The Complete Guide to Event Marketing for 2022January 31 | 12 min read
Event Marketing is a multilayered process that takes into account the needs, wants, and desires of your target audience. There are seemingly endless ways to promote an event, and it can take many forms depending on what role it plays for your business and organization. The most important thing we know? Promotion is key! With thousands of possibilities to promote events online through technology-driven tools like social media marketing or content creation, this task has never been easier – so don’t be discouraged by how daunting all these options might seem at first glance! This guide will help walk you step by step through everything from developing a winning strategy to implementing tactics at scale across multiple events during various stages… with ease (and without breaking any budgets!)
If you want to make your event stand out among the crowd, this guide reveals our top tips & event marketing best practices.
What is Event Marketing Anyway?
Event marketing is a broad term, but one that can be broken down into two main categories: promotional plans for specific events and strategic use of an event to market effectively. For those who plan calendars of events that support their overall event marketing strategies, there should be more nuances involved in the planning process because it’s not just about making an effective plan for promoting an event with little effort on your part. It takes work, but it pays off big time! Events are a great way to market your business and products because they work.
Having an Event Marketing Plan can help your business in several ways:
– Build brand awareness
– Increase engagement with customers
– Generate more leads
– Educate customers and turn prospects into customers
– Upsell customers to new services
It can take weeks of planning to work out the right combination of marketing activities and channels matched to the right audience delivered at the right time with a message that resonates. You can reduce the stress of last-minute execution & scrambling to capitalize on key moments in the calendar if you use effective event management marketing planning.
Everytale offers digital event marketing services for your virtual events so talk to our team to find out more about how you can create, host, manage, promote and monetize your events with Everytale.
The Making of an Event: Offline vs Online?
Offline events are a great way to interact with the people in your local area. You can get new leads, connect more deeply with current customers, and even impact local public policy issues by attending events that are focused locally. However, it does come at a cost – you’ll need to spend time traveling back and forth between locations and will have to set aside higher budgets for event planning and marketing. Traditional on-ground marketing like billboards and other out-of-home media can be expensive and require considerable effort to execute. They are also not versatile and almost always cost too much to change if you want to experiment with different creatives. You probably also need to hire volunteers to help with all the logistics of an offline event and its accompanying marketing.
Online virtual events, on the other hand, allow you to implement marketing ideas for events in the most creative and cost-effective manner. No travel required! You can stay home and access all marketing campaigns on your phone. All of your promotional materials will be available digitally, which means less clutter around your office or warehouse space and lower costs overall because the printing of collaterals isn’t necessary.
With bigger advances in live streaming technology, creating and hosting online virtual events has become increasingly popular and is undoubtedly here to stay. Plus being able to promote events online gives you the ability to reach a broader audience much quicker. Digital marketing for events is pretty much the best way forward, even if your event is offline. And of course, there is no denying the benefits of having an online component to all your offline events. More reach and efficient use of budgets!
Defining Your Audience to Create a Marketable Event
The best ideas for event-based marketing and campaigns are tailored to a specific audience. To get the most out of your event advertising, you need to know who they are (their demographics), what they’re looking for, where they spend their time online (which sites and their online behavior), how much information they share online, and so on. Knowing these details will help you tailor a compelling message that speaks directly to them – this is essential to getting more conversions!
Defining your audience will help you create a targeted audience to help make your event more marketable and not waste your time, energy, and of course, lots of money!
There are different types of event marketing plans, each with a specific need. Different events call for an appropriate strategy to ensure success and the achievement of objectives. Finding the best possible event marketing plan for your specific event can be daunting. It is crucial to figure out what type of event you are hosting to figure out which plans will work best for them, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Planning and Executing Successful Event Marketing Campaigns
Wondering how to market an event? The first key to successful event marketing is a clear, well-thought-out plan. Your events need to have a strategy that’s separate from the larger business efforts. You can cross-promote and create excellent branding on social media sites with dedicated posts about upcoming events or general announcements of plans. After planning out your event, you now need to effectively execute the plan. Here are some tips on executing a successful event marketing and coming up with the best event marketing ideas:
Set realistic goals
Specific, measurable goals instead of vague ones like “bring in more leads” will help you get more out of your event marketing. Goals are important when it comes to measuring your progress in a quantifiable targeted manner.
