Free Events

6 July 2015

Hearing the word ‘free’ always grabs attention whether it’s a year’s worth of free insurance when purchasing a new car or hearing kids under 12 go free at Disneyland Paris. The word ‘free’ can also be applied to events, not just certain aspects of an event such as free pens but the entire event itself. The technical term we use is ‘cost neutral’ which effectively means the revenue generated from the event will cover the costs of running the event. How do they work? By offsetting the cost of an event through creating and selling things such as sponsorship packages can make an event cost neutral. Inconnection have experience of creating and running cost neutral events. Back in 2010 Trustmarque Solutions came to us with a brief which stated that they wanted to create a new vendor exhibition that would involve their channel partners as well as inspiring existing clients and prospective clients. Inconnection’s solution was to create an exhibition at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London for one day. By selling stands and creating sponsorship packages the event was cost neutral. We added vendor sessions into the agenda, so that attendees were inspired by Trustmarque’s way of working. Did it work? Yes! Feedback received from the event showed that it was a massively successful event. The numbers at the event were higher than forecast, the vendors were happy, the customers were happy and the SMT thought that is was one of the most important milestones in the evolution of Trustmarque. Microsoft said that it was as good, or possibly better, than Channel Expo, which they have been doing for years. Objectives and how they were met To develop a new vendor exhibition that will be cost neutral: In 2010, the first new vendor exhibition was created with Trustmarque paying 10% of the overall fee. The remainder was covered by sponsorship and vendors. To sell the benefits of Trustmarque expertise to existing clients, to prospective clients, and to vendors and service partners: A footfall of 220 people – more than predicted – attended the event through Inconnection’s marketing and event invitations. To highlight how Trustmarque’s business is performing: Various vendor sessions were incorporated into the event to demonstrate how Trustmarque works with vendors To provide an opportunity for the management team to outline its strategy for the year ahead and beyond: A post event meeting took place to look at the feedback gathered from attendees and incorporate it into the Trustmarque strategy.  To involve their channel partners and include sponsorship packages: Over 30 channel partners bought stands at the event through marketing the event to the right people and providing business benefits. To generate new lead data: Over 100 new leads were generated that could be followed up by Trustmarque.   Cost neutral events are extremely effective and beneficial especially when creating and running an exhibition as we have shown with Trustmarque Solutions. They allow you to achieve your objectives at a neutral cost.