2. Morph Your Large Hospitality Events Into Smaller Blended Customer Events
If you've been segregating sales prospects from existing customers during your hospitality events, stop, Skelley said. "Figure out ways to help your sales process by bringing your existing customers who are raving fans," Skelley said. "They've got great stories to tell about what you do and what you have delivered for them, so bring them together with some net new prospects and let them help you sell. What we've found is this has been highly effective."The Channel Company recommends an 80/20 split of existing customers to new customers, he said.
Steve Fitzhenry, senior vice president of marketing and business development at solution provider NWN, said his company's focus on hospitality events has changed dramatically.
"Two years ago, probably 80 percent of our [marketing team's] time was putting events together, and you'd look at the dollars spent on some of the events, it was a golf event, it was $50,000. And you'd say gosh, $50,000 and 12 customers came to it."
NWN shifted its marketing priorities and dedicated some staff to events and others to digital marketing to help diversify its focus. It also scaled back the size of the hospitality events it hosts, Fitzhenry said.
"Event marketing is still very necessary, but on a small scale," Fitzhenry said. "You can have a dinner, you can have a lunch, you can do something small under $5,000 and have a lot of success."