When the ultimate goal of an event is often creating and accelerating a sales pipeline, we are always surprised when a sales department has had little or no involvement in the event planning. The more immersed a sales team is in an event, its objective setting, and its content, the greater the ROI typically becomes.
It is critical that account managers identify relationships (both existing and prospective) that would benefit from event engagement to help determine event style, location and content. Are there individuals in certain locations who would be highly engaged by a thought-leadership event? Or are sales opportunities in such locations almost at closing point in which case an intimate dinner would be more beneficial? Events are also extremely effective for pipeline acceleration. And even if they lengthen the sales cycle, they tend to increase the deal size.
Event focus should not be firmly set on new business, they can also help brilliantly with renewals and upsells to existing customers. Don’t forget that having your happy customers at an event is the best way to advocate your product with no need for a sales pitch.