Last Updated on October 7, 2021
There’s a good chance as an event planner that you are often focused on promotion. If you are building killer events you want to see high attendance. This makes you completely invested in designing and executing top-notch marketing campaigns. Even if you often hire an outside marketing firm – especially if you hire outside help – the success or failure of your event lies with you, so take a hands-on approach to event marketing.
Designing a marketing campaign should not be that daunting as long as you take these five components into account:
We take this as a fundamental truth – the most successful marketing campaigns have a clear idea of who it is they’re trying to reach, and what that target audience wants. If you don’t understand your audience, you can’t connect with them, and if you don’t connect with them, your marketing efforts will fall flat.
Ideally, you need to be able to answer the following questions:
- Who’s interested in this event?
- Why are they interested in my event?
- What’s unique about my event?
- Who’s competing for this audience’s attention and time?
- What will this audience gain by attending my event?
Tip: answer the questions as best you can, then fill in the blanks with thorough research. Informational interviews, case studies and statistics will either support your assumptions or prove you wrong.
A Targeted Approach
Ok, so now you’ve qualified you assumptions about the perfect target audience, what their interests are and why your event will help them meet their goals. Design your marketing campaign around them, clearly outlining what you know they will value. Ask yourself how you can sweeten the deal for your attendees and win their attention. Your campaign needs to relate to the target demographic, and your calls to action offer your consumer something they value.
Hint: offer potential attendees rewards for signing up and for promoting your event to new networks.
A Clear Strategy
Half of running a good campaign is devising a strategy. Start by identifying the channels that most effectively reach your target audience. How does your audience spend their time, who do they follow on social media platforms, do they subscribe to industry newsletters, what do they read?
Marketing channels may include blogger and traditional press, social media, paid promotion and direct mail campaigns. Create a hit list and start reaching out and letting the powers that be know the what, when and whys of your event.
Marketing isn’t exactly easy. You can’t simply release a campaign into the wild and let it run its course without any intervention whatsoever; you need to constantly monitor your progress, know what metrics indicate success, and tweak where you invest your time and money based on data. Take an active role in promoting your event, keeping content fresh helps keep potential attendees excited and invested in seeing the event a success.
Hint: start promotion long before event time. Test several marketing channels allows you to invest more creative energy, time and money where you see the most traction.
Our last point sort of plays back into our first: after all, you need to understand your industry in order to make your campaign relevant, and to do that you need research. Events should not be devised in a vacuum – events should offer an audience interaction, discussion, keynotes, and take-a-ways that are relevant to their industry today. Your marketing campaign should do the same – if your promotion feels dated or out-of-touch it will be ignored.
Parting note: look to your network of sponsors, speakers, vendors and presenters – they too are invested in the success of your event. Provide your network the materials they need and guidance on how best to help promote your event.
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