Event Marketing can be a great resource for strengthening your client relationships and allowing your customers to connect with you on a personal level but you must be careful as in this day and age business owners and managers are far too busy to give up their day for a 6 hour “sales pitch”. You don’t have to necessarily sell to prospects at the event if you build a connection the sale is going to happen over time, it’s not a one off thing.
In a recent episode of The Marketing Strategy Show Kym was joined by Tiz Porreca (Founder of Ajunjo to discuss the do’s and don’ts of event marketing., check out the key points from the interview below.
- Three Stages of an Event (Pre, during and Post)
- Getting the most out of your events
- Strategic Partners Accelerated – A new way to run Events
If you want more information from this episode check out the transcript below.
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Kym Heffernan: Hi, and welcome to today’s Marketing Strategy Show. The Marketing Strategy Show is all about getting the right marketing to your business. In our marketing strategy episodes we try, and pull back the curtain with an expert, and a specialised topic [00:01:00] or speak to someone who’s got quite experience with that topic. Now you may have heard how holding a good event for your clients or prospects is. Maybe you’ve even been to some great events, and probably even not so great events. What are the different types of events that you can hold or engage your prospects, and build those critical longterm relationship with clients? Even more important, what are the keys to a successful event? Despite what you may think, it’s not all about what happens at the event. To help us with that we’ve got an [00:01:30] event strategist, Tiz Porreca from Ajunjo, to open your eyes to the possibility of successful events and how they can work for your business. Hey Tiz, are you there?
Tiz Porreca: Hey Kym. How are you going?
Kym Heffernan: I’m fantastic, thank you, and thank you very much for joining us. I know you’re a master of events, but I might just kick off, and say, how do you become a master of events? What led you to Ajunjo and Tiz the events strategist?
Tiz Porreca: So, Ajunjo actually comes from [00:02:00] an Italian word, which was the word Ajunco, which means to join, and to bring together. I did have a bit of a creative licence and spelt it very differently, because they’re actually Js in the Italian alphabet. I know. If I had to spell it properly there would be about three Gs in there, and an I and it would confuse everyone. [00:02:30] It was all based on the premise of that, joining, and bringing people together. I guess my background, being in an Italian family background, everything was all around bringing people together. It’s always about connections and relationships. I guess that’s what brought me to what I do do with events, and that’s use them as my tool to help organisations to join, and to foster relationships, and to strengthen those relationships together. I guess [00:03:00] that’s where Ajunjo came from.
Kym Heffernan: Okay cool. You didn’t just start this business a few months ago, you’ve had a lot of experience with events from large, and small, haven’t you?
Tiz Porreca: Yeah. So, Ajunjo is about five years in now. I’ve done a number of different things. Whether it’s just even one-to-one type scenarios, up to three or 400 people. Even conferences over a couple of days. Again, my focus was always around, how do we use this event [00:03:30] to actually connect with the people and messaging that you’re trying to deliver.
Kym Heffernan: We’ll get into that a little bit later, I guess. But maybe we should just talk about different types of events that they book. You tend to think about a Christmas party or a trade show exhibition type. There’s lots more types of events, aren’t there?
Tiz Porreca: Oh yes. So yeah, again you’re right. Christmas party, trade shows, expos, people do seminars, they do workshops. Even if you wanted to do [00:04:00] some staff engagement, or team building activities. For me, anything that engages with somebody face to face, or in the physical is an event. Whether it’s one person, or whether it’s a 1,000 people. It’s an event. Where you’re actually creating some emotional connections with people, and experiences face-to-face.
Kym Heffernan: Yes, I guess you need to be thinking about, before we started this podcast you were talking about this. A lot of people focus [00:04:30] on the lead up to the event, but you actually like to focus first of all on what you want the end result to be, don’t you? Whether it be a feeling, or a business outcome.
Tiz Porreca: Exactly. It’s interesting when people have approached me, they’ll approach me originally, because they want me to run an event that they come up with that they think they need to run. When I start asking them questions about, “Well, what is it that you’re trying to do? What are you trying to achieve? What are the goals? What are the [00:05:00] outcomes?” There’s been times where I’ve actually talked myself out of a job.
Kym Heffernan:That’s what I love about you, too, because you won’t do it unless there’s, you do it with integrity.
Tiz Porreca: Well, you know what, if you just want to have a party, and book a venue, you can kind of do that yourself, and that’ll be fine. If that’s all you want. But when I start to try to fish the information out of people, that what they really do want, and you know, I actually put together a brief, because interestingly, when I do ask for a brief, a lot of them don’t actually know how [00:05:30] to give me one. So, I actually have a list of questions that I do ask about, “Well, what is it that you want to do? Who is your market?” I guess probably very similar to what you would do, Kym, in the marketing.
