Roadshows: The Low Down
A roadshow is an opportunity to literally take your brand ‘on the road’. You may have experienced the benefits of live event marketing and want to take it to the next level, by touring that event around the country (or world!).
What is a Roadshow?
A roadshow is an event that goes on tour to different cities or regions. The same event will normally be replicated in each location, perhaps with a few alterations. Your roadshow could take one of many different forms. If you provide a software product, for example, you could run a training workshop and invite existing customers along to learn how to get the most out of the product. Or you could sponsor a conference and invite a number of guest speakers to talk about a range of key issues within your business sector.
A roadshow can be a great opportunity for your customers to meet the people in your team. They may already be familiar with their account manager, but it can really help to personalise a business relationship if they get the chance to meet the others behind the service – the designers, the developers, the engineers, etc.
How to Plan a Roadshow Event
Think about the objective of your roadshow. A sales pitch is not likely to attract many participants so think about your target audience and what is most likely to interest them.
If you want to reach out to your existing customers, consider a workshop or training day where they can meet the people behind the product or service and network with other users to share their experiences. This is a fantastic way to improve brand loyalty ensure that your customers feel appreciated. They will feel even more appreciated to know that you are travelling to them, so think carefully about the locations of your roadshow events to ensure they are well positioned for your customers. In addition to meet the team and learning useful tips about the product or service that they already have, consider inviting a VIP to give a talk. This may be the CEO of your company. Your customers will feel valued by the attention and it will give them a far more personal connection to your company.
Promoting the roadshow is key to ensuring its success. Communicate with your customers early on and ensure that account managers are highlighting the benefits and encouraging customers to attend. Social media is key to sustaining momentum and keeping the conversation on topic. Set up a hashtag for the roadshow and encourage attendees to post their comments, feedback, photos and videos from the day. Be responsive to any of your customers’ questions or comments to ensure that they leave with a positive impression.
If your aim is to attract new customers you may want to put on an industry networking event. Think carefully about what will appeal to your target audience and what the major issues on their radar are, and the new developments they need to be prepared for. Perhaps there is a new piece of legislation that will affect the way they currently do business. Or a new product coming onto the market (yours) that could radically increase their productivity. Remember that in order make time in their busy schedules to attend your roadshow, your customers need to be convinced that it is worth their while, that they will find the event useful and interesting.
In order to ensure your roadshow is well attended you will need to start promoting it early amongst your key target audience. If you have a well-known guest speaker use this as a draw and ask him or her to share details of the event via their own social media channels. If there are any hot topics on the agenda make sure you reference these on social media using hashtags. Make it easy for people to find out about your event.
Just as important as your choice of location is your choice of venue. Ensure it is easy to find and accessible by various forms of transport. Ensure the venue is large enough to fit all the people you intend to invite and that it has the appropriate facilities to accommodate them. Consider whether you will provide refreshments – note that if you include a break for people to go and get their own food, they may not come back! Ideally you want to keep people in the room to maximise the networking opportunities and ensure they feel valued.
Your roadshow event may feature an exhibition stand. Find out more about designing the best exhibition stand here. If you plan to tour your exhibition stand there are a number of factors you will want to consider in the design. For example, is it relatively simple to construct and dismantle? Does it pack down into a small, portable case? Can it be customised to fit different-sized spaces? Is it durable enough to withstand multiple events? Does it need to be suitable for outdoor as well as indoor environments? All these factors can be incorporated into your design – talk to us about the options available within your budget.
You may also like to give away promotional merchandise – find out more about the benefits here. You may want to provide a branded notepad and pen for your delegates to take notes, or a branded water bottle, perhaps.
Here at Spinning Clock we have helped numerous clients with their roadshow events. Here are a few examples.
Roadshows are a great way to connect with your customers on a personal level. For those who live in relatively remote areas, bringing your event closer to them can be a great way to make them feel valued. If you are planning to invest in an exhibition stand a roadshow is a great way get the most out of your investment. Try to gather as much data as you can from your roadshow – even if it is as simple as asking people how they found out about it, any data you can gather will help you determine the event’s success and inform any future roadshows you decide to hold.
If you’re thinking of taking your brand on the road, talk to us about how to make your roadshow a success!