Posted: Wed 22nd Oct 2014
Hitting the road and meeting potential and existing customers is a sure-fire way to raise profile and get connected. From the StartUp Britain national tour to the Natwest Business Bus and Virgin StartUp Hothouse Tours, roadshows are a winner.
Ask yourself why will your audience take the time and make the effort to come? Offer value in the form of advice sessions, talks, networking opportunities with local businesses, presence of local media etc.
Planning events in multiple locations can be challenging, especially if it's not your immediate locality. Collaborating with local enterprise agencies, universities or colleges and local businesses is a great way to promote your event to the local community. They can also support with venues and supplies as they will know the area.
Roadshows naturally offer convenience to the audience by coming close to them. Hold events at a suitable time for your target audience - you wouldn't want to get there and no-one show due to clashing with another local event or occasion.
In each locality Alison partnered with local business organisations such as Business West and Wessex Chambers of Commerce as well as offering value for attendees to meet and network with a wide range of professionals within their area.
Feedback from the events showed a 60% conversion rate of businesses in attendance wanting to sign up for a Growth Voucher - a great result and return on investment. Here is the checklist Alison used to deliver results:
To raise awareness of Growth Vouchers
To give detailed information about the application process and what is/what is not covered under Growth Vouchers within each category
To put small businesses in contact with local suppliers in each category
To encourage relevant businesses to become Growth Voucher advisers
Contacted Business West, Wessex Chambers of Commerce, Action Coach, Business Doctors, HR Dept, Monahans Accountants, Moore Stephens Accountant and Soinspired. As well as donating their time to speak at the Roadshows some also donated the venue free of charge. All were very willing to help as they could not only see the potential for the local economy but the benefit to small businesses.
Social media including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook
Sales Coaching Solutions sent e-marketing to their database
Events and booking link added to email signature
Over 10,000 local businesses emailed via support partners; FSB, Wessex Chambers of Commerce and Business West
Monahans Accountants sent e-marketing campaign to their database
Mentioned the Roadshows in every business conversation in the lead up to the events
Local online press coverage via Fiona Scott PR
Swindon, Chiseldon House - 1st October 2014
Bristol, Business West - 2nd October 2014
Bath, Guildhall - 6th October 2014
Trowbridge, Wessex Chambers of Commerce - 7th October 2014
Networking prior event
Welcome from Alison Edgar
Growth Voucher overview by delivery partner - Business West
Speaker from each category covering what is covered under the Growth Voucher Scheme
Questioning opportunity with advisers
Eventbrite was used as the booking platform. 118 booked places with the majority attending; those who could not attend were emailed with the slides.
Alison goes to show how to put on an event, effectively promote, recruit partners and maintain communication with those who turn up - and those who don't.
What's stopping you? Start your roadshow today!