You’ve spent months planning and organizing your event, you’ve got your dream venue at the ideal date, you’ve booked your speakers and talents, and all sponsors are also secured.
What’s left? Now you just need to get attendees to show up to the event, which is surprisingly often the biggest challenge of running an event.
Not sure how to market an event? You’ve come to the right place. Here we’ll share how you can develop an effective event marketing plan and some tips you can use to get people to book (and show up to) your event.
Without further ado, let us begin:
1. Define the target audience
Before anything else, define who you are marketing to. Knowing and understanding your target audience will ultimately let you know how to reach them.
How should you define your target audience? It will depend on the purpose/objective of your event. If, for example, you are launching an event to support a product launch, then your target audience should be similar to the ideal customers of the product.
Nevertheless, here are some key questions to ask to define your target audience:
- Who would benefit most from attending your event?
- What kinds of people will enjoy your keynote/workshop/concert/etc.?
- (If you have sponsors) What kinds of people would engage with your sponsors?
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you should gather as much information as you can about this target audience: behaviors, which marketing channels they frequently engage with, what types of content they consume, and so on. This will help you invest in the right marketing channels.
2. Have a professional website
In this age of social media, you might think that having social media profiles with enough followers can replace a website.
However, in most cases, you’ll benefit a lot from having a professional website. The website should function as the primary touchpoint for your potential attendees, and for them to easily register for your event.
Your website should be well-designed, and nowadays there are platforms like Eventtia that can help you create a professional-looking event website easily and in a very affordable way. The website should contain key information about your event and should be optimized to convince potential attendees to register.
It’s important to integrate an online registration feature on your website capable of providing dynamic registration paths for your attendees. You customize your website to identify who’s visiting your website and from what sources so you can offer different registration and pricing options accordingly to maximize conversion.
3. Ensure information is readily available
Use event marketing software to make sure it’s as easy as possible for potential attendees to find information such as:
- Time and date of the event
- Venue (detailed location)
- Speaker/talent pictures and bios
- Photos and videos
- CTA (Register Now!) buttons
It’s best to prepare tangible content to publish on the website leading up to the event, and also content to be published during the event. Focus on providing attractive content that can help the event stay top of mind before and also after the event.
4. Email marketing
Email marketing is very effective in any event marketing plan.
If you’ve already got an email database (i.e. from previous events), then email marketing should be the best channel to attract your ideal audience. If you don’t have an email list yet, you can also ask your sponsors, speakers/talents, partners, and even friends to help mention the event in their emails.
Here are a few tips:
- Personalization is key. Your subject line should include the recipient’s first name, but don’t stop there. Make sure to optimize your subject line to engage their interests.
- Timing: it’s typically best to send the promotional email for the event during the weekend so you don’t compete with other companies. During the weekend they may also feel less stressed and more willing to learn about your event.
- Social proof: showcase case studies/accolades/testimonials from previous events when possible. Use them as quotes in your email and make them prominent without cluttering the email.
- Automation: you will need to send the email several times, and it’s best to use an email marketing tool to optimize your timing.
5. Social media marketing
In this day and age, it’s pretty obvious that we’ll need to include social media marketing when promoting our event. After all, social media is where our target audience is nowadays.
However, we all know how social media is very saturated nowadays, so without a clear social media marketing strategy, we won’t be able to win the audience’s attention amidst all the noise.
So, how should you market your event on social media? Here are a few tips:
- Hashtags: create a unique but easy-to-remember event hashtag and stick with it. Use the same hashtag in all your posts, and encourage your attendees, speakers, sponsors, and other parties to do the same.
- Contests and giveaways: still an effective way to generate buzz on social media. Be creative and run contests and giveaways that best fit your event.
- Influencer marketing: partner with the right influencers so they’ll promote your event to their followers.
- Consistency: post a lot regularly. Be consistent and aim to stay top of mind of potential attendees.
- Engagement: actively interact with your followers, potential attendees, and relevant influencers. Aim to provide value and join conversations relevant to your event.
6. Press release
Submit your press release to local media outlets and also industry associations.
In your area, there should be journalists who cover local events. You can search for previous events on news websites and find the journalist’s/media’s name. Then, outreach to them by offering invites and sending your press release. If possible, get yourself (or a key speaker/talent) interviewed by the media.
Let’s do some event marketing
While the event marketing tips and tactics we’ve shared above aren’t the only ones available, they are among the most effective. You can use them as the foundation of your event marketing strategy and add other tactics on top of them to start getting more attendees to your event.
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