Kym Heffernan: [00:05:43] Well they are the basics, aren’t they? Before you do any marketing, events is a type of marketing. Your event strategy is just a type of marketing strategy, like anything you need to know who your customers are right, and what your outcomes going to be.
Tiz Porreca: Yeah, but interestingly, your right, it’s the same [00:06:00] sort of thing, but a lot of people don’t seem to look at it that way. They just see it as, I don’t know why, it’s just an event. We’re just going to have this event, and we’re going to run it, and we’re going to have it at this place, and we’re going to have this theme, and this food, and this entertainer, and this speaker. It amazes me that they don’t see it as a marketing tool, or as part of what should be in their marketing budget.
Kym Heffernan: You see it a lot, even with trade shows, I’ve attend a reasonable amount of trade shows. [00:06:30] I think it’s a great way [00:06:30] to learn what’s out in the marketplace without visiting a whole lot of people. You can visit, you know, 150 stands, and get a real idea of what products are out there, and what our markets all about. I just see so many people who I’ve scanned a business card, I never hear from them even.
Tiz Porreca: I know, it’s amazing isn’t it. You know how expensive it is to be at these trade shows.
Kym Heffernan: Oh gosh, there was one I was at recently. Some of the stands were upwards of $200,000. So double story [00:07:00] stands, in the Sydney Convention Centre, and there was people standing around. I could stand there for 5 minutes, no one would come up to me. I guess that’s the other thing too. Talk about engagement, that’s a really important part, isn’t it? No matter what sort of event you want to have [00:07:13] how are you going to engage with people?
Tiz Porreca: Yeah, as the trade shows as an example, those $200,000 stands, you’re talking about the big players in the market, but maybe you’ve got those small to medium sized businesses. They could be spend anywhere from five to ten thousand dollars for a three by three stand, [00:07:30] right? So, you know what have you done beforehand, and that’s just for the stand. Then put on top of that everything also you’ve got to spend to be physically be there with your collateral commercial products, anything else.
But what have you done pre event to let people know you’re going to be there, you can’t just leave it in the hands of the exhibitors or the show hosts, right? They’re going to promote, they’re going to say they’ll put your link up on their website but who goes there? Who looks at [00:08:00] it? What are you doing? Have you gone out to your marketplace, have you gone to your database to, you know, what are you doing to entice people to come and see you?
Yes, they might be your existing clients, but they could just be people in your database. Then what are you going to do after, to follow them up, because there’s a lot tyre kickers that come. So, have you come up with a way to identify who those tyre kickers are going to be, when they do come to your stand for the freebie pin that you’re going to give-[00:08:30] I’m going to be a little bit cynical throughout this interview.
Kym Heffernan: No, I love it, please do, please.
Tiz Porreca: How are you going to identify who it is that you really need to talk to? You don’t want to be rude, you do want to talk to people, because at the end of the day it’s about connecting. What are you going to do, are you going to set up your stand with just some plain brochures with a table and a chair? Wow, that’s really exciting I’m going to go talk to that person.
Kym Heffernan: Come and visit my table and chair, I’m at stand X.
Tiz Porreca: I think, you know, do you [00:09:00] have to go to the other extreme, maybe not necessarily. But I mean there’s ways of thinking about how to actually create that energy around why you’re there and who it is that you want to talk to. But again it’s the follow-up like, as you said, How many times did you not get called by anybody? Or you just get put onto a spam database.
Kym Heffernan: Why don’t we got back to the pre part, that’s an interesting part, because I think a lot of people [00:09:30] focus on just trying to get people to the event, but it’s more than just getting the people to the event isn’t it? The pre planning is all about, I think you mentioned before, about what your strategy is going to be, what you want the event to be. So, what are the questions you would ask people about their outcomes, and what they want. What would you ask them?
Tiz Porreca: So, I basically would pretty much, what the event is that they’re trying to achieve, or give me an idea of who they’re trying to target. But obviously it’ll be, well what is it that you’re trying to achieve? Are you trying to achieve [00:10:00] brand awareness? Do you just want to be shouting out who you are, and getting your brand out there. Actually a lot of people go to these expos, because they feel they have to be because their competitors are there.
Kym Heffernan: Yep.
Tiz Porreca: Right. They don’t want to miss out. So, is it just brand awareness? Is it that you’re trying to get sales? Who is your demographic, you know? Who is it that you’re trying to get to this event? Is it just women, is it men and women, is a 50-50 split? What is the age group? What is it that you think they want out [00:10:30] of coming to an event? What is it that you want to tell them?
