Sometimes, you really need a face-to-face interaction to close an account.

Don’t get us wrong – we believe fervently in the power of targeted ads, email campaigns, direct mail, and outbound calling. These channels deliver results time and time again, especially when they are used in coordination with an event.

There’s also a lot to be said for shaking hands, giving some genuine smiles, and showing off your company’s value through hands-on demos.

That’s why Radius has an aggressive yearly field marketing plan. We send our team to conferences because we believe that they are one of the most important channels for driving revenue. However, field event marketing can be tough.

You face the challenges of:

  • Deciding which events to attend in the first place
  • Preparing your prospects and sales teams for the event
  • Delivering value at the event itself
  • Following through with interested accounts after the fact

At Radius we’ve seen a lot of success with field event marketing, in the past, as we drove over half a million dollars in opportunities from the 2017 Marketo conference alone. And with the SiriusDecisions Summit coming up soon, we wanted to share a guide for marketers looking to leverage field marketing events.

After reading this article, you’ll have a much better idea of how to use field events as one of your most productive channels for driving revenue.

1) Setting the stage for Sales

There’s a popular saying that goes, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This describes Radius’ attitude towards field event marketing.

Our field events involve a lot of work before the conference, and this work is often times coordinated cross-functionally across the entire company. To keep all of this running smoothly, we make sure to lay out each step of our field marketing plan with a specific timeline.

Here’s a snapshot of what that looks like from a buyer’s perspective:


Team KPIs, Calls to Action, and Incentives

While there are a ton of intricacies at each stage, we usually begin by defining our goals and metrics for the event as a whole. For example, about a month before the Marketo conference this April, we met with our sales and SDR teams to set goals and KPIs for the event and the weeks leading up to it.

The primary focus was to schedule one-on-one meetings with prospects at a lounge we rented out. Food and drinks were served, providing a great ambiance for conversations. For our top accounts, the goal was to invite them to a VIP dinner we held near the event venue (more on that in a minute).

To drive these in-person meetings, we also gave our sales teams incentives – top performers could win a new iPhone, Ray Ban glasses, or various gift cards.

Finally, we created an internal resource page on our Marketing Center, a central hub for all things marketing at Radius, with all of this information so our sales team could easily access it.

2) Pre-event marketing

Next, we built a list of all our top-tiered accounts that attended last year’s event so we could market to them before the event started. Since Marketo Summit is primarily comprised of Marketo users we used the Radius platform to find target accounts that use Marketo for marketing automation.

Once we had our target list, we employed various strategies to begin our outreach for each tier of accounts – Tier A, B, and C.

Ad Campaigns

All of our Tier A, B, and C accounts were targeted with paid ads on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The purpose of the ads was to advertise an opportunity to win a sweepstakes VIP dinner at the luxurious restaurant Michael Mina (for two, complete with limo service) in exchange for filling out a registration form which we could then use to follow up.

Outbound Calling and Email Campaigns

In addition to paid advertising, we also worked with our SDRs to set up an outbound calling and email campaign.

About three weeks before the event, our SDRs began calling and sending emails to key prospects. A week out from the event, we ramped up these efforts with an outbound calling blitz where our sales team worked the phones and sent emails for at least 3 hours a day.

The purpose of this campaign and our pre-event outreach was to drive a lot of sign-ups for our VIP dinner, one-on-one meetings, and Ray Ban direct mail campaign (more on that below).

VIP Black Card Direct Mail

In addition to outbound calls and emails from our SDRs, we also used direct mail to promote our VIP dinner. To facilitate sign ups for this dinner, we sent out embossed invitation cards on black paper stock that gave a feeling of exclusivity and prestige to our event. The goal was to stand out among our top accounts and also add a personalized touch to their event experience.

Driving Revenue With Ray-Bans

In addition to a dinner invitation, we also deployed a Ray Bans “Revenue Driver” direct mail program. We sent select VIP’s a Fedex with a Ray-Ban case (minus the actual glasses) and a note inviting them to be a VIP Revenue Driver at the Marketo Summit.

Our reps then followed up on these direct mailers with emails and phone calls to remind these VIPs to schedule a demo with us. When they showed up for their demo, they got their glasses – a powerful incentive.

Now that we’ve described all the work leading up to the event, it’s time for the work that went on at the conference itself.

3) Engaging with prospects at the event

After doing all the preparation and outbound efforts, really all our team had to do was meet with prospects and show them how Radius could help them.

And of course, our team let loose a little as well. When it comes to social events like these, it’s best to get into a fun, friendly state of mind. You’ll find that prospects (including your target accounts) are much more receptive to your business messaging when you keep it conversational and relevant to their needs.

To facilitate this feeling of fun, we had a mascot dress up in full race gear to promote our brand message of “driving revenue”. This was a playful way of calling attention to Radius and engaging prospects on social channels. We also had a Twitter selfie contest at the Radius booth where plenty of ridiculous poses ensued.

However, our team also worked their butts off meeting with accounts. We had 30 people attend our VIP dinner, and 700 people register for our lounge. In other words, there were a LOT of 1:1 conversations taking places with our key accounts. (And that’s not even counting all of the conversations at the Radius booth itself!)

4) Following up post-event

In baseball, tennis, golf, and bowling your follow through is crucial. If you mess the follow through up, your entire opportunity can be wasted.

The same goes for field marketing. While it’s important to recognize all the hard work you’ve put in, and to celebrate it, you also want to honor that hard work by maximizing the ROI you get.

We did this by continuing to keep in touch with the accounts who showed up to our events over the course of the conference via outbound calling and an email nurture campaign. These efforts culminated in a post-Marketo webinar.

5) Your turn!

Field event marketing works, if your team puts in the work. But it’s not just about grinding out endless phone calls and emails – you want to work efficiently and effectively.

In our case, working efficiently meant setting specific KPI goals with clear calls to action and incentives for our sales and SDR teams at a meeting one month before the Marketo conference.

Then, we worked effectively by executing a multi-channel pre-event marketing campaign that used fun and innovative “hooks” such as sweepstakes for a luxurious dinner, giving out free Ray-Ban sunglasses, and using premium direct mail packages to get signups for our VIP group dinner.

Afterward, we made sure to follow up via phone calls and email campaigns that peaked with a post-conference webinar.

While these tactics can vary in the context of your event marketing strategy, we recommend looking at them for inspiration. If you want to pick our brains a bit more about field event marketing, make sure to register for our “Betting To Win” party kicking off the SiriusDecisions Summit. You’ll see our field event marketing in action, and live it up with swanky drinks and bites included.