You’ve chosen your theme, planned the programme for the day, booked your venue now it’s time for the easy part – getting people to your event. Gulp!
Event marketing can be a little daunting as there are so many things to consider but fear not, read on for some of my tactics and top tips for a successful event marketing campaign.
A creative design for all the communications flyers etc for your event can really help you stand out. After all there are a lot of competition when it comes to events these days, not super creative? Canva is a free design tool which can help you design all sizes of promotional material.
Dedicated Event Webpage
Before clicking the ‘buy tickets’ button most people like to take a look at the event in more detail, who’s speaking, the timetable and where they can stay nearby. Having all this information in one place will help your conversion figures, especially if people can buy tickets directly through your site (the less clicks the better).
If its a large event you may want to create a whole site, plus if you run the same event again you can just re-purpose the site. Alternatively you can an event discovery platform like Eventbrite or Billetto, you’ll be able to out all the event info on the page and potential customers will be able to find your event using their event browsing features.
Bagged an amazing keynote speaker? Got some great seminars or pop ups stands at your event? A press release is a great way to shout all about it.
A good press release has a great headline, is just a few paragraphs long (about 300 to 400 words) and is very concise. So you’ll just want to include details of the event and a call to action, so visiting your website or calling you to buy tickets.
When you are happy with you release send it over to your target press contacts, with a brief overview in the body of the email along with 1 or 2 relevant images they can use if they decide to run your story.
When sending over press releases copy and paste them in to the body of the email, busy journalists are unlikely to open an attachment,
Social media is a brilliant way to spread the word about your event, its cost effective and you can appeal to different demographics depending on which platform you use.
Creating a hashtag for your event is a great way to create engagement throughout the whole campaign as not only can you use it for your promo posts but your attendees can also use it to shout about the event to. Before you settle on a hashtag do some research to ensure that its not being used by anyone else.
On the run up to an event running a giveaway is a great way to create a buzz. You can run the competition yourself via or partner with a local magazines or newspaper. Most publications add these competitions to their website so you can leverage their visitor count and database.
If you have keynote speakers at your event get them to promote the event via their social media channels and their database, it might help you reach a demographic you hadn’t considered beforehand.
Does your keynote speaker have a podcast? Perhaps they can give your event some coverage on there to.
Advertising doesn’t have to be expensive there are many cost effective ways of advertising your event…
- PPC (Pay Per Click) with PPC you can set a budget, geographical location and also keywords to target. For an event I would say PPC works best if you have a dedicated event website but you can also link the ads to the ticket purchase page to.
- Leaflet drops can be seen as a little ‘old school’ but they are a cost effective way of mass marketing. Once you have a stand out flyer design you work with your distribution house to reach your target market. (e.g families, affluent consumers etc)
- Local press and radio can be surprisingly inexpensive ways to advertise and depending on the type of event will sometimes give coverage for free or include an editorial piece in with their advertising costs. Depending on the type of event you are running you could also consider inviting local journalists to attend in return for a review in the local paper.
- Promoted social posts can help you reach a wider online audience, you don’t have to have a large budget and if you want to keep it simple you can just promote tweets you have already created as part of your campaign.
With most email distribution channels its easy to create a beautifully designed email to support your event marketing campaign. Don’t send too many on the run up to the event as you don’t want to annoy your potential event goers but sending an update of new speakers you have booked or showcasing the pop-ups that will be there is a great way to build momentum.
In most cases you can also set your email platform to send automated ‘thanks for your purchase’ emails which gives a professional feel and takes something off your list of things to do. hurrah!
Haven’t got any data? Not to worry in most cases email platforms have a list builder feature which encourages website visitors to subscribe to your mailing list. Check out Mail Chimp for some great examples.
At the Event
Working with Influencers is a great way to boost your marketing and build your brand. In terms of events its a great way to showcase your event from the perspective of an attendee.
You could get them to do a takeover of one of your social media channels, post content from their channels tagging your accounts or even publish an event review blog post or vlog. If you work with the influencers pre-event to it could help boost attendance
The task of keeping attendees engaged doesn’t stop when the event starts in addition to the great seminars, speakers, acts you have planned there are also a few extra things you can do to keep the excitement levels high.
- Use social media throughout the day (don’t forget that event hashtag) RT attendees comments, replying where needed and using posts to remind people of what is going on (to save you time you could schedule these using Hootsuite). You could also go live at key points throughout the day.
- Polls are a great way to keep event audiences engaged. Sli.do is a great option for this as they have lots of pricing levels. You can also use this tool to get the crowd to send in their questions for keynote Q&A’s.
The event may be over but how do you know it was a success? Surveys are a great tool to measure the overall success of your event. Whilst ticket sales are a strong indication, if attendees didn’t enjoy the event as a whole its unlikely they will book again in the future.
Use the survey to see how you compared against the KPI’s you set for the event and gain valuable feedback on everything from the speakers to the venue.
Survey Monkey is a great tool for this as its easy to use, there are different price plans and you can customise the survey to match your brand.