So, a lot of the times too, as I’ve said, I’ve sometimes talk myself out of a job, but I’m also often turned around the actual type of event that they thought they needed to have in the first place.
Kym Heffernan: You know [inaudible 00:10:46] I have a question that I picked up when I interviewed someone recently on [inaudible 00:10:51] radio advertiser, which I thought was a really great question. How do you want people to feel halfway through the ad. I think that’s a really good question to ask. How do you want them to feel after [00:11:00] they left the event?
Tiz Porreca: [inaudible 00:11:03] How do you want them to feel after they’ve interacted with you?
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, that’s what I mean marketing [inaudible 00:11:09] especially so with an event. If you’ve got a boring stand, and people will pass, guy sitting there looking at your phone, which happens, all the time, right. What do you guys think about the company afterwards?
Tiz Porreca: Not much, not much at all.
Kym Heffernan: After I got to an event and it’s a talk thing, someone I spoke to today was talking about that, they went to the vendor, and hoped they were going to learn something, someone standing there [00:11:30] telling about how wonderful they are, and buy my product. I mean, what’s your position after that, right? It’s lousy.
Tiz Porreca: Absolutely, absolutely, I did a small event for a local counsel who wanted to do events for women in business in their local community. I came up with a theme, but I also go these three speakers. Now, not one of those speakers, and I pretty much picked them, because I knew who they were, neither of those three speakers stood there that night, [00:12:00] and pushed themselves, or sold themselves. They literally just, they entered the brief that I gave them about what I wanted them to speak about, they talked about their experiences, and how it might help the women in the room.
I mean the reaction we got was phenomenal. The women loved it. They just felt like it was so relevant to them, they really connected with the speakers. They left the room saying the counsel needs to do more of this for us, this is fantastic. If those three women sat in that room and all they did was [inaudible 00:12:30] [00:12:30] themselves and try to sell themselves, there’s no way we would have got that feedback.
Kym Heffernan: No, I think those days are gone, [inaudible 00:12:37] people have got less time. We’re all busy with time, the last thing you want to do is you know, it’s a time investment you’re making [inaudible 00:12:45] prospect to go to someone’s event. You know a trade show, you expect to be sold to, but you go to a networking event, or a client appreciation night, you know it’s put on because you’re a client your expecting that there’s going to be a message or a logo, you don’t expect [00:13:00] to be sold to for twenty minutes there. I mean, you don’t want that.
Tiz Porreca: No, I mean, like you said, you don’t have to sell. See, this is what I try to I guess, this is my message to the world. You don’t have to sell. If you build that connection it’s going to come, and the other part of it is, it’s not a one of thing. It’s over a period of time. Some people think that they just hold this one event, and they’re just [00:13:30] going to create all this activity. It’s not going to happen. You know, I like to compare it to when you’re courting, or when you’re dating somebody. Like you go out on a first date, right, you’re not, okay again this is me being blunt, Kym. You’re not going to expect to sleep with a woman on the first date, right?
Kym Heffernan: That’s right, [inaudible 00:13:50] relationships, isn’t it? I mean building…
Tiz Porreca: Exactly, exactly. It’s going to take time. People are wary, right? So, they’re not going to want to [00:14:00] see you once, maybe twice, experience you a little bit, get to know you, get to know your people, understand who you are in the marketplace. You know that quick fix, that quick sale, you might get it, but it’s not the sustainable one. You want to get people that really connect with you so that they stay with as well.
Kym Heffernan: 100%. These days business events you think are not, the sort of event we’re talking about, the casual sort of networking, not an information seminar, [00:14:30] that’s a different type of event. It’s hard to get people. These days you can find information anywhere, can’t you? You can find it on, if you were to tell me something at an event that I can find on the internet, why am I going to bother. Either tell me something that you can come, and have an appointment for, or am I going to bother going.
Tiz Porreca: So, this is another question, I do ask, in my initial meeting is, why would people come to your event?
Kym Heffernan: Nice question.
Tiz Porreca: Why would I come, why would I lose an hour, two [00:15:00] hours, three hours, half a day, a full day of my time. Why would I spend 100, 200, 1000, 1500 dollars to come to your event?
Kym Heffernan: Or even nothing. I mean three hours of my time is worth, more than that if it’s at night, and I’ve been at work all day, right?
