Top 7 Event Marketing Ideas & Strategies
An event can’t sell itself, no matter how much you’ve prepared for it. Without a solid event marketing strategy, chances are your event will be drab or have a poor turnout.
Effective event marketing focuses on using different techniques across different marketing channels to promote your event to your target audience. It successfully drives business goals and builds strong connections with your customers and prospects. Case in point—52% of business owners agree this marketing channel brings the most ROI.
But how do you get started?
This article will discuss the key challenges event marketers face, things to consider when planning your event marketing, and the top seven event marketing ideas for promoting your next event.
5 Event marketing challenges to know
Event marketing is a powerful lead-generation strategy and helps create brand awareness, but it doesn’t come without its fair share of challenges.
- Insufficient budget for the event: Whether your marketing budget is small or grand, some unexpected expenses can arise during the planning process. But that doesn’t mean you can’t promote your event—you just have to be strategic when allocating your marketing spend.
- No brand loyalty: Marketing is one of the most effective ways to keep your event on top of attendees’ minds, but your target audience also wants consistency. If you only engage them when it’s time to market your services, there’s no real reason why they should be loyal to your brand.
- Not having a backup plan: Things can go awry at any time during the event. Let’s take the weather, for example. You can’t predict bad weather—it’s out of your hands. In this case, having an alternative plan, like a second venue or virtual hosting, is important.
- Low promotion for the event: Without applying the right marketing tactics, you’ll find it challenging to generate enough publicity for your event. You’ll be left with fewer attendees or attract the same number of attendees over and over (and over) again.
- Unpredictable number of attendees: (Correctly) estimating the number of people attending your event is critical for successful event planning. An in-person event can quickly become a nightmare if there aren’t enough seats or food to host the attendees.
5 Considerations for successful event marketing
Clearly, a lot goes into organizing an event, and the success of your event marketing efforts relies on carefully laid plans.
Here are five pointers to keep in mind when planning your next event:
1. Goals and budget
Kickstart things by setting the goals you want to achieve. This way, you won’t feel lost when planning and implementing your event, and it will be easy to determine whether your event was successful.
What do you plan to achieve with your event? Do you want 500 prospects for your new product after the launch event? Or do you want to change customer perceptions and strengthen business relationships with your partners?
Whatever your goals are, big or small, don’t overstep your marketing budget. Be creative, but stay within your set limits.
2. Content creation and management plan
Much information goes into promoting an event.
Why is this event important? Why should people attend? How will it bring value to the attendees?
Handling information properly requires a viable plan to create and manage the content. While you don’t have to make all event details available immediately, think of how you’ll release, update, and change information in the weeks and months leading to the event. You can add keynote speeches, videos, and testimonials from previous events to event schedules.
We also recommend providing sales training for your team. This will help them curate the right message that engages and arouses interest.
3. Event marketing timeline
Create a marketing timeline for all the action items needed to execute your event. This will also instill curiosity in your attendees as you release information at different times.
Estimate how long you’ll need for your action items, using past, similar events as your benchmark. For instance, marketing some events that require traveling may take three months to one year. Ensure your timeline includes how often you’ll market on your social media channels for balanced omnichannel marketing.
4. Target audience
As with any marketing plan, it’s imperative to have a clear idea of who you want to reach out to.
Look up a few segments of customers, prospects, or stakeholders that will benefit the most from your event. Develop a list of demographic data like age, education level, occupation, and income level. Be as specific as possible. Doing this will help you target and invest in the proper marketing channels.
5. Event promotion
One of the most essential things to consider when planning for your event is how to boost your event brand to lure attendees. Promotion is key to the success of any event. It helps engage your audiences and create brand awareness so you can effectively inform people about your upcoming event.
You can employ different communication strategies and marketing ideas to create promotions for your event. We’ll look at some of them in the next section.
7 Event marketing ideas and strategies to implement ASAP
Implementing the following event marketing ideas will take your event from drab to fab, ensuring next-level success:
1. Share your event with the local media
Going local with your event promotion remains an effective marketing strategy, especially in communities. It’s particularly effective if your event aims to build brand awareness and business relationships.
Issuing a press release in the local newspaper or media outlets sparks the attention of people who will help promote your event—influencers, brand ambassadors, and new supporters. It is also important to have your logo design embedded across media promotions. It can also amplify your reach in getting the word out to your target attendees.
To get started, visit your local radio station and figure out the best way to promote your event: paid advertising content, on-air interviews, or competitions that offer free ticket giveaways. You may also have the option of broadcasting live from the event itself. Another excellent tactic is to use business phone providers to effectively connect potential event attendants and promote your event.
