In-person marketing is a powerful strategy to drive all sorts of business goals. It’s an opportunity to generate new leads, nurture them, and even drive sales on the spot. But if you want to close more sales at your in-person events, you need to strategize for it specifically.

Here are 8 ways to increase the value of in-person marketing by driving more sales:

1. Focus on Building a Sales Pipeline

Hosting or attending events is one of the most powerful lead generation strategies out there. But when businesses focus all their event marketing efforts on getting leads, they miss out on opportunities to drive sales then and there.

So the first step in closing more sales at your events is actually shifting focus to sales as a goal. You probably already have a sales pipeline for your products. Now’s the time to adapt it to the event scenario so you can close deals in person.

How you present your business and product really changes when you’re not just trying to get as much lead contact information as possible. You need to be prepared to target prospects directly and cater your pitch to their unique needs. Some of the rest of the strategies in this post will help illustrate how you can build an effective sales pipeline for events.

2. Engage Your Attendees

You can spend a lot of energy perfecting a sales pitch, but it isn’t going to matter if your attendees don’t hang around and listen to it. In order to capture their attention and make them truly interested in what you have to say, you need to first engage your audience with interactive elements.

Create engagement centers such as a raffle, photo booth, or interactive product display. Use these engagement pieces to attract people to your booth so you can introduce them to your business. This strategy works great for both lead generation and priming prospects for a sales pitch. Once they’ve interacted with your booth and understand a little about your products, they’ll be interested to learn more from your sales pitch.

3. Research and Organize Lead Data in Advance

If your goal is to drive sales from your event, then you should do as much lead research as possible in advance. Especially if you know who some of the attendees will be, it’s important to have information about them on hand so you can better target them with your sales pitch.

Your marketing automation software should help you compile valuable information about individual leads and the companies they work for. Dig deep beyond just their business profile by learning more about them on social media as well. Then you can use your understanding of their unique position and needs to create a more relevant sales message.

The best marketing automation software will help you get a snapshot of your leads — useful for pitching online and off. SharpSpring, for example, has a membership tab where you can quickly scan all the campaigns, lists, opportunities, workflows and emails a contact is associated with:

3. Showcase Your Products

In-person event marketing is all about offering a personal experience. Part of this is allowing your audience to have a personal experience with your products. Have samples of your product on hand so your audience can touch and try out all its features. If you offer a digital product, then set up computers or tablets allowing your audience to demo the software. Explaining what your product does may be enough to generate leads. But showing audiences what it does is a much better strategy for driving sales.

4. Create a Special Promotion for the Event

If the priority of your event is driving sales over generating leads, then do everything you can to ensure your audience buys today. The best way to do this is by creating a special discount or promotion on your product that’s specific to the event. For example, people could get 50% off the first 6 months of your software subscription when they sign up at the event.

Even if someone loves your product, they have no strong reason to purchase it that very minute. Don’t give your leads the opportunity to walk away and change their mind later on. Instead, create a sense of urgency by offering an exclusive deal or discount.

5. Focus on Problems and Solutions

Most people don’t attend an event with the intention to make a purchase. So if you want to drive your audience to buy, it needs to be an impulse decision on their part. You can encourage this through emotional marketing. Instead of droning on about your product’s features, focus on specific problems your leads have and the solutions your product offers. Get to know individual leads so you can make your emotional marketing message even more personal.

6. Incentivize Your Team

Your event marketing message is only as powerful as the enthusiasm of your team members presenting it. If you want to really improve sales results, try incentivizing your team members to achieve that specific goal. The best way to do this is by offering commission or special rewards whenever they close a deal. Come up with a program that really gets your representatives enthusiastic about reaching out to prospects and driving sales.

7. Optimize Your Digital Content

There are some deals you can’t close in person, no matter your efforts. But that doesn’t mean you should give these up as lost opportunities. Many people leave an event wishing they had bought when they didn’t. You have their contact information, so you can engage them through email and try to attract them back to your site. Then you can deliver a digital content experience that reflects the best points of your in-person event.

It’s a Long Term Game

Events may be one-time opportunities to attract leads and sales. But they’re also experiences you can learn from to improve your in-person marketing in the long run. Test out these various strategies and see which ones are most effective at closing sales for your business. Use these insights to optimize your strategy and drive even more sales from future events.

Naseem Shah