How to Plan an Event Roadshow
Event roadshows are making a serious come-back for 2022 after the understandable hiatus, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Not only are event roadshows excellent marketing tools, but when executed correctly, they will take your event and communications strategy to the next level, through developing your understanding of the market, and supercharging interest in your message and products.
Due to the geographical demands of event roadshow’s, they of course require even more planning phases, to develop and deliver an in-depth and valuable experience for both your audience, and brand.
So how do you plan an event roadshow, and what are the key components you should be considering? Here are some tips to help you get started…
1. What is an event roadshow?
An event roadshow typically comprises of a series of events in different locations, with the goal of reaching the audiences within those locations. This usually includes speakers, panel discussions, product intel and conversations, live demos, and networking opportunities.
An event roadshow provides a unique platform for you to be able to showcase your message and products in front of your target audience, delve into their needs, and understand how their experience of your product and perception of it differs from location to location.
2. How do I develop the framework for an event roadshow?
Set clearly defined overall project goals. Not only will this allow your event partners to collaborate with you to create the perfect experience, but it will guarantee that you project is delivered effectively, and with impact. It will also allow you to devise the all-important marketing campaign for your event roadshow, to attract your desired audience, key stakeholders, and deliver an ROI.
Ask yourself, why is an event roadshow necessary, how will each element of this support the overall goal, and why do consumers attend an event roadshow in the first place?
As we all know, when goals are measurable, they help keep you on target throughout the whole project planning and delivery process. They also help you to avoid wasting resources, as every decision you make relates back to your core purpose, and helps you reach your goals and objectives.
Research and carefully select the locations of your event roadshow. Devising a clear geographical strategy is vital – how do the proposed locations support your overarching marketing campaign? Will they attract the correct consumer for your brand? This process should also include everything from accessibility and availability of venues, suppliers, services and so on, based on your chosen dates and event times.
If planning a national event roadshow, select cities and major towns offering the best B2B leads, and if you’re seeking B2C leads, depending on your target market, considering high footfall events and retail areas will prove beneficial.
If planning an international event roadshow to four cities in four countries, such as London, Berlin, Rome, and Madrid for example, you’ll need to have a clear justification and measurable strategy for this. You also need to consider further elements such as weather, climate conditions and economic factors, cultural holidays, and traditions, as well as other major events across each location.
Select an experienced event production partner. Probably the most important decision you’ll make for your event, and one that can either make or break it.
Select an event production company with the credentials required to deliver on your objectives, this includes travelling with you and having the suitable knowledge and networks, which will ultimately save you a lot of time, as well as providing peace of mind.
You’ll also require an event partner that has the in-house capability to bring your message and products to life via concept, design and build, through to logistics, audio-visual production, content creation, and delivery. They’ll work with you to find a solution that can be replicated, ensuring attendees will receive the same experience regardless of where they attend your event.
Content is still king. Your content should be at the heart of everything and used to motivate and engage your audience from the moment you launch your campaign.
Moving from one place to another may not seem like the top priority with so elements to bring together, but providing consistent content throughout the whole journey is so important. This also includes your speaker and event content, which should aim to engage, inform, and motivate your attendees.
Delivering relevant and valuable content will extend the roadshow’s reach far beyond its duration, for the weeks and months that follow.
3. Harness the power of data across the project
Event roadshows help propel your brand in many ways. One of which is data. Event data is essential in helping planners and organisations understand exactly what happened at their events, and how they can improve things in the future, as well as delivering on lead generation goals.
Unsure whether a roadshow will be beneficial for your audience? Ask them directly. Send out surveys through email, social media, or digital paid ads, to help you understand what the appetite would be. Conduct field research if you have the resources, visiting the proposed locations.
If you’ve produced previous event roadshows, this could be invaluable. It will allow you to draw on previous behaviours, data, and outcomes for your future events. Explore it.
For example, where are your most popular events located? What sessions and speakers attracted the most attendee engagement? What attendee and registration feedback were you getting post-event? Answers to these questions will help justify the need for a roadshow, as well as inform on how to shape the event content.
4. Keep it fresh through event technology
You can maximise engagement and ROI across your event roadshow through use of event technology that will continue to deliver the all-important data, while providing attendees with convenient, informative, and engaging touch points across the event. This can include:
- Event apps. This will provide up-to-date information to attendees about the event and can include agendas, speaker bios and more.
- Live stream. A quality production partner can live stream your event on a website or via social media to further its reach. It’s a great way to engage your virtual audiences as your event unfolds. Plus, you can repurpose the content for marketing, sales or enhancing the next event.
- Polling. Using live audience polling will allow the audience to ask questions, get feedback and encourage discussion.
- Social media. Using a dedicated event social media platform will deliver engagement, build community, and increase your reach.
We all know that creating unique experiences is key to any successful event – but it does become a challenge when repeating these experiences across an event roadshow. This is where an effective event production partner should be able to support you to create an engaging and creative message, ensuring a memorable and effective experience.
5. Should I consider a hybrid roadshow approach?
If you’re looking for the results of face-to-face events and the benefits of going virtual, then you might be surprised to know that hybrid event roadshows have been around for many years. However, hybrid events have experienced a real boost in the past year, due to the pandemic.
With a hybrid roadshow, the live experience is combined even further with digital communication channels and technologies. These can take the form of analytics tools, event apps, gamification and social media, so direct customer contact increases with use of the data collected before, during and after the live event.
Again, the success of the overall campaign can be measured through the ROI.
The bottom line…
An event roadshow is a great opportunity to receive feedback from your 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?
Want to discuss your options? Let’s talk.