Recently there has been a lot of focus on building relationships online; in particular the mining of the statistics that you can gather from social media. I believe that most companies now understand the benefits of using social media and it has become an integral part of most organisation’s marketing strategies.
That said, I think now is the time to remind ourselves of the benefits we can achieve through face-to-face interaction, especially when delivering a service to our Customers.
When a customer is looking for a service they are likely to be faced with many different companies competing for their business; it is important therefore, to have quality touchpoints. By hosting events that facilitate face-to-face discussions with a potential customer you are establishing a more personal and intimate relationship that is impossible to create digitally.
Providing clients with an event to attend gives them something experiential to remember, which consequentially means they are more likely to remember you, helping your organisation to cut through the clutter when it comes to choosing who to engage with. It is important that the event is unique and runs smoothly as those who attend are just as likely to remember you for any bad experiences as as they are a good experience.
Events can be seen as an added value service as it gives the customer the opportunity to network with other professionals, as well as giving them access to quality speakers and useful introductions. The client relationship then develops from more than just being a transactional service to the client viewing your organisation as the facilitator for the growth of their business network, which will give the relationship longevity.
Running events could be considered a counter-trend to online relationships. The opportunity to grasp this counter trend, and have face-to-face contact with your customer is probably unexpected, which gives it much more impact leased which will create an even better impression of your company.
Social media is something that can be used alongside running an event in a number of ways; a) by interacting online with those who attend before to encourage dialogue and anticipation for an upcoming experience, b) as well as during the event, driving engagement with the speakers and other attendees and c) as a method of listening to and collating any feedback your audience is freely willing to provide.
It will also create an interest among those who are not attending, and encourage them to question what value they could gain from attending one the events that you host in the future.
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