Plan out your tasks
To make it less stressful, divide your tasks into smaller pieces to complete one at a time. Create an outline of what needs to be done and how you want to do it.
Define your deadlines
Setting deadlines is a critical aspect of any project. They not only help you, but your team has a clear idea of what to do and by when. It helps to prioritize tasks and ensures timely completion of each element of your plan so that nothing falls through the cracks. Make sure your deadlines are absolutely clear so there’s no ambiguity about the roadmap you’ve set for success.
Set aside a budget for your event
When choosing a budget for your event, be sure to consider all cost overheads. Your spends should stay within the allotted budget. Keep regular track of your expenses on an ongoing basis so that there are no surprises when it comes time to pay!
Research and find the best virtual event platform.
The best way to ensure a successful virtual event is by finding the right platform to host your event. Do your research and assess the platforms on parameters that make sense for your specific event types and related requirements.
Try Everytale for end-to-end planning, marketing, and execution of your net virtual event.
Use proper tools for planning.
Planning tools can help you eliminate stress and confusion with an organized to-do list. Some of the more popular planning tools are Trello and ProofHub. You can also use social media management (Hootsuite and Falcon.io) and email marketing automation tools (Mailchimp) which help with scheduling, content creation and reporting on your communication campaigns.
Set up communication tools to coordinate with your team
It’s essential to set up a communication tool, such as Asana or Slack, with your team to keep everyone on the same page. It helps to have more precise and better conversations about what needs to be done, scheduling within larger teams, and course correction when things go wrong.
What is the Event Marketing Process?
Events are expensive because marketing the events are one of the most significant costs incurring factors. So we suggest you always start with budgets! Your budget has a lot of influence in this process, so know how much money you have before starting an event strategy! In parallel, identify what you hope the event will achieve and then decide on your goals for promotion based on those larger event goals.
A major part of the event marketing process involves getting 5 Rs of marketing in place at the very start. Map out a plan that targets the Right Person (the target audience) with the Right Message (bespoke benefits) in the Right Format (blog, video, funny image, etc.) at the Right Time and Place (platforms, time of day, big moments, etc). It might not sound very easy at first, but with proper planning, all these parts can come together in seamless execution to draw the highest converting attendees to your event.
Event Marketing Planning
The first step in your event planning is understanding the purpose of your event. From there, you can focus on details such as theme and color scheme by choosing a name for it all that will serve to promote the best. This breakdown should be enough to guide you through any potential marketing plan issues so they won’t come up later down the road or cause embarrassment at its start!
Determine Your Event Basics
– What is Your Event Name and Tagline?
– Is the Event In-Person or Online?
– What is the Purpose of the Event?
– What is the “Theme” of the Event?
– What is Your Color Scheme?
Map Out a Killer Promotion Plan!
Every event deserves a killer promotion plan, but it can be challenging knowing where to begin. The best marketing plan for an event begins when you are planning the event itself. Your marketing strategy should kick off with the start of your event planning process – after all, no one will know about or come to your next big event without an effective promotional campaign in place.
Event Marketing Ideas and Best Practices for a Successful Event
Having some great marketing ideas for events is vital! Here are some event marketing ideas and best practices:
1) Create a registration page that grabs attention!
An attention-grabbing registration page is a crucial component to promote your event. Share tips with best-case examples of the events industry and determine which essential details you should include on your event page to make it a one-stop-shop for information and attendee actions. Whether it’s the time or date of the event, along with a schedule that includes speaker bios, sponsor information, among other things like payment options – these are all musts.
It is also essential to have a clearly visible signup or registration link that people don’t have a tough time searching for. Make it easy for someone to sign up. A confused mind says “NO,” so making it as seamless as possible for people to sign up is vital! You certainly don’t want to distract someone from signing up because they can’t find where to sign up.
Make sure to request email and mobile phone numbers on your registration page to use in future marketing campaigns. Having a secure payment option is also very important. You want to assure your visitors and potential buyers that their information is safe.
