Marketing your event is more than just a few social media posts, an invite, and a RSVP. You must communicate with your audience before, during and after to reap all the rewards of a successful event. But, how does one do this effectively?
- Engagement: Engage with your audience to show that you care that they are coming, and make them feel that they are wanted at your event.
- Benefits: Show your audience the benefits of attending and why it’s worth their time.
- Keep on selling it: Continue to sell your event, even if they’ve RSVP’d. Your attendees should continually be reminded of why they’re this attending this event.
- Commit and follow through: You’ve put time and effort into this relationship; it shouldn’t end when the event is over. Continue to follow up with your audience after the event with post-event information, reminders or inspirational motivation for future events.
Here are some concepts that can assist you through the process of creating your event marketing plan:
- Plan, plan, plan. Create a timeline from start to finish on what you’ll be doing to market the event, when you’ll be doing it and who’s responsible for implementing the tactics. This gives an overall vision and allows everyone involved to see all the moving parts.
- Set standards of what qualifies as a “successful” event from the very beginning and how you are tracking each marketing effort of the event.
- Streamline the simple things. There are many apps and programs that allow you to keep the marketing process in one program, complete with analytics, attendee tracking, and check-in.
- Create a hashtag, use it on everything. When promoting your event, come up with at least one hashtag to use on all materials promoting your event. Make it simple and relevant to the event. Social media, email, website and printed material all should display the event’s hashtag. Encourage your event partners to also use the hashtag. Using a hashtag provides a way of tracking posts associated with the event. ‘#EJLovesWritingBlogs’
- Post additional relevant and engaging content on social media, the social event page, and the event website. If the event is annual, perhaps a #TBT (Throw Back Thursday), showing photos from previous years’ events. Additionally, if there is content to share that has to do with an aspect of the event (i.e. You’re hosting an event for new business networking and the newspaper has an article on the importance of networking in business), those are helpful ways to engage your audience with the event.
- Thank (and tag on social media) any sponsors or featured guests. That way, their audience can have access to your event’s information as well.
During the Event:
- Establish a social media check-in station. Encouraging your attendees to check-in on social media will show interaction of the event attendees to their friends, creating interest of the event. Devoting an area to this 1) serve as a reminder to post and 2) will (hopefully) keep people who are checking in out of the main flow of the attendees and not clogging up traffic.
- Create an event within your event. According to Inc.com’s New Rules of Event Marketing, creating an Event within your Event where you can touch with the consumer one-on-one, engage and teach them will help your event resonate with the attendees. These can be fun games, interactive stations, or mini learning events.
- Utilize Facebook Live. Stream your event! With Facebook Live, you can interact with viewers in real time and see reactions.
- Follow up with promises. Deliver on any additional information that was discussed, share additional information that was requested.
- Share your success. Was the attendance a sell-out? Did you raise the funds that you were hoping? Give your attendees the satisfaction that they helped you achieve your goal.
- Say ‘Thank you’. A thank you note on social media or email is a great opportunity for your audience to engage and feel appreciated for attending.
- Ask them how you did. A survey is essential feedback from your attendees to check what was done well and what could have been better to help you plan your next event.
Need assistance marketing your event? We’re here to help! Contact us for all your marketing needs.
Blog graphics sourced from https://flic.kr/p/pM9uvL