Additionally, reach out to your local newspaper with a well-written piece on your upcoming event. If your budget allows, consider taking out a paid advertisement to get really noticed.
2. Get on socials
This is pretty obvious. We’re in the social media age, with over 3.8 billion people using social networks. So it only makes sense to promote across different social media platforms where your target audience spends their time.
There are different ways to promote your event using social media. You can make videos or reels to post on Instagram, create Facebook pages, have a dedicated hashtag for your messaging, and use distributed marketing to reach all platforms. You can also cross-promote with the event co-host and speakers to reach all touch points.
Social media also gives a variety of tools for marketing your event. It’s just like the ecommerce marketing strategy, where you can sell products directly with Facebook and Instagram and link to your website.
3. Create a high-converting landing page
A dedicated landing page is a simple but powerful strategy for marketing your event. It captures details of people interested in attending your event and can get you tons of registrations for your event if it’s well-optimized.
To create a high-converting landing page, be sure to include the following information:
- The host or speakers and why they matter
- What the event is all about
- Details such as date, time, location, agenda, and any other vital information
- A sign-up form and a solid call to action
4. Build up FOMO
People are usually interested in an event when they feel they’ll lose out on something valuable if they don’t attend. This is called the fear of missing out (FOMO). A simple “You Don’t Want To Miss This Event” on your social posts, and email subject lines can spark curiosity in your prospects.
Take advantage of FOMO and promote your event in the most desirable way possible. Use reliable event marketing technology to develop content like videos of past events, teasers, and trailers. Be creative with your social media marketing and show your prospective attendees what they’ll miss if they don’t show up. Build a great social media presence with a higher access for attracting more audience. For example, use Pinterest scheduler to attract more reach on Pinterest.
5. Encourage user-generated content
User-generated content is beneficial for marketing your event. It allows you to build social proof and reach more people organically. Using hashtags, for instance, can boost your event and make it discoverable to many people.
Follow these methods to get user-generated content:
- Create an event hashtag, and encourage your followers to use it
- Launch a competition e.g., free tickets for who gets the most likes or reposts about your event
- Encourage former attendees to repost and talk about the coming event on their social handles
6. Don’t forget email marketing
One of the most potent event marketing ideas is email marketing. It’s a popular event marketing strategy for people who regularly host events. Email marketing enables you to nurture your prospects right from registration and follow them up until the day of the event. For instance, you can use email automation to build an email campaign and send periodic emails to update your attendees on all information leading up to the event.
7. Consider virtual events
Virtual events, which became popular at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, have remained a viable option. Though in-person events add value in building relationships, virtual events have their benefits too. An example is the flexibility of time zones as you can connect remotely with literally anyone around the globe.
Even if you want your event to be the top in-person event on others’ lists to attend, consider going virtual for some events too. With event marketing technology, you can expand your audience reach to anyone with internet access rather than being restricted to only those who can attend physically. The key is to make it as engaging as a live event, like having a Q&A session with your audience, or sending out live surveys as you would at a live event.
How to measure your event marketing success
After an event, the next logical step is to analyze its performance.
How was the attendance? What do the attendees feel about the event? How effective was the event as far as reaching your goals? What was the revenue compared to the cost?
To evaluate the success of your event marketing idea, set some key performance indicators (KPIs) for the goals you intend to achieve. These KPIs are measurable data points you can collect from surveys before and after the event, social media engagement and website traffic, attendee feedback, registrations and check-ins, and analytics tools.
Also, write out the metrics to evaluate the event’s performance, such as the number of attendees, social media posts, networking activities, and customer satisfaction. With a net promoter score, for example, you can gauge attendee satisfaction easily. Thanks to event marketing technology, you can use data analytics trends to effectively measure the success of your event marketing efforts and identify areas for improvement for your next event.
Use InEvent to realize your event marketing ideas
Event marketing ideas and strategies are essential for planning any event, be it in-house or virtual. They help you generate the right buzz building up to the event and even after the event has ended.
With a reliable enterprise virtual and hybrid events software technology like InEvent, you can orchestrate your entire event portfolio on a single platform, engage with your audience wherever they are, and drive your event goals. It also gives you the data you need to prove the success of your marketing strategy.
Ready to plan your next event? Take time to implement our strategies using InEvent. Get things started by booking a meeting, and you’ll find yourself in a much stronger position to create the right hype and attract more people, ultimately leading to a successful event.