Paying for Delegate Acquisition?

I run business to business events in the recruitment sector. In the past 12 months I’ve looked into telephone based delegate acquisition - ie, using someone to call target individuals to invite them to events. I’ve not done much with this yet so wondered if anyone has experience of this and how cost effective it is vs other methods like email targetting, social media, etc.

I’d love to try it properly for one of our small group Director level events this year but want to get it right.

Facebook advertising is a far better place to spend your money. People tend to ignore any phone numbers they don’t recognise, with Facebook advertising you have more of a captive market.

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If you’re looking to connect directly with director level individuals, I’d agree that phone calling may have limited success. It’s of course never possible to know until you test it (as you propose) so could be worth trying. Another alternative though could be the same approach, but using LinkedIn InMails - and paying a temp/freelancer to send targeted LinkedIn messages. In my experience LinkedIn is likely to be a more successful channel in which to try something like this.


Hi Louise

Great question, and hopefully I can help as I’ve had experience managing delegate sales teams.

In essence, whether this would work for you depends on lots of variables. Some companies will let you hire sales people and pay them commission only, but this isn’t a great model and you won’t get great quality people representing your brand imo. Therefore you’d need to be able to afford a salary + commission, so it depends on how much each ticket sale is worth to you (and the sales person).

Then you’ve also got to consider how much data you have, and how good it is. A salesperson will often be required to do 100 dials a day, so do you have enough data to support that output? And do you have up to date contact details to provide them with? If not they’re going to waste a lot of time (and your money) trying to find the right details or just talking to the wrong person.

Then you’ve got to thoroughly brief them, manage them, review their pipeline etc.

If you’ve got a smallish target list of senior directors, you might be best carving out some time and calling them yourself.

That being said, the major conference companies employ telesales / delegate sales teams, so they do work (and in fact are necessary to sell enough high value tickets for some events)…but my guess is that for your needs, it might be overkill and a combination of email/social/seo + a few select calls from yourself might be most cost effective.


I do tend to agree that FB is a very good place to be spending your budget, but would equally be interested to hear from anyone that has experience in telephone based delegate acquisition. Hoping @markw may have some insight…

EDIT: he beat me to it

Thanks DewiEirig - I’ve given it a go before and had very little success. I suspect that might be down to me rather than anything else. On your advice I will try again for our next big event.

Thanks Mark - it makes sense for me to trial it myself with some calls. I’ve got my first smallish event in March so will do it for that and see how I get on. For the amount of events and do and their size I really don’t want a sales team!! :slight_smile:

I’ve never used LinkedIn InMails (which considering I’m in recruitment is pretty crazy) but I think it’s worth me giving it a shot!

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