I was attending an Association of Event Organisers meeting recently and one of the members asked why on earth they would want to invite their client list to an event that would potentially expose them to their biggest competitors?
It was a fair point and well made. After all, you’re paying the organisers to introduce you to new clients (always assuming that’s one of your main business objectives, of course!).
Secondly, you spent years nurturing those relationships, why would you want to share them with other people?
I’ve been giving this some serious thought, and overall, I think that the positives of introducing your client list to an event, vastly outweigh the negatives, and here’s why…
If you want to position yourself as a trusted advisor, you want to be able to show your clients that you’re not worried. You have confidence in your relationship, and, if you are approaching this from the perspective of offering a service to your customer, is it not your role to help them develop their network and skills as much as possible?
If they’re looking at other events in a different part of the world where you don’t have the experience, introducing your client to a valuable contact that does have that pan-global network, proves your worth as a trusted advisor. No doubt your client will favourably remember that you have helped them with this.
If you are at an event hosting a stand for two or three days, it’s the perfect time to invite your client list for a meet. You may only get ten minutes, but it’s ten minutes of that valuable face to face time and an important personal connection. This is especially effective for a client who may not have placed business with you for a while. It’s an opportunity to share an update, have a giggle, and reconnect.
It’s the perfect place for your clients to see you at your best. You’ll be peacock proud on your pristine stand, following our previous hints and tips to the letter, and you’ll be a hive of activity with plenty of footfall. Here your clients get to see you in a completely different environment where you excel.
You can also introduce your client list to the rest of your team, so that they have other points of contact, when you’re not available. This would be a great time to introduce them to your sales exec so that they can build another important relationship that they can pick up the phone to and call.
Look at the simple economics of this and appreciate how long it would take, and how much it would cost, to have this valuable ten minute, or more, interaction with you client list individually. It’s another important touch point so why wouldn’t you invite them to come and see you?
The real clincher for this though is, if YOU don’t invite your client list to your event, who will? The answer could easily be one of your main competitors, reaping all the benefits of the above, and your client is left wondering why YOU didn’t invite them along instead! And what a wasted opportunity that would be.
Just a thought… TTFN, Emma x