Tiz Porreca: [inaudible 00:15:17] Exactly. So, it’s interesting and you know, people, I don’t know that people understand how hard it is to fill a room. It’s not an easy thing to do, and to be compelling enough for people [00:15:30] to come to your event is getting harder, and harder because there are so many thing out there at the moment. I mean, the market is saturated with people inviting people to events.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, I guess in some ways that’s actually proves that events are important, doesn’t it, because you have people realise that. I guess, let’s talk a little bit about campaign planning before the event. I would like to think around how you do it eventually, in front of, you need to have a campaign before the event, don’t you? Not just think about, “Hey, I got the event [00:16:00] on the 25th of August, I’ll send out the invitations three weeks before, and I’ll chase people up.” Bit more than that isn’t it?
Tiz Porreca: Yeah, no it doesn’t work like that. Absolutely, especially with all the social media that’s out there, that is free to use really at the end of the day. You can have pages [inaudible 00:16:22], which if you care, you don’t need to, It’s just being able to use it wisely, and actually plan in advance. I like to tell people [00:16:30] give yourself minimum, minimum three months before an event, right.
If you can do more, even better still, depending on the type and [inaudible 00:16:40] of the event but minimum. Interestingly, if you’re waiting for people to register, if you’re having like sort of a bigger event, and you want people to come along buy tickets or register or whatever it is, generally people don’t make up their mind, and physically register until that last two weeks. [00:17:00] Right, I’ve run stuff where you know that wanted like say a hundred people, and three weeks before the event there’s only been like 20 people that have registered.
Kym Heffernan: Very scary isn’t it, if you book the venue.
Tiz Porreca: Absolutely, and that’s when all the crowd filling starts to happen. But what happens there is a lot of people say, “Yes, I’m coming. Yes, I’m coming.” or they like it on Facebook, or they got to the Facebook, and went, they say I’m interested, or they say they’re going, but they haven’t [00:17:30] actually physically done anything about registering or committing. So, you’re sitting there as the event person, or the host going, “Oh, my God, there’s all these people that say they’re coming but no ones registered!”
Kym Heffernan: I’m interested in going, right?
Tiz Porreca: Yeah, and here’s another example, so another event I did, and it only needed to be 40, to 50 people that were interested in getting to come along. The client had said they were going [00:18:00] to look after promoting it. Now, what I did do was, I promoted it personally within my own networks, but I also asked the speakers that I organised to promote it through their networks, which is a nice thing to be able to do because it extends your reach.
But three weeks, two weeks before, I think, they wanted 40 or 50 people. There was nine people registered. Nine. Then I’d realised that the client had not created a Facebook [00:18:30] event. They had not, well they said they were going to promote it in one of their magazines, and I looked online and it was the tiniest of ad, Kym. But if you blinked you wouldn’t have seen it, right. Then I don’t know whether they sent it out as an email or a thing. So, I basically created a Facebook event, and then over a period, so I planned for two weeks to host in that Facebook event [00:19:00] every second day, like a speaker spotlight for instance.
Then I also did a, a speaker spotlight, I did a venue spotlight. I started to see, like within two or three days I had about five, all those people that said, then I invited people through [inaudible 00:19:18] works and what not. I starting get, I think we ended up getting 40 people within the last two weeks of the event.
Kym Heffernan: So, you’re drip feeding, what’s going to happen, and why you should come, [00:19:30] instead of saying, “Read this brochure, go on line and read three pages worth of” Not going to happen, drip feed the content out on a regular basis.
Tiz Porreca: Use something different every time. You probably seen it, like an events been on and they send the same images of the same post every time. It’s like, your mind just becomes immune to that after the first or second time. They’re not, you’re going to see it, but then you’ve seen that before, and you just kind of ignore it. Create something [00:20:00] different. Like I said if you have several speakers, drip feed something different, because then it looks like something new, and I’m going to look at it and go, “That was that event that I saw last week. Oh okay.”
Kym Heffernan: Or have one of the speakers do a short video on what they’re going to talk about. There’s lots of option you got, isn’t there, to make a different exciting video. Such engaging media this day.
Tiz Porreca: Yeah and that’s why you need time beforehand to plan that out in advance. Get somebody to [00:20:30] do it. See, this is the other thing, right. We’re going to hold an event, and the EA, the PA, the secretary, she gets charged with organising it all, which is great. She’ll do a great job at the logistics of booking the venue, blah, blah, blah. But get an expert to come, and do the post, or the promotion, or talk to your marketing person, or talk, you know, can we get some PR there? Can we send a press release out to somebody to let them [00:21:00] know what’s going on, depending on what the event is.
Don’t think that the money has to be the physical event on the day. Create [crosstalk 00:21:09] with that promotional activity beforehand. Also understand, that maybe the event doesn’t have to have 300 people.
Kym Heffernan: Might be better with a hundred quality people.
