Last night, I had the great pleasure of attending a familiarization event hosted by a new company to the Panama City Beach area. This particular company, however was not a new company, they have been around for decades. And their experience showed in their ability to throw a great event. It was very well attended, the hors d’oeuvres were fantastic and the main presenter was charismatic and entertaining. But they left a huge element out that was actually quite simple and surprising.
They weren’t collecting any information. No email addresses, no names, no zip codes, nothing. They were just handing out name tags. Sheesh. Email marketing is a huge way to keep in touch with your customers and build relationships.
Here’s what they should have done, it’s so simple.
The event had one point of entry, that was controlled and guided by staff that were writing names on name tags and handing them to the attendees. After each person would get their name tag, they would enter the event, allowing the person behind them to follow and get their name tag. The event staff at the front were writing the name tags so the event attendees had free hands to be doing something.
As each attendee walked to the front, what they should have been doing is filling out a simple sign in sheet. This sheet doesn’t have to be complex, just three columns. Full name, email address, zip code. That’s it!
By collecting this information, you now know who they are, you have a way to get in touch with them in the future and you know where they are from. I know most people at this particular event were from the Panama City Beach area, but by collecting five numbers, you know for sure, and you also know what areas in Panama City Beach they are from.
The moral of the story here is that if you are throwing an event, any time you have people in front of you, collect as much information from them as is reasonably possible. Remember, these are your customers, you need to have a way to connect with them later.