4 Ways to Make the Most Out of Client Events

PR and marketing pros who are lucky enough to be invited to client events can use these experiences to learn more about their clients, make important connections and grow as professionals. Of course, the benefits aren’t one-sided. Clients can see greater alignment of their marketing and PR programs with their business strategies by inviting their marketers and PR pros to their events. 

If you’ve been invited to a client event, you should be prepared to capitalize on the opportunity, both to support your own career development and to deliver greater value to your client. Here are a few tips to make the most out of client events: 

Tip 1: Ask Questions 

Asking smart questions that give you the information you can use in your marketing campaigns is a great way to participate actively at an event. Some examples of questions you can ask include: 

  • What’s the most common frustration you’re seeing with your clients right now? How are you addressing it for your clients? 
  • What projects are you spending the most time on right now? 
  • What concepts do you have the most difficulty communicating to your clients?  

In seminars and panels, you can also ask questions to encourage audience participation if it’s lacking. The event organizers may even thank you for driving an engaging conversation. 

Tip 2: Listen Actively 

Take notes throughout the event on anything that piques your interest. Keep an ear out for anything you can use and act on post-event. For example, event insights can inform content pieces, social campaigns and media outreach. 

Pay particular attention to discussions about wants, needs and goals to help you better understand what your clients value. Then compare those notes against your current marketing plans to make sure they’re in alignment. Suggesting changes to fit your marketing plan more closely to your client’s evolving vision will show your client you’re dedicated to supporting them. 

Tip 3: Offer Help 

At any event, there are day-of tasks that need completing, from arranging a conference room to organizing nametags. Offering to help with these logistical duties is a great way to help your clients during the event and reduce their stress. It also demonstrates you’re willing to go beyond your expected duties to support them. This can foster greater trust in your relationship. 

Tip 4: Network 

Client events offer a valuable opportunity to network, both with employees at your client company and with external professionals. Have business cards or a virtual means of connecting ready. Also have a short yet memorable introduction prepared to explain who you are, what you do, and why it matters. 

Don’t restrict yourself to just talking about work, either—connect with people on a personal level. For example, if you meet someone who grew up in the same area you did, perhaps use that connection to strike up a conversation. You can also ask about hobbies and interests. Networking can be overwhelming, but it helps if you remember that all you’re really doing is trying to connect with another person by being genuine. 

Some examples of memorable networking questions you can ask include: 

  • What do you spend most of your day thinking about? 
  • What keeps you motivated professionally? 
  • What was your first job? 
  • What are you most passionate about? 

Bonus Tip: Follow Up 

After the event, send a thank you to your client for inviting you. Based on what you learned during the event, provide three or four proactive ideas for their marketing program. Make sure these ideas are tied closely to your clients’ needs and goals. Ideally, one or two of these ideas should be quick wins—easy to implement with an immediately visible impact. Not only will this approach prove your value to your client, but it will also give your client a chance to prove the value of their event to their internal stakeholders. 

Tying It All Together 

Attending client events is a great way to gain insights to support your marketing efforts, grow your relationship with your client and make key connections that may come in handy throughout your career. When you secure your first invite to a client event, keep these tips top of mind so you and your client can make the most of the experience. As your attendance at these events increases, so too will your knowledge of your client, their industry and the value you can provide through marketing and PR support. 

By Benjamin Davis and Rona Vaselaar

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