Tiz Porreca: Exactly. Or you know, you can make it look like you’re celebrating something fantastic, and [00:21:30] pump that information out through social media, and your marketing plan, pre and post event. The actual event has PR people, has marketing people, has some strategic people that are supposed to, that need to be there. Again all depends on the type of event, but these are all the questions that people don’t ask themselves.
Kym Heffernan: I guess if you look at the IT tech industry has a lot of events. They have whole marketing departments, and they probably roll these events, and getting people to events, and marketing those [00:22:00] events, and drip feeding stuff out [inaudible 00:22:02]
Tiz Porreca: Yeah, they do, and you know, there’s some that do it really, really well and there’s some that-
Kym Heffernan: Do it poorly.
Tiz Porreca: Some that do it so well, and some that do it poorly. Look, I think it’s around that whole thing of, you don’t know what you don’t know. I find, I personally find, again, I get people coming to me saying, “Oh Tiz, can you run this event for me?” I start having this conversation like I’m having with you, and it’s like the light bulb just switches on and they go, “Oh, my God, I never thought of that.” I’m going, “How could you not think about it.”
Kym Heffernan: [00:22:30] I guess if you’re running road shoes continuously, just like a factory, right? You’re just spitting out road show, after road show, your not thinking about outcomes or any of those sort of things.
Tiz Porreca: No, I mean, you know what, I like to work, or so in that sort of small to medium sized space, where they really don’t necessarily have the budget to have those big road shows, right. But they really can see the value in creating this sort of engagement activity [00:23:00] through events, which is why I came up with that whole concept I was talking to you about before.
Kym Heffernan: Let’s talk about that aspects or SPX that you’ve been talking about, it’s a really interesting concept, the thinking outside the square, because I think the problem is people get scared is that, [inaudible 00:23:14] I don’t have that sort of budget but it actually doesn’t have to be that expensive if [inaudible 00:23:22] trusted partners, does it?
Tiz Porreca: No, exactly, so like SPX, S-P-X, I actually came up with the concept, [00:23:30] and it stands for Strategic, Partners, Accelerated. Also came up, because I found people couldn’t have events, or they thought they couldn’t have events because they couldn’t afford it the way they wanted to be able to have it, right. So they thought can’t afford it, too expensive if I really want to do, something fantastic.
Also targeted, a lot of people would find that they’d have an event, they had the money, again like we said targeting 100 people [00:24:00] two weeks before, and only 20 have registered. You know crap myself because paid for 100 at the venue, because they need payment beforehand and minimums. So, you start inviting your neighbour, you start inviting your cousin, you’re inviting your brother. You’re inviting everybody, every man and his dog. So, when you’re actually there on the night, who are you actually. Who’s there that’s actually targeted, right. So then, the other part of this is, I wanted to create something that was strategic, right. [00:24:30] So that actually have a plan or campaign around it, so it wasn’t just a one off event. So, strategic, 100, targeted affordable. With the three things I was looking for.
Where strategic partners accelerated came about was a lot of these small to medium sized businesses thrive on the alliance partners or the referral partners that they create. They’re really strong partnerships, right and that’s where they get a lot of their business. So how can we put these people [00:25:00] together to create something quite special and unique. So, the whole concept around it was most of these organisation could actually bring together five other referral partners, so there’s six referral.
There is a reason I’m working around sixes, and the numbers, and won’t go into that because that’s going to take a lot of other time. The whole concept was six referral partners, and each of the referral partners have clients [00:25:30] that are on the same side of the sell cycle. So they got the same client base, they’re all targeting similar people, not necessarily similar industries, may or may not be, but they’re targeting the same sort of the client. So there’s six of them, each of them would have good customers that they want to be able to thank and say, “Appreciate the business that we’ve been doing.” Like I’m talking your VIP customers.
So the concept [00:26:00] is, each of those six partners would invite 12, only 12, of their best customers. The one’s that they’ve got the best relationships with them. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the customers that give them the most money, but it could be the best relationships, the ones they’ve known the longest, the tighter the connection they’ve had with them. So, each of them invite 12. So, that eliminates having to worry about [00:26:30] inviting 80 people. Because if each invites 12, there’s 72 in the room plus themselves, right. I would also define possibly maybe one or two of their staff members, maybe, maybe not. Because you want to make sure that the staff member is not there to have a bit of a piss up and a good time, right.
Kym Heffernan: Yep, yep, yep.
Tiz Porreca: Because the whole concept of this is you’re saying thank you to your 12 customers, but what you’re doing is you get the opportunity to meet the other 60 [00:27:00] in the room. They’re the best customers of the other five referral partners. The beauty of this, what makes this really targeted, is that those six referral partners get to be in a room together, because they know each other, they trust each other. Right, they trust each other with each others customers. But they get to know who each other has invited, and have a say in who they’re going to invite. So if it was you and I, Kym, [00:27:30] I’d say to you and the other four, I’m inviting these 12 people, Kym, you might say to me, “Tiz, that’s fantastic, but didn’t you do business with XY, zed.”
