How to Market Your Event
One of the greatest challenges to pulling off a successful event is marketing it. Like all other marketing programs, it is important to create a plan and know your target audience and how to reach them. It is also essential that your entire marketing team is all on the same page. So, get your team together, set your goals and measurables, and get ready to market your event!
Traditional Marketing is Still Relevant
In an age of social media, traditional marketing, including print ads, brochures, and direct mail pieces should still be an integral part of an event marketing plan. Event marketers should also consider including marketing campaigns for press release distribution to local media outlets and industry trade associations.
Another way to get the word out using “old school” methods is to get busy networking. Attending other existing events to promote your event is a great way to build business relationships while getting the word out about your event. It would also help to sponsor other events if your budget allows.
Create an Online Presence
If your event doesn’t already have its own website, it needs one. Or, at the very least, it needs a dedicated page on your company’s website. Using services like EventBrite or Cvent is a great way to create an online presence while marketing your event. These services provide options to be listed publically. They’re a one-stop-shop for managing your guest list, taking reservations, communicating with attendees, and much more!
Email and Social Media Campaigns
Are we sending too many emails or not enough? Marketing professionals are constantly battling to find the perfect frequency balance when creating email marketing campaigns. The good news for event marketing is that there are multiple messages to share to targeted audiences, creating a great opportunity for emails! First, segment your contacts by prospective exhibitors, attendees, and sponsors. Then, create customized messages to get the word out about your event.
Prior to executing your social media campaigns, be sure your team agrees on a dedicated hashtag for your event. A unique hashtag is the best way to engage the masses. After that, here are a few social media campaigns to consider:
- Rally Industry Influencers (industry experts who have a large, active following on their blog or social media accounts) to spread the word about your event
- Promote the Speakers and/or Exhibitors by thanking them for their support; don’t forget to tag them!
- Invite speakers to write guest tweets; make it easy for them by providing pre-written tweets
- Create an event on FaceBook to make it easy for attendees to spread the word about your event organically.
- Tweet a lot! Most tweets are missed, so tweet early and often! Some ideas for tweets include: registration open; early-bird deadline; countdowns; reminder of location, thank/tag sponsors, etc.
Don’t forget the power of YouTube! Make videos, but keep them simple, short, and sweet. Gone are the days of complicated and scripted videos. People like to see people being “real”. Consider interviewing speakers or collect past event testimonials. If you didn’t plan for videos, no problem! They can be produced easily via Google Hangouts or Skype… and you never know, your speakers may even offer to make one for you!