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Event marketing: How To Take It Above And Beyond

Be it a webinar, a meetup or a conference - events are considered a superb marketing tactic. Here are 5 proven methods to make your next event explode

Sarah Pritzker
March 20 2018

Events are one of the best ways to raise brand awareness and promote an enterprise across all marketing channels. 80% of markets see event marketing as the most successful marketing approach. The glow of a successful event can give business a vital boost, whether it’s presenting a webinar, taking part in an exhibition, or hosting a live seminar or all-day conference. However, we all know that your event is only going to be as successful as your event marketing. Event marketing needs to consider every channel and platform to spark interest and sustain engagement with the event. Here are 5 suggestions for ways to take your event marketing above and beyond your expectations.

#1 Define success

It’s impossible to have a successful event if you don’t know what success looks like. Is it defined by the number of attendees? Or is it more important to bring in a good level of revenue from the event? Metrics like the level of attendee satisfaction, how much social media buzz your event generated, attendee engagement, and the number of completed sales are all potential and different ways to track success. Once you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve from your event, you can set about preparing an event marketing calendar, considering the demographics of attendees that you wish to target, and planning a series of measurable, specific, and achievable goals to meet with every step of your event marketing campaign.

#2 Be clever about content

Although it’s tempting to focus on promoting the event and the company, it’s much more effective to create thoughtful and valuable content that sparks discussion and response. Some top ideas for event content:

  • Invite the speakers to write a guest post
  • Run interviews with the speakers
  • Share content about issues connected with the event
  • Blog posts that promote the location such as sharing tourist information and unmissable sights in the area
  • Use video content and post a running video background of key moments from your last event or deeper video material on your event’s topic.
  • Event emails can also include video thumbnails that encourage the recipients to click through

The newest trend in marketing is experiential marketing, which invites the viewer to interact with the content. Born from the intersection between augmented reality and the real world, experiential marketing has enormous impact on the target audience. There have been some hugely successful – and expensive – experiential marketing campaigns, but with some creative thinking, you could come up with ways to adapt interactive marketing for your audience.

#3 Make social media work for you

Most people attend events for the purposes of networking, so virtual communities will enhance networking opportunities and attract other contacts to register. Marking on social media where you can be found is practical and compelling if you are participating in a large exhibition. You could also run a contest via social media that encourages attendees to find certain clues or mysterious items at the event, or to share selfies of themselves with a key item that your company sells. For example, offering a prize to the first person to tweet a photo of a particular plant or decor detail could be a great way to get people excited about talking about your company.

Of course, you want to encourage your attendees and speakers to share plenty of posts and tweets about your event. One way is to send pre-written tweets via email or to include tweetable quotes in your event content and on your event website homepage. Twitter walls using your event hashtag and Instagram photo booths bring together physical and virtual reality in an appealing way to encourage attendees to post about your event.

#4 Build your ticket strategy

Make sure that your event landing page has a clear CTA and permits visitors to register for the event without having to leave the page. Posting your event details on an event discovery site helps your audience find out about it, but do include same-page registration so you don’t lose attendees in the process. Ad retargeting further reminds interested individuals that they haven’t yet registered and makes it easy for them to do so.

You can also try this: Be firm about there being a limited number of tickets and keep emphasizing the deadline for registration to create a highly desirable buzz around your event, especially as the deadline looms. You’ll need to stick to your guns and uphold the registration deadline. It’s up to you if you then find a group of last-minute tickets, perhaps due to a cancellation or because of huge demand. Ticket sales are also boosted when you set up invitation-only sessions within your event to spark desire from their exclusivity. This works especially well if you can attract some VIPs to attend.

#5 Remember that event marketing never ends

No matter how well your event went, the most valuable part might just be what happens afterwards. Analyzing which elements of your event marketing campaign were the most successful and sifting through the data you gathered are vital for future events.

Content marketing such as post-event round up blog posts and creating an image gallery of the best professional photos from the event are easy opportunities to remind your audience about your best features. Sharing the best quotes from the event, re-tweeting positive attendee reviews, and sharing a link and selected images from your even image gallery are all easy, quick, and effective social media marketing tools and can inspire those who didn’t come to make sure to attend next time. A post-event email and social media ad campaign is also the perfect way to capture any attendees who hadn’t converted to leads.

Now that you have these 5 above and beyond ideas for event marketing, you can go ahead and plan your next event. Drop us a comment and share how you plan and market your events!

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Sarah Pritzker

Sarah Pritzker is a marketing pro, always paying attention to -- and then writing about -- the latest marketing strategy trends. Then again, she also loves writing about finance, genealogy, and graduate school admissions. And then there's diamonds, travel, and healthcare management. Oh, and fitness. And food. You get the idea.

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