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Event Marketing for Your Advisory Practice
Events serve as critical marketing and communication tools for your wealth management firm. Advisors can host a variety of events to satisfy multiple goals, such as client education and retention, connecting with referrals, and meeting with prospects. Since the advisory business is all about providing expert guidance, events are the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and the strength of your team. However, hosting a successful event requires time, a clearly defined budget, and a certain degree of talent!
When it comes to event marketing, key performance indicators or KPIs are used to measure your success. KPIs for event marketing include event interest, registrations, attendees, and revenue or marketing return on investment (ROI). The actual cost of an event is determined by comparing the event’s expenses to its ROI. KPIs also help to identify what worked well with your planning and what could use some improvement the next time.
Funding Your Event
The first objective when planning an event is to set a budget, which helps to keep costs under control and in determining what type of event you want to host. If your budget is limited, webinars are an inexpensive option. Other ways to keep expenses down is to invite a wholesaler – or other professional partners like CPAs, estate attorneys, fiduciaries, and charitable community foundations – to join you and contribute to the cost of the event. If you’re planning an annual event, you’ll want to think long term about the budget, so you can duplicate and improve it the following year.
Determining the Type of Event
The type of event you are conducting will determine how you calculate the event’s ROI. If it’s a client-only event, the focus should be on long-term ROI, determined by the expected years of the relationship, the estimated rate of inflation, and the estimated rate of asset growth. For prospecting events, your marketing ROI is based on the anticipated number of prospects attending the event, your close rate (be conservative here – we recommend setting it at 1%), and the anticipated average assets and fees generated per prospect. Some calculators already exist to help you determine your marketing ROI based on the input of these figures.
Marketing Your Event
It’s essential to identify how much time you have until you want to host the event. Webinars only need six to eight weeks to plan. They are easier to implement than on-site events and are best for responding to timely news and current affairs, such as tax law changes and market downturns. They are also effective at staying connected with existing clients and engaging with prospects.
When it comes to on-site events, you will likely need four months or longer to plan. After you’ve done your first event, you’ll only need about three months for the next one, because you can easily duplicate a lot of what was already created. There are many event calendars and checklists that you can use as a guideline for milestones you need to hit to stay on track with your planning.
If you don’t have someone with marketing experience on your team, money is well spent on help! You’ll need someone to set up the event, create the digital and print collateral, distribute the invites, implement advertising, track registrations, and send confirmations. They will also be able to provide you with the data to determine the event’s success at meeting its KPIs. Your event marketer should also be able to utilize a variety of digital marketing tools that can feed or import client and prospect data into your CRM.
Beyond marketing, you’ll also need help with project management and event administration. Enlisting an experienced team helps to lessen the load and ensures the event is well attended, within budget, and meets your set KPIs. Our virtual marketing professionals have helped many advisors host successful events from planning to implementation! Let’s discuss how we can make your first (or next) event the best one yet!