“Yeah I did actually, actually you know what, I might invite them too, because I haven’t connected with them for a while, and I really want to reconnect to them, and I did do some great business with them, yes I’ll invite them.” So, it’s good for me, and it’s good for you. So, you get to meet someone specifically you want to meet. The same goes around with the rest of those referral partners. [00:28:00] So, way before the event happens. I’m talking three months before the events happened. You already know exactly who’s going to be in the room.
Kym Heffernan: Also to, I guess if I was outsourcing that [inaudible 00:28:12] to try and get 80 people in the room. They probably would have to call 800 people to get 80 people. But [inaudible 00:28:20] is call 12 of my best clients to invite them to VIP night, who’s not going to want to go.
Tiz Porreca: Exactly, the key is, you need to call them, because they’re your VIP customers. They don’t [00:28:30] want to get a call from some stranger saying, “Kym’s inviting you to this VIP event.” These are your VIPs, these are your best customers. These are people that you want to stay connected with. 12 phone calls is not a big deal, because what it actually does is, it gives you that point of contact. Number one, touch point. You’ve made a call. How many touch points, right. So first touch point, you’ve made a call to go, “Hey, John, wanted to catch up. I wanted to let you know, I’m having this special [00:29:00] VIP co-hosted event, and I’ve only got some limited seats available, limits spots available, and I really want you to be there because I just want to thank you. I love working with you. You’ve been amazing the whole year, and you know, Kym, one of my associates, he’s going to be there. He is inviting this person which I think you would really love to meet.” How good is John going to feel?
Kym Heffernan: 100% and I guess, [00:29:30] so that’s all the pre planning, but one of the things that I’ve been a problem, and you’ve been to lot’s them as well, lots of events where you walk away saying, “Meh, meh, it’s not that great.” So, the last thing you want to do when you get [inaudible 00:29:43] is you got to be careful about that planning, and outsource to some one like yourself who’s done a bit of thinking about what you want the event to be like. The days are done now were you can stand up, and invite people along for a few drinks in canopies and everybody’s got a turn to have a good time. You need to have some sort of theme [00:30:00] or excitement about the event itself too, don’t you?
Tiz Porreca: Absolutely, and that needs to be quite strategic as well. One of the things I like to do is have a, for example, a casino themed night. That can take people back a little bit, because that whole gambling theme. But you’re not actually gambling with your own money, it’s all play money. It’s all in fun, but it’s the perfect way to get people to interact in a real slight social environment. Almost [00:30:30] like an ice breaker, without them realising they’re in an ice breaker, because people get all funny about being involved in ice breakers as well.
It’s perfect, they’re in a standing type situation where they’re moving around the room, going from one table to another, they’re meeting different people each time, they’re moving around, there is food available, they can go and sit if they want to have some food. It’s very social, very, I guarantee you, I have [00:31:00] run these so many times, where I’ve been told people aren’t going to want to do these, and people aren’t going to do this. Seriously, the amount of people, people were shocked at the one that they thought would not actually get involved, were just the winners, they were the high rollers, and ended up having the most [inaudible 00:31:14] They love it.
Kym Heffernan: I think it’s the other thing, you really talk about, coming back that point you made about the name, it’s getting involved with, Because I’ve seen [00:31:30] myself and I’m sure you’ve seen it a lot more than I have, where you invite people to an event, but they stand around awkwardly not know what to say. So, you need something to get them talking, and I guess the casino theme, or any theme does that, doesn’t it?
Tiz Porreca: What it does too it’s that, so say I was going to introduce one of my clients that came to you for instance, it’s in a really sort of low pressure environment, right? We might be at the roulette wheel, and [00:32:00] I’ll go, “Oh Kym, meet, you know, meet John.” and you know you’re both throwing some money or the chips-
Kym Heffernan: That’s when I can say to John, “Hey, how’s it going tonight, John, have you got any winners? You got a fist full of monopoly money, there, you’re doing well.” It’s not like it’s, “Hi John, here’s my elevator pitch.”
