We’ve talked about how event planners can use artificial intelligence in their on-site strategy, but we haven’t explored the benefits of using AI-enabled tools after the event has come and gone.
Post-event follow-ups are crucial. They can make the difference between an event that wasn’t worth the ad spend and one that delivers maximum ROI. Because nailing the art of the follow up is easier said than done, consider enlisting the help of a bot or two.
AI allows marketers to understand the goals, preferences, and behaviors of your audience and deliver better experiences and personalized recommendations that help you provide better service, custom content, and sales pitches that speak to individual needs.
Encourage attendees to connect with your company and each other by developing a group chat functionality either inside a dedicated event app or with platforms like Facebook Messenger or PubNub. Attendees get more value from the experience, as they can connect with others that share similar pain points and interests.
What’s more, you can use Facebook’s chat extensions to add more functionality to event-related chats:
A couple more ideas for using chatbots in your event strategy:
Chatbots provide a second net for busy marketers and support teams that can’t always be available in real-time. At the event, you might use bots to help answer questions like “What time is the automation workshop?” After the event, brands benefit from historical data–they’ll have a record of frequently asked questions, which can then be used to create content.
If you’re hosting or exhibiting at a B2B event, there’s a good chance that your primary objective is generating leads. And, of course, turning those leads into an army of loyal customers.
Collect Conversational Insights
Chatbots also uncover valuable information about attendee needs. For example, you might use them to review the kinds of questions people ask before the event, at the event, and after. Use them to spot recurring problems and make quick fixes, identify content gaps, and learn more about how you can fine-tune the event planning strategy moving forward.
Capture Feedback on the Fly
Using chatbots also provides an opportunity to ask attendees about their experience, both during the event and in your post-event follow-up efforts. For one, requesting feedback via chat makes it easy on users–especially if you ask one quick question at a time.
If you do use Facebook Messenger bots in your strategy, you’ll have the benefit of reviewing user insights as well.
2. Get into Big DataOn top of helping event planners design better events and experiences, AI can be used to collect the kinds of big-picture insights that inform future marketing and customer engagement strategies across the board--from content marketing and paid… Click To Tweet
AI can take several forms, from chatbot interfaces and data analytics tools to recommendation engines that serve up the right content at the right time, but the real power comes from the analysis.
Here are a few ways that brands can turn data into a competitive advantage:
In the past, event marketers relied on surveys and in-person feedback to gauge how attendees felt about the experience.
With sentiment monitoring AI, event marketers learn more about the “why” driving consumer behavior. They can take survey data and compare it to brand mentions on Twitter or reviews left on other channels.
The benefit for brands is they’ll be able to put together a clearer picture of the customer experience, pulling multiple metrics from multiple channels, and combining survey scores with freeform, unsolicited feedback.
Additionally, a whole range of social listening tools like Mention, HootSuite, SocialBakers, and more have made sentiment monitoring more accessible.
Here’s a look at HootSuite’s social listening feature, which allows users to paste in links from all relevant channels:
Boost Lead Scoring
Older lead scoring methods meant reviewing spreadsheets and performing manual data entry tasks to document leads captured at industry events. Not long ago, lead scoring was all about scanning business cards and manually tagging incoming contacts as hot or cold based on gut feelings.
Today, using AI to capture and qualify leads adds up to fewer missed opportunities and a more accurate picture of which leads are likely to convert.
At the event and leading up to it, AI can be used to capture attendee information like registration and if you have an event app, user activity. The data you collect can be synced to your CRM and from there, AI can automatically score and categorize leads.
Ultimately, this means sales reps save time by avoiding going after the wrong leads and marketing teams learn more about their target audience.
3. Schedule Lead Nurturing Campaigns
Consider using AI as a safeguard against missed opportunities. Follow-ups are an essential part of any sales strategy, but often, reps give up or forget to be persistent.
80% of deals require five follow-ups to close, yet 44% of sales reps give up after one attempt. And that statistic refers to selling in general. Add in all of the chaos and catching up event pros have to do post-show, and it’s easy to see how the follow-up strategy might fall by the wayside.
As you’re probably well-aware, many of the leads captured during the event aren’t ready to sign a contract. Historically, it’s been difficult to turn these new contacts into viable prospects because the conversation fails to progress to the next stage in the sales cycle and leads drop out of the process.
To address this problem, teams might look toward an AI assistant to continue following up with these cooler leads until they warm up enough for human reps to take over.
They can automatically handle leads by initiating messaging communication sequences that pick up conversations you started at the show.
AI tools can also be used to sort through contact lists and update existing records, saving marketing and sales teams a ton of time. Other tools like marketing automation platforms allow you to schedule rule-based drip campaigns that nurture leads through the sales cycle.
AI Presents an Opportunity to Measure and Improve
Though organizations are approaching AI with cautious optimism, the benefits of leveling up your toolkit stand to help organizations improve their efforts.
Every step in your post-event follow-up strategy should be based on data. Event teams that track communication efforts, attendee engagement, and personalize outreach based on insights stand to drive more ROI from events.
The point is, events come with a ton of data that allows you to set goals, monitor progress, and track your results. If you don’t meet goals, you’ll have access to information that can pinpoint where things went off the rails and take steps toward improvement.
And if you exceed your goals, set the bar higher. You might find that you need to update the way you approach pre-show social media marketing or come up with a plan to chase bigger deals.
In the end, event planners, marketers, and sales teams need to embrace the latest tools if they want to compete.
With the right technology – from event apps and event planning software to social listening tools and advanced analytics – teams can spend less time on menial tasks, learn more about their customers, and dedicate more time to planning events that closely align with consumer interests.
At Echelon Design, we not only build custom exhibitions, we also know a thing or two about tech-driven event planning. To learn more about improving your event strategy from pre-event marketing to post-event follow-up, reach out and we’ll talk AI specifics.