Another helpful hint for your registration page is to offer people a peek at what they can expect before, during, and after the event, so they feel like they are a part of the whole process. Making people feel like they are a part of the process makes them feel like they are a part of the journey.
2) Use the right keywords to boost search potential
Researching and finding the most valuable keywords to optimize your search results is vitally important. You can also choose to use your keyword list to promote your event using paid search ads, such as Google Ads for faster results. Using paid ads can be a bit pricey, so make sure to budget for this if you choose to leverage the power of paid ads.
3) Make a video blog or Vlog for a “Sneak Peek”
Creating a promotional video about your upcoming event or a Vlog, with several videos centered around your event, will give your audience insight on what to expect. Make your promotion upbeat and exciting, and you will have them wanting to attend your event! An excellent promotional video (or videos) can make or break your attendance. Showing your audience that it will be fun and exciting will create a buzz, and your content has a good chance of going viral.
4) Take Advantage of Email and SMS Marketing –
Email and SMS marketing are both valuable tools to communicate with your audience. For the best results, use email marketing and SMS to send reminders, surveys, and future event invites. People are most likely to check their email or texts regularly.
According to Campaign Monitor research, SMS open rates can be as high as 98%, compared to 20% for email. On average, it takes only 90 seconds for someone to view their texts and takes an average of 90 minutes to respond to an email. Using both SMS and email simultaneously can be very effective.
Don’t worry if you feel you will annoy people by sending emails or SMS messages; make sure to offer an option for them to opt out, so they have a choice.
Ideas for a timeline for sending emails and SMS messages:
– Send a reminder one week before the event.
– Send reminders as the event gets closer without being too pesky!
– Suggestions might be: four days before, two days prior, and the day before the event
– A reminder day of the event is also a great idea!
– Send a gentle reminder at the start of the event reminder that you are starting on time (so people aren’t “fashionably” late, which could cause a distraction)
And don’t forget the follow-up!
Post-Event Email and SMS Engagement Ideas:
– Send a sincere “thank you for attending” message right after the event is over.
– Send a post-event survey, asking for suggestions and opinions. Knowing what your attendees liked and disliked will only give you the data you need to make your next event even more successful!
– Ask attendees for reviews and testimonies to post on future registration pages and other online content. Also, ask for video testimonials; people love watching video testimonies; they work wonders!
– If your next event is already planned, offer a discount on the next one.
Appropriately timed updates can make or break the impact of your event. Sending reminders and updates before, during, and after the event can boost your attendance by staying top of mind.
Having an email list is golden. Nurture your attendees with regular emails and SMS for market research, new blog posts, surveys, lead nurturing, new products or service updates, and more to help keep them up to date on your company. Keeping your audience engaged and retaining them shows them that your company is doing well and helps to keep you “top of mind”. You certainly don’t want your attendees to drop off after the event and wonder what happened to your company. You want to keep up retention by effectively managing your existing “golden” list! This will help you cut way down on your budget for the next event.
5) Create a Press Release or other PR Strategies
A press release can help you reach out to new prospects with an informative yet personal tone of voice, creating the perfect atmosphere in which they are more likely to engage with you.
Planning out PR Strategies includes:
– Getting information about news events that happen.
– Putting together materials for potential journalists like press releases and pitches.
– Arranging interviews with reporters from newspapers/TV stations on behalf of clients and providing them content by writing articles themselves, among other things.
– PR also works as the best Social Proof.
Using PR strategies is an opportunity where creative minds come into play – making sure everything looks and sounds good, so gain more exposure.
6) Be Consistent with your Promotions
It’s important to be consistent with your promotions so that you can get the most out of them. It would help if you had a regular schedule for when and where they’re posted, which days promos are offered on, how often posts go up during each week (or month), etc. Also, make sure not to overwhelm people by doing too many at once as well!
Inconsistency and creative fatigue are some of the common mistakes people make when it comes to marketing, and you should avoid this at all costs if you’re looking for a successful campaign. Keep up communication but switch up creatives and try different messages or approaches to engage more customers for an extended period.
