The events landscape in 2023 is more complex than ever. From sourcing available venues and managing registrations, promoting events and executing them meticulously, to evaluating feedback and calculating ROI – it takes a lot of strategy and coordination to run events smoothly.
Automating event management processes can streamline work by supporting a more data-centric approach to each event that ultimately optimizes its overall impact. In a rapidly growing market, this has major implications.
Automation will have a key role in the manufacturing industry, churning out changes that deliver high-quality event experiences. In its absence, low and ineffective lead generation can lead to missed business opportunities.
Technologically advanced and future-facing manufacturing companies are building back fast after the pandemic. They remain undeterred after significant labor and supply chain challenges.
Yet, when it comes to event management, many organizations still use legacy operating systems and manual processes to manage their enterprise-wide meetings and events. These events could be small meetings or large conferences across all formats - virtual, in-person, or hybrid.
Let’s have a look at some unique challenges in this space and how to overcome them through automation.
Are In-Person Events Riddled with Riddles?
Technology allows us to solve a dynamic problem and then put it in auto-pilot problem-solving mode. The best way we can predict the future is by creating it.
For manufacturing, event management comes with its unique set of challenges. C-suite leaders are hard-pressed to shorten workflows from marketing to sales, streamline supply-side activities, increase speed to market, maximize value, and secure a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
They may also need to justify the costs to senior stakeholders within their organizations. For this, they are looking to collect valuable data from various customer touchpoints across trade shows, exhibitions, and seminars, to generate leads. But is the aggregated data relevant, timely, and measurable?
On average, it takes about 2 weeks to get event leads into any company’s CRM program. This long turnover delays the process of generating actionable insights that feed marketing and sales initiatives. And any delay in reaching out to your existing or prospective customers cannot be good for business.
From the lens of business analytics, events are investments. Event data must demonstrate its impact on ROI to justify the presence of your sales and marketing teams at in-person events. Yet, only one out of three CMOs has access to the analytics required to validate their event spending. This is where lead data analytics becomes indispensable, as it sets up a strong premise for planning and attending events.
Disparate Lead Capture Processes
From pre-event registration to onsite scanning, event activities are often recorded in disparate systems. In fact, lead retrieval differs from event to event due to the usage of different software. This means your sales representatives must learn new rules for each event that compromises lead capture consistency from rep to rep.
Low or Ineffective Lead Generation
Studies reveal that only 6% of marketers feel that their tradeshow leads convert into good business. Manufacturing companies typically attract software evangelists and users to their exhibitions and conferences.
Sales teams need to engage with the right personas who can make buying decisions and drive the usage of enterprise-wide technology. Here, a comprehensive event management platform can house historical data on key stakeholders and tie it with real-time inputs to get the right contacts to your events.
Can Planning Pain Points Be Bona-Fide Growth Opportunities?
So, what can manufacturing industries do to maximize the opportunities presented by these events? The answer, as often, lies in careful planning and approach.
Modern organizations attend a broad spectrum of external events, such as customer events, conferences, field marketing events, and trade shows. They can also plan internal trainings, board meetings, companywide events, and incentive trips.
As attendees navigate these events, marketers can attain data before, during, and after each event. Event data related to appointment scheduling, customer interests, lead qualification, lead retrieval, and activation using CRM and marketing automation integrations can be used in lead scoring.
Once this data is captured, it can be used to drive targeted campaigns, track sales activities, house essential customer data, and provide visibility into the sales process.
The data collection roadmap can be broken down into the following phases:
1. Pre-Event Appointment Scheduling
According to a Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) report, 95% of attendees believe that there are unique values attached to attending in-person events that are absent in other channels. As the first touchpoint in setting up such in-person gatherings, appointment scheduling provides insight into the number and type of meetings attendees are keen to attend. Sales teams can leverage this strategy to create opportunities in addition to organic booth traffic.
The booth team can maintain customized calendars while the admin gains visibility into the overall scheduling of the show. It also enables the team to prepare better for the customers they are scheduled to meet with and make more meaningful connections.
2. During the Event
In-person conversations during events can generate a wealth of data and leads. Once onsite, QR codes on attendees’ badges can be scanned, their business cards transcribed, or their data entered manually to create a rich repository of up-to-date information.
Qualification questions can also be added to pre-event and onsite interactions to gain consumer interest insight. From tabletop displays to product demonstrations to tech talks by field experts and happy hours for informal networking, data can be collected throughout the event to support your sales pipeline.
3. After the Event
It’s no wonder that 76% of marketers consider events as their most successful lead-generating tactic. Data collected and aggregated from tradeshows must be used to follow up after the event. This extends the lifecycle of your program and reinforces your marketing strategy.
Manufacturing companies can also benefit from data analytics once they automate their events. All the data from pre-event appointments and qualified onsite leads can be synced with the company’s CRM and Martech solutions. This allows sales teams to communicate more effectively with other stakeholders in the manufacturing ecosystem.
Customers and prospects want experiences catering to their specific goals, needs, and place in the buying cycle. To deliver a personalized event experience, you must tap into attendee data from all stages of the event lifecycle before, during, and after your events. Automating event processes with a strong technology partner can make all the difference.
When organizing or planning a manufacturing industry event, it’s crucial to have a complete profile of your customers and prospects. Save time and improve accuracy by eliminating manual data entry, improve customer engagement, and accelerate your revenue pipeline.
Cvent tools like Appointments, LeadCapture, and the Integration Hub can help with this! You can also activate event data, contact data, and notes, such as product interest, timelines, and budget, into your critical business systems to create workflows that make a real difference to your bottom line.