This guide is written for corporate conferences or events, but with slight changes, can equally be useful, for all kinds of events marketing..
Having worked to market a couple of events in the recent past, our brandDigi team is well equipped to share.
If no none knows about your event, what's the point of organizing an event? If the right people are not attending the event, all efforts are in vain.
Needless to say....proper marketing is so important, for making an event successful, apart from others.
Here, we try to thoroughly cover all that, to be done, to best promote an event.
With these in place rightway, your marketing can help event to mega success.
Of course, it's not easy, nor any marketing agency can just increase the number of registrations or attendees just in time, without the required ground work in place.
Marketing events is a like a long marathon. It requires months of effort, to make an event successful.
First and foremost, event organizers need to be clear about:
Once you are clear about event goal and event type, you are very calear about who are the target audience.
47% of event organizers dont have well defined personas [source]....
That means they are not sure who they are going to attract to their event. And 51% of the event organizers are losing their event's attendance, while 14% of organizers are working to lose a number of their attandees 🙁
Once we defined personas, we need to ensure relevant content, and plan communication to the targeted crowd that fits well into definition.
47% of event organizers dont have well defined personas
A dedicated event website can best represent an event, anytime, even prior, and post event.
A good start for most things starts with a clean and cool website, that also can help attract sponsors, along with engaging visitors, and helping in registrations.
Especially recurring events must focus on building communities, that indirectly help in promotion of events, anytime, in the long run. A robust website can be focal point for everything.
The website to cover all relevant information, agenda, venue and schedule of events in detail, along with enough information about panelists, organizers, as well as partners ,and sponsoring partners.
Also the event page should clearly describe about who are all the target audience, and why they must attend, or not to miss, ie., a list of benefits.
A compelling description of these can make a sea of difference.
Content to be very relevant to goal of the event. in any marketing communications, subject or body of the message, the copy should be absolutely compelling.
Copy writing professional must be engaged to take care of this activity. This is one of the top priority tasks in event marketing.
I know a 20+ year old event handling company which does not have a website ! That means being a dynosaur, that can die anytime, always running hand to mouth.
There's an event website we came across recently, with pathetic UI, and is not mobile friendly. Coupled with other gaps, naturally the event was total failure.
Define a unique Hashtag for event: and start using it on the event page, in all social communications....it helps build and manage social interactions, and curate for present as well as for future. This cant be overemphasized..
It's recommended that the unique hashtag be used in the url of event page.
It helps to have professional and cool pics of each of the panelists, as well as important stakeholders of event, along with their brief bios, especially including of their highest achievements etc.
Great speakers can draw crowds in huge numbers, and it must be leveraged smartly.
A well portrayed picture is worth 100 words.A well done uniquely designed creative logo or design best symbolizes event, and it helps in branding.
Images and videos building up to the event, and stories about it, while in the preparation of event can make interesting stories, to engage target audiences.
Capturing and curating them makes an important memory, and can engage audience both within and out of the core teams.
These content can be used in blog posts, and emails marketing, both pre and post event.
Many times we come across websites meant for promoting events, and conferences, and ironically, people literally have to search for register button, to register, on their event pages..
Also if the website is not mobile friendly, the register button on website, may not appear prominently, on mobiles, from which most access these days.
That's a serious mistake....and all the money and time, efforts spent to bring people to register to the events, go in vain, as people can't register if they don't know where to.
Register Button has to be prominent on Event Page, so no one is going to miss it. Also suggest for enough a/b testing to make sure, it's going to bring the most conversions.
If you already have list, you can start mentioning about the event, even as early as couple of months in advance, building interest, and expectancy.
Also you can mention recapitulation of last event, if there are, as well as mention about early bird discount etc.
Subject lines of the emails are very important, and can they decide the opening rates, and hence success of email campaigns, but Sales jargon not to be used.
Also sharing video thumbnails of speakers, as well as social proof, in the email content can help greatly. 65% of respondents prefer visual content included, instead of text alone.
As 80% emails read on mobiles, emails must be mobile friendly.
Once a week email, appraising of the preparations, with important event dates etc can keep your target audience hooked, and engaged, towards attending event.