Tiz Porreca: Exactly, and you know what, you don’t need to do that. When I’ve run these, I specific told the referral partners or the host, there will be no push selling. Because some of them have gone, “Oh, do I do a presentation.” [00:32:30] No. No push. No, because at the end of the day. You know who’s in the room, its just that, because you want them to get to know Kym, not Kym the marketing person, they get to know Kym, because then they’ll like Kym, they’ll think Kym’s a really cool bloke, and then when Kym calls John after the event to say that was a really great, or at the end of the day John’s probably going to say to Kym, hey let’s catch up for a coffee next week.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah for coffee or [inaudible 00:32:58] or whatever the logical next step is, [00:33:00] which is a lovely segue way into the third part of events, isn’t it. What do you do after the event, that’s really the part that, I’ve heard you say so often, there’s a [inaudible 00:33:12] done with the event, I’m glad that’s over. Then move on, right.
Tiz Porreca: Exactly, and actually interestingly, are complete shocked and horrified because they haven’t had anything come of it. I’m going “Well what did you do, afterwards? Who did you, did you thank anybody, did you [00:33:30] send anything out?” There’s a lot of work to still be involved afterwards. Did you send out a survey, did you send an email with some photos or a video, did you send a call to action out afterwards, did you make any phone calls? What did you do?
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, and one of the things that you, and I have spoken about a number if times is, it’s a perfect opportunity at the event to gather testimonials, or get some pictures of people having fun, for the personnel of the company that, it creates great content ongoing, right?
Tiz Porreca: Absolutely, [00:34:00] and the thing is too, it’s like an ongoing theme. So, for even the SPX event, the way I’ve structured this is a whole campaign that goes, you know, a month before, at the event, and a month after. It’s almost like a two or three month campaign. The reality is something like this, sorry what I was going to say was, that campaign actually creates multiple touch points, right.
It’s that initial touch point to say, “Look I’m about to sent [00:34:30] you an invite, but only if you can tell me you can make it.” Right? They say yes, then they get an invite, which is a hard copy invite in the mail, not an email, right? That’s two touch points, then they get another touch point to say, with an email to say, you’ve received an email, please click here to confirm that you’re coming, right. Then if they haven’t they’ll get another touch point from you saying, “Hey did you get your invite? You haven’t [00:35:00] responded.” This is really key, so that’s a fourth, then there’s the actual event. Then after the event there’s an email that goes out that says thank you, then there’s another email, that say, did you need anything from me or you might make a call.
So, you could have up to six or seven touch points, but even when that’s over. What are you going to do in three months. Five months, six months? Right? Are you going to do another one? Or were you going to so something else? You’ve got to continue this connection with people over a period of time, [00:35:30] right. Are you going to call them up? Are you going to go and have a coffee with somebody? Are you going to meet with one of your referral partners to say, “Oh let’s just get together and have dinner with a couple of these people? You’ve got to continue that over time, and it takes time to build those relationships.
Kym Heffernan: So, it’s not about the event so much, it’s about the whole campaign, for want of a better word, isn’t it.
Tiz Porreca: The event is like just this little drop in the bucket, something, if that makes any sense. The problem is, [00:36:00] people focus on that, and they focus on it and they think, this is going to do this and you know, we could bring up a whole new conversation about sponsorship blocks or they want to have the event-
Kym Heffernan: Dual sponsorship is the same isn’t it?
Tiz Porreca: To me it’s, I’m actually stopping, trying to stop using the word sponsorships, because it should actually be partnerships. It should be partnerships over a period of time, where you can provide benefits over a period of time to your partners. But it’s the [00:36:30] same with the clients that your coming, at the end of the day they’re your partners. They’re investing in you, they’re paying for your products or services. So you can’t just have a one off, and then think that everything’s going to be okay for maybe another year.
Kym Heffernan: It’s always hard too, isn’t it, it gives you, I love the connection part that you keep on coming back to, because if you’re a manufacturer, a lawyer, or an accountant or whatever, you ring up your client say, “Hey, [00:37:00] we come and meet.” That meeting in their mind is all about, they’re trying to sell me something.
Tiz Porreca: Exactly.
Kym Heffernan: Whereas coming to an event, it changes the whole dynamic, it builds a personal relationship, much better by doing that. That’s why I think so many companies actually love events, and conferences and trips away and stuff. People can look at them and say. “Gee, are they effecting,” yes they are because they build long term relationships. You get to know the person, right. [inaudible 00:37:27]
Tiz Porreca: Yeah, but the key to that too, is also [00:37:30] making sure you them properly, because you know, you’ve been to events, and they’re all they’re doing is selling at you as well. You just, you switch off, people switch off, people don’t want that anymore, you know. They need to know to like, they need to trust you. That’s not going to happen if you’re going to you know, just force feed, sell them straight off.
Kym Heffernan: No, you almost feel as if you wasted your time going. You walk away actually more negative for others, a bit like having a Facebook page, and not posting on it for six months. [00:38:00] You got to be careful, and think about what the end outcome is, when people see it. At the end, is the outcome, they’re going to be bored out of their brains? They’re not going to think very highly of you afterwards.
