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How to plan a Sales Event to get more customers

Did you know that 79% of marketers generate sales through events? 48% of brands realise a ROI between 3-5:1 with their events.

If your company isn't already planning events, that leaves you in the minority.

This free guide is to help ensure your business can create an exceptional event, without the need for expensive marketing agencies. Whether this is your first event, your fifth of your one hundredth, there are hints and tips that will ensure your next event is a commercial success.

Why should I run an event?

Events account for  13% of all sales, worth $6 trillion in annual global sales. If your business generates sales through relationships, meetings or working with other businesses, running an event is a fantastic intiative.

Events help:

  • Build trust between you and your prospects
  • Allow you to demonstrate your knowledge
  • Your attendees become more aware and knowledgeable
  • Your business generate high returns

How much does it cost to run an event?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that running an event costs and arm and a leg. The average event budget in 2022 was $1,610, however if you plan ahead, are flexible with your venue location and are smart with your inclusions, you can run an event for much less.

A general guide for physical event for 15-20 potential customers is:

  • Venue with no catering: $350-1,000
  • Venue with morning tea for 20 guests (ie your future clients): $60-70pp /  $1,200-$1,400
  • Parking for yourself: up to $40, but can be free depending on your venue or negotiations
  • Printed takehome cheat sheet: $30 at Officeworks to print high quality cheat sheets on topics such as 'What to do when someone raises a formal complaint'. Ensure to include your details as a support option for independant investigations.
  • Powerpoint design: free labour using Canva templates
  • Marketing: free by calling and emailing prospects, free listings on Eventbrite and if you need to, you can pay for promotion

How to plan a sales presentation

To run an event you will need to consider:

  • Content: what topic are you going to talk about?
  • Guests: who is going to come and how you are going to generate RSVPs?
  • Location: where is your event going to be?
  • The Venue: is it the right venue for you, will there be adequate catering, is there parking nearby?
  • The followup: are you going to try and generate sales on the spot, or set up meetings with attendees

What topic should I talk about at my sales presentation?

The first step to planning your event is to identify your topic. The knowledge you have is knowledge business owners and your clients would love to learn.

To find out what type of event you should be running, you need to consider the reason why most of your customers chose you as their HR partner. Is it because they need help with minimum wage changes? Is it because they don't know how to manage conflict in the workplace? Is it because they just don't have the time or skills to do it in-house?

Virtual or in-person events

Once you have the topic you now need to determine whether you want a virtual event, or an in-person event. One of the most common questions we get asked is whether online events are better or worse than in person events? The answer depends completely on you as a business and the customers you are trying to obtain.

If you are super savvy with technology, you could consider running a virtual webinar. There are many pros, including the ability to host lots of people and it is location agnostic. The trouble with virtual is risks are higher. If your internet can't cope with the amount of guests online, you may lag or drop out. Virtual events lack the personal touch that you might need in order to generate sales. You might also find some of the attendees will work while half listening in, while others won't show up or won't be paying any attention.

For most businseses, one of the most effective ways to generate a client at an event is to run a small (10-15 people) sales seminar or sales presentation. This is where you demonstrate your knowledge, provide insights and tips that your guests can learn from while also ensuring you are presented as a potential future business partner.

Where can I find good sales event venues?

In the last few years, the typical process to find a venue online would take an average of 4 hours. This involved searching for venues on Google, adding each venue to a spreadsheet, checking whether they had the right facilities (if you asked the right questions), and then checking out images. Once you had a venue you liked, you would reach out and be told they are either out of budget, or not available. The process would then start all over again.

There are now services like BizziEvents, where you can go to find corporate event venues online. This site enables you to add your filters in, and enquire directly with the venue. Because they don't charge venues anything, you will often get access to rates that aren't publicly listed. 

If you are looking for additional support, you can also request it from the concierge team. This would mean you could get everything from venue sourcing, email communication planning, event site advertising and more without having to spend your time doing it yourself. Because they work with so many businesses the BizziEvents team also is able to often negotiate rates at significant discounts. 

So you have the choice. You can invest hours into Google, or you can leverage some of BizziEvents services.

Who should I invite to my sales event?

Now you need to invite your attendees.

Here you can invite new or existing prospects and clients to come together to learn. You only want to invite one or two clients. You want them to join to help sell to your clients for you, but you also want to keep as many seats available for new clients to attend.

Event Marketing Tips

There are plenty of free or cheap ways to promote your event.

Free advertising for your event

  • Eventbrite: if your event is free, you can post it on Eventbrite and have up to 20 guests RSVP
  • Humanitix: similar to eventbrite, you can post your event for free
  • Facebook groups: as your event is going to be full of value, you should be able to post, however check with Admins first. Consider looking into local council groups, startup groups or business networking groups. All groups are viable options for generating a few free RSVPs.
  • LinkedIn: share your event on LinkedIn, and ask Staff to comment or share themselves.
  • Call up clients: ask who they know that could benefit. Ensure it is "who" not "do". Who assumes they know someone.
  • Call up ex-clients: Just because someone isn't working with you anymore doesn't mean they don't have a network. It could be they closed their business down, hired in-house or switched due to board pressures. Unless the reason is specifically that they don't like you, chances are they are a valid guest or referral opporunity.
  • Existing prospects: get those existing opportunities over the line by demonstrating exactly why they need to work with you

Paid advertising for your event

There are dozens of advertising channels you can pick to generate new clients. The costs range from a few cents per view, to affiliates who might charge 25% commissions. An overview of some of the advertising channels is below. 

  • Search Engine Marketing: Running advertising on Google or Bing search engine. If you already run ads, consider posting a "sitelink" for the event. Alternatively you could include the topic online. For example, if you run an accounting firm, you could advertise around "how to do payroll as a small business". 
  • Social Media Advertising: Placing ads on Facebook, LinkedIn or any other network. These are often charged on a cost per thousand views, and will involve putting in the interests of your potential clients e.g. small business owners. You can create Event Ads on Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Display Ads: Whenever you are searching across the web, looking at blogs or trying to find new recipes, you will notice there are plenty of ads on these sites. These are often display ads.
  • Native Ads: These ads are a type of display ads that are designed to look like the main website. To find these you can navigate to a  news website and find a section that may be called "you may also like" or "related content". These will often link to a different website and at some point were considered to be low quality ads. If you are a great writer you can write an informative article on your website and find Native Ads might work well. Networks where you can place ads include Taboola, and Yahoo Native. Consider writing an article that has some of the information your event will talk about.

It is recommended to engage a professional to run advertising, else risking accidental overspend or underperformance.

What is the Corporate Event Marketing Return On Investment

There is no reason, with a little bit of planning and some extra support from BizziEvents, you can't generate more business through events.

If you are looking to commence running corporate events, get in touch with BizziEvents and we can talk you through what we see is working for your industry. 

 

*source: statista converted to AUD.

Want to get more return from your events?

BizziEvents is dedicated to enabling corporate event planners to invest more time into creating exceptional event outcomes. Whether you are running a sales presentation, hosting your Christmas party or looking to run an offiste workshop with your executive team, we are here to help. 

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Matthew Jackson Profile Picture

About The Author

Founder of BizziEvents, Matt is passionate about all thing corporate events from an business and attendee perspective. Matt is on a mission to help event planners create exceptional events by unlocking more time for higher value work.

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