What is Event Marketing?
Event Marketing is the marketing of your brand, product or service through promotional events. Events include live events, such as workshops, conferences and conventions you are hosting as well as digital events such as webinars and live-stream workshops.
Event Marketing is very different than event management, which involves organizing and logistical management of a live event (i.e. working with hotels for a conference, etc.)
Benefits of Event Marketing
There are many potenital benefits from holding an event:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Exhibit thought leadership and gainingcredibility
- Establish and grow relationships
- Obtain new leads
- Generate sales
Create Your Event Marketing Strategy Plan
Creating your event marketing strategy involves a series of four stages:
Stage 1: Event Planning
Step 1: Determine your goal for the event in the first place.
Are you trying to gather new leads, release a new product, boost sales? There are a number of potential goals and you need to decide on a specific, measurable goal for this event.
Step 2: Will this be a live event or digital event?
Live events tend to create more conversions, but also require more planning and greater cost than digital events. Depending on the goals you identify in Step 1, you will need to determine whether you are hosting a live or digital event.
Step 3: Determine your budget for the event.
There are a number of costs associated with an event. You need to run the numbers to make sure that even with the expenses, that the show will be profitable for you in the long run. For live events, these costs include, but are not limited to:
- Event Management company
- Cost to rent space to hold the event
- Employee travel costs (hotel, transportation, meals)
- Attendee meals (if provided)
- Equipment rental
- Audio/Visual production team
- Promotional giveaways
- and more!
If you are holding a webinar or online summit or workshop, you need to consider your technical costs:
- Webinar or live stream platform
- Employee costs to help run the event
- Post event audio/visual costs (converting videos, editing videos, etc.)
- Post event transcription
Stage 2: Plan Your Event
It’s crucial that you plan every aspect of your event, from who will be working the registration, what you will be presenting and what your pitch will be duing the event.
Step 1: Advertise Your Event
Use social media as well as traditional methods of advertising. These can include ads in industry publications, posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Find partners who are willing to advertise your event to their lists.
Step 2: Order Your Supplies & Check in with Your Event Management Company
Leave plenty of time to order supplies for your event. This includes promotional items, business cards, brochures, banners and more. Be sure to check in repeatedly with whoever is responsible for the event management to ensure the location is secured, meals are ordered and the room layout is set. You do not want any surprises when you get to the event!
Step 3: Train Your Staff
Even if you have a seasoned team working the event, make sure they are aware of the specific goals for this event. If you have hired outside staff for the event, host a training with them BEFORE the event. Your entire team needs to be familiar with every aspect of your Event Marketing Strategy in order to have a successful event.
Stage 3: At the Event
Step 1: Make them feel welcome!
People have paid, either in time, money or both to attend your event. Be sure they feel welcome and special the minute they step into your event. Energy levels of your staff should be high and smiles abounding.
Step 2: Stick to the agenda
Have an agenda planned and stick to it as closely as possible. We all know that things happen that can change a timeline, but people like knowing when to expect breaks, lunch and when the day will be over. If you need to change the agenda, present it to the attendees in terms of “asking permission”. It will be received much better.
Step 3: Have your staff ready
If you are the Influencer or Visionary of your brand, then you should only be on stage. Plan on having plenty of staff available to work the event… from registration, to seating assistance and being able to answer questions.
Stage 4: The Power of Follow Up
Not everyone who attends your event will decide to purchase whatever service or product you are offering. It is crucial to have a strategic, pre-planned follow up plan for your event BEFORE you host the event.
Step 1: Implement your post event marketing strategy.
Before the event, you should have ensure you have systems in place to track your leads from the event. If you promised to provide a specific type of follow up… be sure to provide it. This might seem obvious… but you would be amazed at how many people do not follow up on what they said they would do. Follow up right after the event… don’t wait weeks or months.
Step 2: Be ready for the long game
Don’t assume that just because someone attended your event that they are going to convert right away… especially if you are selling a high-ticket program or service. Know the length of your typical sales cycle and realize that post-event sales cycles may be longer.
Step 3: Evaluate your event success
After the show has ended, evaluate the success of the event. This will include comparing your results to your initial goals. If your goal was to sell 25 people into a high-end program, how many people actually converted? How did your expenses compare to your post show revenue?
Also, do a check in with your staff. What went well at your event? What needs to be improved before your next event? They will be able to provide you with valuable insight that you may have missed while you were speaking on stage.
Need assistance with your Event Marketing Strategy? Contact us today to plan your next event.
How to Increase Attendance at Your Event
The question posed to us more often than any other is… “How do I get more butts in seats at my event?” Here are only a few suggestions of things you can do to increase attendance:
- Offer an Early Bird Discount
- Offer a Bring-a-friend promotion
- Partner with a JV partner to promote your event
- Leverage additional speakers
- Create a pre-event page to promote your event
- Blogging & Social Media posts
- Paid Ads
- Press release
- Email marketing to your list
- Call potenital attendees to invite them personally
- Influencer outreach
- Previous attendee referrals