Tiz Porreca: No, and look like I said before, I think, I’ve been making it my mission to spread the word, and reeducate people about, how they approach their events, or their connections or their relationship, and try not to think of it as a one off thing, and think of it as more of a long term thing. Not [00:38:30] to focus so much on the logistics of the actual event, [inaudible 00:38:34] it is important and I told you, if things go wrong, if the food is rubbish-
Kym Heffernan: That’s right, but they won’t necessarily remember the good stuff, they’ll remember the bad stuff, right.
Tiz Porreca: Exactly, this is why the SPX event is so good, because they don’t have to worry about any of that. I’ve got that all under control, because if anyone’s been to any of my events, they’ll know all of that stuff is-
Kym Heffernan: I know it’s going to be perfect.
Tiz Porreca: They don’t have to worry about [00:39:00] any of that, all they have to worry about is getting those 12 people strategically in that room, that’s it. That’s so simple, and it’s, an event like that around 80 odd people, casino themed in a really nice venue, in say the CBD, or possibly even on a boat depending on the time of the year. Could be, if you were doing it on your own, up to $25,000, right, but by doing this with six strategic partners its only $4, [00:39:30] 000.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, you think about $4,000 as in investment for a years worth of marketing activity. It, really, just the long term value. I mean you got a couple of sales out of the bag, really just the value it adds to your existing customer relationships, and reconnects you with people may have got lost along the way.
Tiz Porreca: Exactly, exactly.
Kym Heffernan: It’s very hard for most people to ring up an existing client and say, “Hi, how are you going?” Because particularly in professional sales systems, and IT companies, they think you’re trying [00:40:00] to sell them something. I think, well they think the metres ticking when you’re calling them. So, this is just a lovely way of doing it.
Tiz Porreca: Also to with those best customers, as well, how often do you contact them, how often do you connect with them, really?
Kym Heffernan: We all get too busy. Actually, that’s a really good point, it forces you to connect with them, then because you’re going to the event, right. People work best at deadlines, always.
Tiz Porreca: Exactly, but also like I said following them up and making that call, it just give [00:40:30] you that warm and fuzzy, you know, they feel, they feel good, and if you’re treating them special they’re less likely to say, “No, I can’t make it.” Unless of course they’re physically not in the country, or they actually just can’t be there, know what I mean, but if you get a call centre for instance to call and say, “Kym’s having this event. He’d like to know if you can make it.” How easy is it to say, “I’m busy?”.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, “Nah, couldn’t be bothered.”
Tiz, it’s been fantastic, [00:41:00] I think you’ve opened my eyes to it, and we’ve had a number of conversations over the years about this, but I learn something new every time I speak to you about events, but going back to that core thing about understanding your strategy, who you’re trying to reach, what the out comes are. How they want to feel, and think about all this as three stages, right, the pre, the event, and the post and make sure you got that planned out.
If they want to learn more about you, and the events and what services you offer, where can they find out that, [00:41:30] Tiz.
Tiz Porreca: They could, they can have a look at my website, www.ajunjo.com.au or they can even just call me directly or contact me directly.
Kym Heffernan: I’ll put those links in the show notes as well. Can you just spell Ajunjo of us.
Tiz Porreca: A-J-U-N-J-O
Kym Heffernan: Beautiful. Thank you, well put that in the show notes.
Tiz Porreca: It kind of jumps when you say it. Ajunjo.
Kym Heffernan: Ajunjo. I actually sort of spring up while I was doing that.
Tiz Porreca: There you go. That’s exactly why I like it so much.
Kym Heffernan: Tiz, [00:42:00] thank you very much for your time, and more importantly thanks for sharing your knowledge, really learned a lot today. I hope people, no matter what sort of event you’re looking at, whether it’s just a small board room function or even a trade show. Start with thinking about getting the strategy right, don’t focus on the event, and get those three stages going. Tiz, thanks again.
Tiz Porreca: Thank you, Kym.
Kym Heffernan: Thanks.
Tiz Porreca: Bye.
Intro VO: Thanks for joining us on this episode of Marketing Show. We hope you got some practical effective tips and ideas, so your organisation [00:42:30] gets more prospects, and nurtures those prospects to becoming long term customers. Just a reminder the show is sponsored by The Marketing Strategy Company, who help B2B organisations develop winning marketing strategies, and sales and marketing automation systems to turn their sales, and marketing efforts into new customers, and dollars through their marketing.
Check out the show notes for this episode, and the marketing strategy companies planning, and marketing services at the marketingstrategy.co That’s the marketingstrategy.co [00:43:00] Until next time, happy marketing.