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This past week I attended a great event put on by Stamford IT Support specialists, Netology LLC.  During this typical IT vendor event, I got to thinking about the successful events I ran during my tenure at IT Matters, a Calgary IT support firm I managed from 2001 – 2008.

Event Marketing brought us the highest return on our marketing dollars but only when we executed them correctly and with the right focus.  The focus must be on the challenges your prospects are facing in their business, and it has to address ways that you and your partners can solve these specific business challenges.  Client-focused events are not an opportunity for you to talk about the speeds and feeds related to a particular product.  It must be on solving business challenges.

Some of the challenges facing business today include the Cloud, mobility, employee issues, and even the impact of consumer products in the business landscape. When it comes to discussing your solutions, speak to the core benefits of the various solutions you can offer. For example, why your solution will help your prospect streamline their IT systems well into the future, or perhaps the convenience of having 24/7 access to your fully outsourced MSP help desk. You may even be as brave as to say that you have outsourced this piece as you felt it best to bring in a specialist that could fully satisfy your clients needs.

Another key component to running a successful managed services marketing event is to ensure that you are discussing a topic which is relevant to the vertical markets you serve, yes, another reason why your MSP must be vertical focused and have a goal of going as deep as possible in your vertical markets.  When you specialize in a vertical, you have the ability to address the hot topics of the day.  I don’t believe you can enjoy the same benefit by trying to be broad in focus.

Here are 4 basic tips to running your successful MSP event:

  1. You are in control.  Never let the control go to some outside party or a vendor.  This is your event, and people are there to understand how you can help them.  Vendor sponsorship is important, but the entire event must be focused on how your company with your vendor partners can help them.  It is not a vendor pitch.  It is about how your business can solve the challenges facing those in attendance partly by interfacing with the vendors on your clients behalf.
  2. Have a great keynote speaker.  Whether you elect to host a breakfast event or a luncheon, you must have an impactful keynote speaker – someone who will draw in your target market.  Don’t know who to call upon; don’t worry, as you go deeper into your vertical, you will start to develop key relationships.  Get a name people would want to come and see.
  3. Keep it short.  2 hours is big investment in most people’s days and more than enough time to accomplish your goal.  Consider starting at 7:30 and going to 9:30 or 11 AM and wrapping up about 1:30.  This will allow people to get back to their office and finish off their days.  Plus, it keeps you focused on the key points and provides a great opportunity to follow up later.
  4. Follow Up – Follow up with every attendee.  Those who came out and also those who couldn’t make it.  For those who couldn’t make it, this is an excellent opportunity for you to meet with them and give them the grand overview from the event over a coffee or quick meal.

Of course, these ideas and tips are just the tip of the iceberg.  There are so many parts to running a successful marketing event. All in all, please remember… no matter which route your choose, it is your event.

So focus on the details, make sure you properly execute and use this opportunity to showcase how great your team and business truly is!

If you need help setting up and marketing your event, Ulistic is here to help you.