7) Ticket Discount Offers
Offer time-sensitive discount ticket prices to give a sense of urgency. Create “tiered” packages that help boost your sales early, such as Early Bird Discount, Return Guest Discounts, and VIP Discounts. The sky’s the limit on how creative you can get on creating deals for your events. People love feeling like they got the best deal, so giving them a discount can help boost your sales early so you can estimate how many attendees you might have.
Here is one idea for returning Guests: If you send your returning audience early ticketing deals, they will appreciate you taking the time to offer them an “exclusive deal”. When sending out your messages, remind them of what a blast everyone had last time to show them why they should attend this event again and remind them to spread the word!
8) Create an Affiliate Marketing Plan
Offer a small percentage of the cost as an incentive to invite people from their sphere of influence to buy from their exclusive link. Giving people a few bucks to advertize your event for you will come out cheaper than traditional marketing in most cases.
9) Use Contests and Gamification
Who doesn’t like contests and games? Everyone loves to win! If you really want to get people excited and add a bit of mystery, have a contest or create a game.
Contests and gamification are two ways to make your business more competitive. They’re also a great way for you to use the power of social media marketing! Contests, especially those with cash prizes or other valuable items on the line, will help encourage users into doing what they should be doing: using their product.
Some ideas would be to offer a percentage off of the ticket price, offer a free ticket, buy one get one free, special packages, and much more. Use your imagination to get people excited about playing your game or entering your contest. Make the prize attractive and gain more followers and signups!
10) Offer a “Buy-in” as a part of your Promotional Strategy
Small events can be challenging to promote because they are often targeted towards decision-makers and C-level people. These personas require a personal touch, so their time is best spent making your sales team feel committed to the event’s success. The buy-in of these teams will make or break how well you fill up seats for the conference room.
11) Partner up with a Co-Host
Virtual events can be a great way to get in front of an audience, but often partners are left out. You’re doing yourself a favor by partnering up with a Co-Host!
1. You share the responsibility for generating attendees and can double your audience.
2. Your partner acts like someone who offers more value to this new audience you’ve attracted; they can offer their expertise that we don’t have on our own, which is better for everyone involved.
3. It costs less when both parties split the cost instead of just one person paying all at once – meaning there’s no need to worry about having enough money upfront or how much time will be needed from either party if only one pays upfront.
Leveraging co-branded opportunities is another great way to market your event. Partnering with another brand will help reach an even wider audience and provide more exposure for both parties involved!
12) Ask Your Speakers to Self-Promote
You may want your speakers to announce themselves with some self-promotion, so they can share their personal stories and what makes them unique and update attendees on any recent successes or projects that are of interest. Speakers can promote themselves both on your platform and their audience telling them they will be speaking at your event. Free advertising!
13) Leverage the Power of Social Media Platforms
Boost registration in ways you might not have thought about:
– Post often about your event on your timeline.
– Boost your posts or use paid ads for more engagement
– Schedule an event on Facebook.
– Create and grow a group on Facebook and Linkedin (don’t underestimate the tremendous power of groups!)
– Use re-targeting or re-marketing to your advantage.
– Reach out to influencers in your niche to help you spread the word.
– Use hashtags when posting about your event. It helps your marketing plan for the event.
– Encourage your followers to share your event; you can even use gamification to offer incentives.
– Use chatbots and other automation tools to help automate the process for you. Chatbots are a whole new world!
One size does not fit all! Utilize other platforms as you see fit. Many other platforms have millions of users, such as Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, etc.
Note to Self: “Don’t forget to follow up After the Event!”
Following up after an event shows professionalism and that you care. Here are some ideas for follow up:
Use your Social Media accounts to your advantage after the event! Post pictures, videos, testimonials, and other media to show highlights and how much fun your attendees had so you can engage your audience and make them not want to miss the next one! Although they will get lost in your news feed, you can still use them before the next event to entice people.
14) Ask sponsors and partners to help spread the word
If you have sponsors and partners for your event, asking them to help spread the word gives you a whole other audience that can help spread awareness and boost your registrations. For example: Let’s say you had five sponsors or partners, and they each had an audience of 100. That is an extra 500 potential attendees, followers, and hopefully clients that are an easy warm target audience for you!
