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Pop quiz: is it less expensive to keep an existing client or is it more expensive to acquire a new client?  If you guessed that it’s less expensive to keep the existing client, you’d be correct.  This is called retention marketing.  This form of marketing focuses on keeping your clients happy and keeping them purchasing your goods and services as a result. If it’s not currently a part of your event strategy, you could be finding customer acquisition costs rising.

Why Not Acquisition Marketing

In contrast to retention marketing, acquisition marketing can be an uphill battle.  This form of customer acquisition focuses on trying to acquire new clients, often to replace former clients.  It is widely regarded as anywhere from 5 to 25% more expensive to acquire these new clients.  It’s clear the choice is to keep your existing clients happy and spending money with you, not your competitors.  But how do you do that?  Beyond taking them to fancy dinners, trying to bend over backwards with customer service, you can use your event strategy to keep these clients happy and in the fold.

acquisition marketing

Using Event Strategy for Retention Marketing

When it comes to trade shows, there’s a reason why businesses invite their happy clients to their trade show booth.  It’s just good event strategy. Not only do they want to ensure they get the face time, it’s good event strategy to make sure they see how much they’re appreciated.  It also shows prospective clients that they too could be as happy with your goods and services.

event strategy retention marketing

Beyond simply inviting clients to your trade show booth as part of your event strategy, consider how you can invite them to special events.  Imagine how special your clients would feel if you hosted a small “family night” for your employees after the exhibiting hours and invited your valued customers.  Wouldn’t they feel as if they were a part of the family?  This is an excellent event strategy to ensure you make your client relationships more “sticky.” By that we mean that it becomes extremely difficult to walk away from your business relationship.  They’re stuck to you like glue.

happy hour trade show

Another great event strategy is to host a happy hour in your trade show booth.  Not only does this attract new prospects, but you can use it as a way to show your existing clients your appreciation.  It also allows for more meaningful conversation.  After all, you’re looking to build relationships at trade shows and events and this kind of relaxed atmosphere lends to strengthening those relationships in addition to building new ones.  From an event strategy standpoint, it’s a great idea.  Logistically speaking, make sure to invite your clients and any qualified prospects so you don’t have a bunch of competitors’ employees sitting around in your booth drinking your free alcohol.

Retention Marketing Is an Ongoing Process

Your event strategy is just one facet of retention marketing.  In truth, it’s an ongoing process combining superior customer service, exceptional goods and services, building strong relationships and keeping your word.  The next time you exhibit, whether you exhibit abroad or locally, look at it as more than just an opportunity to attract new prospective clients; look at it as an opportunity to retain existing clients. If you need help defining your event strategy as a part of your retention marketing efforts, contact the experts at Absolute Exhibits today.