Marketing an event is significantly more challenging than marketing a product or service. Marketers are not only competing with other businesses for limited disposable income, but they’re also competing with time scarcity: if the desired demographic can’t make it the day of the event, the sales opportunity has passed.
Powerful event marketing is the key to attracting customers and making the efforts worthwhile. Here are nine tips for perfecting your event marketing to get the results you want.
Invest in Instagram-Worthy Decor
We no longer live in a world where the content of an event triumphs over the atmosphere, especially after being forced into virtual-only events for 2020. We live in visual times.
The increase of various events planned for this summer and fall has positively impacted the design and advertising industry. As experts in event signage report, the orders have greatly increased recently.
What does this mean for brands trying to leverage events to generate awareness and revenue? Visual elements matter. Creating an Instagram-worthy environment with decor and custom marketing materials will help create buzz leading to and following the event.
User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful marketing tool for brands. One of the best forms of no-cost marketing is creating places where attendees can take a photo to post on social media, tagging the brand, and sharing identifying elements. The increased tags and shares trigger social media algorithms to extend the organic reach and generates interest around the event.
Keep in mind that the buzz you create for this event will impact the next one. Those who can’t attend will be quicker to engage when another event takes place. Never underestimate the power of FOMO—fear of missing out— in modern event marketing.
Put Together a Compelling Sponsorship Package
Every day, businesses are approached for sponsorship opportunities. These requests typically offer some form of exposure or advertising in return for financial support. Depending on the sponsorship level, the event organizers might offer shout-outs or logos on printed materials.
Unless the event is for a cause that matters to key decision-makers, traditional sponsorship packages have limited appeal.
First, it’s helpful to have an event that sponsors would want to attend. In other words, something that helps them connect with their target demographic in a meaningful way or beneficial networking contacts. Then, it’s up to your marketing team to enhance the value.
Think outside the box when determining how you’ll showcase sponsors to your guests. Convenience is everything when putting together an event. Offer your sponsors access to a VIP lounge where they can experience networking opportunities and recharge their devices. Rather than simply displaying logos on printed materials, have sponsors contribute to marked floor decals that show visitors where they need to go next.
Finally, leverage augmented reality technology to highlight your sponsors in an innovative, unique way. You can create custom AR experiences that enrich your event while highlighting sponsor information.
Create a Detailed Launch Timeline
A goal without a plan is just a wish. Putting together a detailed launch timeline is a must for successful event marketing. Having this information outlined creates a roadmap to success while incorporating milestones that indicate whether you should pivot before the event.
Your event timeline should outline the pertinent information around your various marketing verticals, including:
- Blog and long-form content
- Press releases
- Organic social media
- Paid social media
- Partner outreach
- Sponsorship outreach
- Tiered pricing waves
- Landing page launch
- Email marketing flows
It’s no secret that there are many moving parts involved in an event marketing campaign. Having it outlined and drafted out in a project management style format can help small teams stay organized during the months, weeks, and days leading to an event.
Simplify the Registration Process
Customer friction can have a detrimental impact on your conversion rate when marketing an event. In other words, the more challenges your would-be customer encounters during the registration or ticket-buying process, the less likely they are to complete the transaction.
Using a third-party booking service like Eventbrite can help simplify the registration process rather than operating a native online sales protocol through your website. While collecting data is valuable, the less information a customer has to provide while transacting, the better.
Nurture Your Attendees
Don’t make the mistake of pushing a transaction then neglecting your attendees in the lead-up to the event. Yes, they’ve already given you their money, but now it’s your job to improve their event experience.
Use the time leading up to (and following) the event to share valuable information and build a rapport with your customers. This period is also ideal for capturing additional information about them to hone your future marketing efforts.
Incorporate Grassroots Marketing Efforts
Hyper-segmentation has become something of a marketing buzzword in recent years. The concept is simple: use targeted marketing efforts for a small, niche group rather than a sweeping generalized approach.
By following this approach, also known as grassroots marketing, you’re sacrificing reach for engagement. It sounds controversial, but by catering your marketing efforts, you’re able to connect and resonate with those who are most likely to purchase. This tact is powerful, particularly for special events and conferences.
If you’re hesitant to hyper-segment, consider using some A/B testing to refine your approach before the full event launch.
Hold a Post-Mortem
When the marketing campaign is complete, and the event is over, there’s still work to be done. An integral aspect of event marketing is setting goals and KPIs to track your progress. A post-mortem is an opportunity to evaluate which goals you met, which ones you didn’t and explore why.
Encourage everyone to take a few days to recuperate and reflect after an event. Then, hold a brainstorming session in which everyone can bring forth their challenges and learnings. This exploration session is necessary, whether or not your event was a success. Use these learnings to shape your next big event and refine your approach.
With these practical tips, you can create an effective event marketing campaign to get your business the best possible return on investment.