15) Use the power of Content Marketing to your advantage
Content marketing is a way to make people want your product and event advertising, even if it’s something that everyone has. If you can answer any questions they have and provide them with educational material or entertainment for free, then the chances are good that they’ll buy what you’re selling in the future! This helps businesses stand out from other companies who sell similar products by using marketing and events. Using SEO tactics and choosing the right keywords for your marketing is also an essential part.
Some great examples of content marketing would be; Blogging, Articles, Press Releases, Listicles, Ebooks, Infographics, Video, How-to Guides, VLOGS, Case Studies, and more…
Bottom line; the internet is a vast sea of information, so content marketing can help you get your piece of the internet pie! Content Marketing is like a game, the one with the most content wins!
Having different marketing ideas for events helps you to touch people in different areas as you never know where your next customer will come from! Using more marketing tactics will only help your event be more successful.
Determine your KPIs for Measuring your Marketing Strategy’s Success
Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs for short, are metrics used to measure the success of specific actions. This section will look at what is arguably one of the most useful when measuring an event’s effectiveness. This information will help you decide which areas need improvement and provide insight into why they may have failed so far.
Here are some KPIs that you can use to measure the success of your event:
1. Total number of registrations and attendees
The total number of registrations will always be the best metric to start your analysis for any event. It can give you an idea about how many people are participating in a conference. How many people registered, and how many showed up?
2. Attendee engagement
You want your attendees to be the most interested and engaging event participants you ever had! Your goal is not just a high registration rate but also a memorable experience for your attendees. Take proper measures beforehand so you can maximize engagement with those in attendance! No one wants to go to a boring event, so make it memorable.
3. Retention of attendees
The more people stay online at your event, the better chance you have of success. Audience retention is one major virtual event KPI that measures how well an organization’s events are going and can be used to gauge whether an individual has succeeded or not.
4. Social Media engagement
Social Media Metrics are the key to measuring success in virtual events and your brand as a whole. You can easily monitor analytics and measure activities by promoting your event on social media channels, so keep an eye out for what posts work best and promote them more often to maintain a good level of engagement with audiences, even post events.
5. Speaker engagement
Whether your event is in-person or virtual, you can easily see how attendees are engaging with individual speakers. This is another KPI that provides essential and quantifiable metrics for determining the audience’s reaction to each speaker in general.
6. Sponsorship page engagement
Engagement with sponsorship pages on your event website or on your app, such as page views, likes, and other interactions, can help track how relevant sponsors were to attendees. Use this data to prove ROI (return of investment) to sponsors and provide a better experience for fans at the same time.
7. Lead generation and pipeline growth
Besides revenue earned, building your database or pipeline is an important goal to achieve. It is also essential to have accurate data about the number of leads generated and sales value from those leads linked up with them so you can gauge their effectiveness as an investment into your business’s future.
8. Cost per customer acquisition
The cost per customer acquisition is an essential factor to know because not only does it help to measure the event’s success, but it also helps in measuring the acquisition costs for a company. Knowing your cost per customer can be helpful when marketing, and especially if you’re hosting an event specifically for that reason.
9. Your bottom line – Revenue Earned!
The more you know about your event’s return on investment (ROI), the better off it is. To measure ROI, understanding how much revenue was made by an event and what those funds were used for are crucial pieces of information that should never be forgotten or overlooked.
The most important thing to remember is that different kinds of events require different metrics. Still, it’s always better to use all available information and provide a complete report with data that gives you an accurate representation of your event. Measuring the data and analytics gathered by creating surveys are great tools to measure the effectiveness of your events and let you know what needs to be modified for future events. There are many different types of KPIs that you might use, depending on the type of event or business. But it’s best to be creative and not choose between one metric over another – learn how they all work together for an exhaustive report that will give you more insight into your events!
Wrapping it Up: Event Marketing Plan and Your Next Move
Hopefully, this guide has given you insight into your next moves on promoting an event online and even offline without a hitch. With all signs pointing to digital event marketing maintaining its status as an important marketing channel for businesses in 2022 and beyond, business leaders finally have a technology that allows them to prove their events are worth investing in. And there’s no better time than now if your company wants to secure ROI on every dollar they spend!