Plenty of event planners and marketers turn to roadshows during the summer months. Whether you’re looking to build a following for a new product launch, catalyze thought leadership discussions revolving around your brand, searching for client feedback or simply looking to generate new leads in a new way, roadshows are a creative alternative to more standard or stationary events.
If you’re looking to take on this traveling event format—or if you’re simply looking to enhance your past roadshows—here are a few ideas, techniques and strategies to ensure your roadshow is as successful and fruitful as possible:
1. Track Your Journey
When moving from one city to another, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of pre-event, post-event and event execution excitement and anxiety. That’s why it’s important to keep track of what happens at each individual stop. You don’t want the important moments to slip into the background. Try keeping a journal, or even jotting down important moments during the day in the notes of your phone. This way, when you’re looking to tweak the event or even post about it, you’ll have material at the ready to work with.
2. Share Your Journey
Speaking of posting about it, keep your followers in the loop! A roadshow is an exciting opportunity to keep your followers engaged, not to mention increasing your attendee registration numbers. If your followers in NYC see the exciting moments from your London event, they may just be incentivized to register too. Those who can’t register for the event will still be exposed to greater interactions between your brand and clients, which helps promote a positive brand image.
3. Incorporate Local Sponsors and Vendors
Another way to incentivize your attendees is to be sure you’re catering your event to them specifically. Sponsorships, partnerships and vendors are the perfect way to link your product and brand with the specific geographic audience you’re engaging with. By partnering with local caterers or venues, you’re telling your attendees that you listen, that you pay attention to what they like and that their interests are yours.
4. Segment Your Audience Through Ticketing
If you’re offering special VIP exhibits, early bird opportunities or general admission, you’re creating new tracks for your attendees to follow. The more tracks you have, the more personalized the experience becomes, and the greater the impact. If each attendee gets to have his or her own, very personalized experience, they walk away getting what they wanted out of the event, rather than a one-size-fits-all technique.
5. Be Selective with Speakers
First of all, set standards when you’re selecting speakers for a roadshow event. Either make sure that all of your speakers can travel to all of your stops, or have appealing and exciting back-up plans. Keep your keynote consistent; you want your message to be unified across geographical locations, even if other aspects of the event change a bit. Planners need to keep their intentions and objectives consistent throughout the roadshow, and selecting relevant speakers can help.
6. Cultivate Your Content
Moving from one place to another with high-energy events at each stop can be exhausting, but planners need to stay on their A-game. It may not seem like the top priority with so many moving pieces at the forefront of your mind, but maintaining a creative, engaging and unified flow of content is no less important. In fact, there may be greater eyes on your content in the lead-up and follow-up to and from your event, so keep those key content creation techniques—from SEO to hashtagging—in mind.
7. Build Anticipation
Don’t be afraid of a little mystery and allure! If you’re launching a new product, play into the suspense and excitement with countdowns and teasers on your social media channels, email marketing, and more.
8. Be Open to Feedback
A roadshow is a great opportunity to receive feedback from your loyal customers and attendees. Is your product or brand accessible in all regions, or is it harder to reach? Do different geographical locations have different perceptions of your brand? Thought leadership is important, but don’t pass up on a great opportunity to hear from your consumers and clients face to face.
9. Utilize Event Tech
There are plenty of event technology activations that require no extensive set-up or bulky transport. For example, our Smart Tags allow planners to gather data through session tracking of a small, mobile piece of technology. Before hitting the road, double check that your event is as seamless and optimized as possible; event tech helps.
10. Don’t Forget to Follow Up
Whether in the form of a mobile app notification, an email or a survey, don’t let your event experience end as soon as the attendee walks out the door. Follow up for feedback, to thank your attendee for his or her time and to even encourage them to register for your next event.