing (or whatever your roadshow might be for)! At these events, a rep doesn’t have to fight for a 2-minute conversation. Why? Because conversations flow naturally in a social environment. That 2-minute conversation might not happen otherwise.
Be sure to attribute any closed-won opportunities back to this event. It’s always important to track your ROI from roadshows in order to make a case for them in future years!
2. They Jumpstart Your Demand Generation Efforts
Roadshows are, for lack of a better word, AWESOME for your demand generation efforts. The summer months are notoriously slow, and roadshows help tremendously with keeping numbers steady. If you have other companies sponsor your roadshows, a good rule of thumb is to make sure they promote your show out to their networks. Roadshows can also really help with generating pipeline. As I previously stated, these events give the sales team an opportunity to engage with prospects they might not otherwise engage with.
3. They Help Propel Your Brand
Roadshows should be both professional and fun. In essence, you want all of your attendees to leave the event with a smile. Ground-breaking content (think: an inspirational speaker), a lively environment (think: a live band), delicious food (think: gourmet truffle mac ‘n cheese…just sayin’), and great company will leave nothing but positive thoughts in your attendees’ minds and leave that lasting good impression we all hope for.
In the past, Marketo gave all roadshow attendees a Starbucks gift card as a thank you touch. Who doesn’t love a free cup of coffee…or a free Triple-Grande-Decaf-Non-Fat-1-Pump-No-Foam-Mocha? (I swear it’s not me holding up the Starbucks line…) Anyways, just know that it’s sometimes the little things that make people remember your event and, most importantly, your brand!
On that note, let me point out that to keep attendees engaged during the 2015 Marketo Roadshow tour, we’re raffling off a handful of sweet prizes, including Apple Watches, Bose headphones, and GoPro cameras. Adding excitement and anticipation into an event is important because those moments are the memorable ones (especially for the winners)! An important part of any event is the level of social engagement. The fun touches are the aspects guests will share socially…and this is what you want. Make sure to have a hashtag associated with the show in order to help spread the word and track those social shares!
4. They Help Spread Your Thought Leadership
Probably the single most important part of the roadshows is the content. These events allow speakers to get on the main stage and talk about the latest industry trends. The valuable content presented by thought leaders is why people show up. Attendees must leave work early in order to attend these events, which are commonly held on weekday evenings, so make your event worth their while! If the content is valuable, these attendees will keep coming back for more year after year…and they’ll tell their colleagues to join, too.
As a starting-off point, I’m not suggesting you begin with an 11-city roadshow series. Instead, start small and work your way up—first start in your own region, then expand across the country, then go international. Test out a few cities that you have good traction in, and make sure to get feedback from attendees. Use this feedback to improve each time. If done right, roadshows can be a great event formula to add to your field marketing strategy, and people want to see them get bigger and better over time so that it stays fresh and exciting.
In a nutshell, remember to make your roadshow fun, interactive, inspirational, and memorable. If you can accomplish that, I guarantee your guests will be returning year after year. Get ‘em hooked!”
6 SIMPLE STEPS TO ORGANISING A SUCCESSFUL ROADSHOW
“Roadshows are an effective sales and marketing tool that companies can utilise in their growth strategy. Whether your organisation is interested in market development (expansion into new markets) or market penetration (boosting sales in existing markets), roadshows are a safe investment if you’re looking to understand the market, gauge interest, collect enquiries and establish contacts.
Roadshows, if organised well, are a fast, flexible and cost-effective way of generating new business; and we’d like to stress on the ‘organised well’ part.
If you are planning to organise a roadshow, what can you do to ensure success? Well, to start off with, here are 6 essential steps recommended by expert event managers:
Set your objectives and expectations
Organise a roadshow only if it aligns with your business objectives; companies that jump on the roadshow bandwagon without having the outcome in mind often have unrealistic expectations and end up wasting money. Roadshows are a great marketing avenue, but it is not suitable for every business requirement. Consult an experienced event management company if you are not sure how such events might benefit you.
Select the locations and venues
Locations are of prime importance for your roadshow. Select cities and pick venues that are easy to access and have a high concentration of your target audience. If majority of your target audience have to travel more than 15 miles to get to your event, it may not be the ideal location. If you are unfamiliar with the city, seek help of local tour operators or destination management companies.
Pick the right timing
If you are choosing a busy time of the year, or holding your event when there are other famous events / festivals going on, your event might run into a roadblock. Do your research on the locations and find the perfect time of the year for your event. You don’t want to be organising a roadshow in Dubai in the middle of August in 50 degree Celsius heat or during the Ramadan, trust me!
Make it creative and engaging
We have all been to boring roadshow presentations where sales teams regurgitate a pitch and presenters read the slides; thankfully that age is now coming to an end. Today’s audience is smart but you still have just a few seconds to capture their attention and engage them. Making your roadshows creative, experiential and fun, like this example of Sunsilk product sampling, will surely get you better results and brand awareness as compared to the usual salesy presentations.
Leverage contacts and sponsors
Roadshows are a great way to generate awareness about your brand as well as promote your sponsors and partners. If you are a bigger brand, provide a sponsorship opportunity for other brands to get involved but ensure it doesn’t take the focus away from your main objective. For smaller brands, advertise the sponsorship opportunities and get in touch with your business groups and communities; you never know, other brands might be willing to sponsor your roadshow.
Promote and then promote some more
There is no such thing as ‘too much promotion’! It is important to make noise about your event well in advance in the cities / locations where you’ll be exhibiting. If you want to fill the event space with potential buyers, get the local press / bloggers / influencers involved before the event, create a well thought-out email RSVP and awareness campaign, leverage social media and get your sales superstars following up on warm leads. A roadshow is a great sales opportunity, promoting it in advance will go a long way in making this opportunity count.”