When it comes to running an event, be it a charity ball or a product launch party, you might be under the illusion that your event will sell itself.
In reality, while it would be great, that is just not going to happen. Planning your event is one thing. Marketing and Promoting it is another. It’s a project all of its own to get those bums on seats.
Our lives are getting busier and busier. We are working longer hours, our minds are congested with more technology feeds than there are hours in the day and getting around to doing things doesn’t just happen. And that’s why sometimes a Wednesday night in front of The Bachelorette is more appealing than your event – however spectacular you wish it’s going to be.
Generally speaking, inviting people to your event simply isn’t enough. Even if people RSVP that they’re coming – or buy tickets directly – you’re always going to have some last-minute drop-outs. It’s the story of an event planner’s life.
Strategically, the touch points you need to hone in on, are getting people to hear about your event, generating a desire to attend, and then guaranteeing attendance.
It is similar to a customer’s buying journey. You need someone to believe that exchanging an evening or day of their time to attend your event is worth it.
The rise of social media and digital content has widened the scope of event marketing. There’s a much larger arena in which to compete nowadays and so many more opportunities to engage with your audience.
So let’s look at what we need to consider when marketing your event, and the tools you can use to generate a buzz:
What experience are you providing?
Consider the type of ‘content’ your event will involve and use this in your marketing efforts. If you are running a fitness event, consider posting teaser workouts and fitness motivational posts, or striking up partnerships or endorsements from health brands to entice your audience.
Communicate the experience that the event will provide and show evidence of this in the lead-up.
Some event campaigns may benefit from a microsite or splash page. You can use this space to data farm, to monitor interest and to post important information that will improve your service journey.
Utilise and grow your database by sending updates by email and create follow-up content to keep people engaged post-event.
Where are your audience?
Your marketing efforts are worthless if your target audience cannot see them.
If you’re focusing on the younger market, think social media, viral video content and explore ‘it’ channels like Snapchat and Instagram.
Social media is the new age word-of-mouth, and starting conversations with your target market directly can begin to generate the exposure your event needs.
For example, if you’re running a business networking event or seminar series, take advantage of networks where your target market ‘hang out,’ like Business Business Business.
Hearing about an event from somewhere they know and trust can be the difference between clicking ‘attend’ or opting for a night on the couch.
Who do you want there?
Take time to think about who your target guest would be, or the type of person your audience could relate to.
Influencer marketing is emerging as one of the newest and most effective ways to generate widespread awareness and interest around events and products.
Thinking back to the fitness event example, commissioning fitness influencers like bloggers, vloggers and social media personalities can be incredibly worthwhile. Making a name for your event by utilising the loyal networks held by influencers can be more achievable than you think.
If you plan events regularly, monitor your campaigns and learn from what works and what does not. It can help you develop a model for future events and save time.
Most importantly, do not neglect your event marketing. Ensure you have enough time in the lead up to the event to focus fully on your promotional tools, to avoid wasted opportunities.
[ctt template=”10″ link=”40uO1″ via=”yes” ]You have built it; it is now time to get them to come.[/ctt]