Presented by Kount
To be successful in today’s business world, you must be smart, agile, and savvy. And advancements in communications tools and overall technology have enabled businesses to be smarter, quicker, and more successful overall.
The downside? Businesses now value technology over time. Speed over sentiment. Ease over education.
The truth is, as much as technology has made processes more efficient and faster, it’s also enabled us to be lazy with customers, partners, and prospects. As a business society, we undervalue in-person collaboration in favor of speed and ease, and are losing the human touch in the process. But it’s important we don’t lose sight of the personal connection.
Put down that FaceTime and get back to the basics — face-to-face time.
I attend a lot of events. And I host a lot of events. Kount is involved in about 100 events per year, over 25 percent of which we host ourselves on our Fraud360 World Tour, and 90 percent of which are hosted by others, either in person or online. The value of these in-person events, especially ones you host, is unparalleled. You’re getting personal time with customers, building relationships, and forging connections. Technology should never get in the way of real relationships and connections with prospects and customers.
While automation is making its away across industries, the old school way of engaging customers is not completely lost. It’s actually making a resurgence — and, when and where it’s not, it should be. And here’s why.
Up close and personal
The kind of face-time that can be delivered by a hosted event gives a company the opportunity to learn from their customers, understand what they face on a daily basis, ask questions, and talk to one another. Meeting in person at a conference or industry event is a great way to forge personal connections with the right audiences and, if you have the chance, host your own event. It’s the equivalent of a large-scale collaborative focus group, at a scale that just can’t be replicated online, or at someone else’s event.
Face time is part of our company’s culture; it’s ingrained in each person that works at Kount. We believe it has real value, from performing a road show for a product launch, doing in-person live demos, or hosting our customers, partners and peers at our own events. Being face-to-face has tangible value, and it bleeds from outside our four walls into every office and conference room at Kount. Face time not only means happier and more educated customers, but also a happier and more productive workforce at Kount.
Dollars and sense
But hosting your own event is way too costly, right? No, not right. You can spend tens of thousands of dollars to have a booth alongside all of your competitors, on a ghost town of the convention center floor, or you can talk to your customers directly for a fraction of the price.
As we promote each event on the tour, registrants self-select interest in specific topics or products discussed. By introducing the topics, presenters, products, etc. upfront for a seminar, your target audience decides whether or not they are interested, and only attends if so. That’s not always the case at a large convention or trade show. The leads coming from this pre-qualified event are much more valuable than those of the “drive-by” lookers at a traditional trade show. We get at least a $4 return for every $1 spent on these events.
You can also collaborate with your industry partners. This can make the event even more valuable and richer in content. Our Fraud360 tour features a group of companies with whom we partner to fight fraud and educate audiences about the latest trends. You’ll not only save on cost, but pool together more knowledge and resources to offer attendees. And since most professionals do not get to attend very many conventions or industry trade events, we have brought the event to them, in their city, making it easy for them to make time to attend.
Kount is not the only company that takes on a face-to-face approach. Leading brands like Mastercard host everything from its Global Risk Forums to engage with global leadership, to Customer Compliance seminars to bring customers up to speed on the latest in policies and best practices. Salesforce has long been known for their hosted events, and Disney brings various communities together as ambassadors for the brand on an ongoing basis.
People enjoy attending these thought-provoking talks up close and personal and see tangible ROI from being elbow to elbow with other thought leaders. Discussions among their peers is valuable and appreciated. Acknowledgement, communication, collaborationl and mutual problem-solving are the names of the game.
But don’t forget about content: valuable content is the key to driving audiences to attend your sessions. If the event is simply a 4-hour long commercial, your results will be disastrous, word will spread quickly, and attendance will drop like a brick. If you bring specific value to your audience in the way of education, interest, cost-savings, and plain old entertainment, they’ll be there.
Yes, I still believe in being out in the field. The Field of Dreams, where “If you build it, they will come.”
Don Bush is the Vice President of Marketing at Kount, a leading innovator in solutions for fraud and risk management. He has led products launches and marketing programs for dozens of companies around the world such as Citi, HP, IBM, Kodak, Motorola and Weyerhaeuser and co-authored the seminar series, “Common Launch Disasters and How to Avoid Them.”
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