The below is from Marc Benioff's book "Behind the Cloud: The untold story of how salesforce.com went rrom idea to billion dollar company - and revolutionized an industry" It's about events used to acquire customers, and I think there are some relevant points here for us.
There’s a lot of prep work necessary to execute a flawless event.
Develop your plan to acquire contacts. Define success metrics. Set your lead goal and determine your target conversion and close rates.
Establish a follow-up process before the event. Develop all communication materials, e-mails, and call scripts. Execute the plan within a few days of the event.
Create an exciting giveaway to draw traffic to your event (or booth at your trade show). Consider hot products—for example, we’ve seen success with iPhones, MacBooks, and Nintendo Wiis.
Have a compelling offer, such as an exclusive discount on your product or service, for target attendees.
Provide content that validates your ideas. White papers or best practices documentation by third parties is effective.
Leverage complementary partnerships. Invite business partners to collaborate with you in planning and hosting an event, or team up with complementary partners at trade shows to drive traffic to one another’s area.
Create a takeaway piece for attendees that includes your offer, contact information, and quotes from successful customers and other third-party validation.