To create buzz, enegagement, and build up to the event:
Once you know for certain, what kind of people (event personas) you are targeting, you will have clarity which all social media channels you must direct your efforts on,
accordingly you need to tailor your campaigns to create max buzz.
Every social media will have certain peak timings where most your target crowd will be online, that's the best time to shoot your campaign for max effectiveness.
Ensure to link to the target event page wherever possible.
Be active and use every tactic to get in touch with and engage with every target audience.
Cross streaming is another important tactic, to spread buzz around, from one platform to another social platform.
Encouraging profile changes with event logo or image pic, and links on their mails, and other social media profiles to be replaced with links to event pages, This can greatly increase buzz as well as traffic to event page.
Also if there are dedicated social media specialists, who can promptly respond to comments / enquiries of visitors, it will help greatly.
Social Media Advt: Linkedin CPC costs more than that of FB & twitter, but targets more qualified people, and if that's the goal of the event, it might be considered.
Properly done, Social media can contribute significantly to RoI, for each tweet, share, and views,
illustrious blog post, with relevant images, can help attract traffic to website.
You can ask panelists to guest post on your event site, and event organizers can also guest blog on speakers site.
Also you can get some volunteers' from audience who might be excited to share their write ups. This helps in many levels.
Also any interview with speakers, can be published as blog posts, as well as including videos of their previous talk .
It's usually good idea to share pre written tweets with speakers, and other important stakeholders, It helps them to tweet in no time, with ease, and you get to see what you want to communicated to the public.
With clicktotweet.com, it's easier to request influencers, and speakers to tweet about the event.
it's always smart to engage affiliate marketers, especially when you are marketing a Big event. You only pay them a portion of what they sold. It's a win win for all.
Optimize event page with right content, even including some past event attendee's testimonials ( sharing how awesome their experoience is ).
SEO of website, and especially of the event page: both onsite and offsite optimization are to be done. Links from relevant high authority site to event page can make wonders.
As most access it from mobiles, proper mobile optimization can result in higher number of registrations.
Promoting the same or similar target audience's event, by partnering with the other event organizers.
It's very good idea to conduct mini events to promote and work towards major event: Workshops, boot camp, across cities, to build upto the event. It helps you build momentum, and also chance to course correct.
This will have similar effect of linking from high quality websites, to the event page, and all the more contextually.
65% attendees post to social media during event.
Tweeting important sense of event, apart from promoting on Instagram and snapchat is going to create max hype, even during event.
Event hashtag to be promoted, and all the activity to be monitored, to be responsive, and propmtly attend to any needs, expressed in those updates.
An event without interesting subevents is a dull event.
The subevents must be planned well before hand, to structure format of event, to ensure fun moments and sustain good time to the attendees, throughout the event.
Contests is one important thing, that will touch most active attendees, while keeping interest levels in all others. These should be relevant to event.
While enabling the attaendees to share what they like, it's prudent for event organizers to have a structured communication, on relevant social media channels, that might include images, as well as mini clips of speakers' talk, or attendees' experiences.
There can be n number of blog posts can be planned, based on different angles an event can be viewed at : what the event achieved, with views from different audiences etc.
Curating the shared experiences of panelists, and attendees, that can be vividly leveraged on website, social media, blogging etc.
At least 31% write reviews
Though it's a talent altogether to take feedback, with out missing objectivity, it will be an opportunity to fill the gap, to improve attendees' experience, and also to prepare for future events in much better way.
Organizers can keep sharing some recent news in the context of events, stressing on relevance, and helping attendees become active in communication, even after event.
This might be the best time, to put in a word to all, in advance, about possible date of next event, and theme / agenda of the event.
You can follow each everyone on Twitter, whoever shared tweets about events, thanking them, while attending to their concerns, and any suggestions,if any, to take forward.
This will make them feel good that they have been listened to, and they will be further involved in community building, and hence in future events.
It's prudent to have the event covered by conventiontal media : both press and TV, and the same can be again shared to the email list, and on social media channels.
Hope you have enjoyed and learnt most of what you need to know and do, to make your next event, a mega success.
Feel free to ask for any support.