Event marketing can be a daunting task for those who aren’t experts, and to do it successfully is crucial for all parties involved. No matter the type of event, there are endless decisions to be made, whether the event is months away or about to begin. Consider these starting points when planning your next marketing event to ensure it is a huge success:
1. Budget Management
First and foremost, develop a budget and provide yourself with a financial “blueprint” for your upcoming event. Do your research to fully understand how many and what expenses and revenue opportunities will be included. From vendors and venues to permits to parking arrangements and security, it can be easy to overlook small details during the planning process. Having all of these things accounted for and in order ahead of time will ensure the event goes as smoothly as possible. Also consider which aspects of the event are a top priority and worth splurging on, and then which you don’t mind saving on. Always keep the goal of the event in the back of your mind when making these decisions. Are music and entertainment important to your audience? Do you want to provide a high-end, sit down meal? Also, ask your vendors if they have the option to submit payments in advance so you can avoid overwhelming bills when the event day arrives.
2. Consider Using Sponsors
To offset the total cost of the event, consider collaborating with other businesses that align with yours. Partnering up for these events is a great way to build relationships and ultimately get your services or product in front a different audience as well. Make sure potential relationships are a natural fit for your business and clientele and think ahead to future opportunities for yourself by utilizing the platform they provide. Also, consider utilizing sponsors’ social media accounts to promote the event to their audiences. Write up an agreement with your sponsors that requires them to share information about the event on their channels in hopes of reaching a new audience to increase attendance for your big day.
3. Market your event online before the big day
One detail that can largely impact the success of your event is marketing early and smartly. Get information out as early as possible online through both event pages and social media channels. Consider creating teasers before all of the details are ironed out to peak the interest of your fans, and leave them hooked, waiting for more information. Once venue and sponsorships are established, create an online registration page to help inform and attract attendees. Push this page out on social media to reach a broader audience, through both your pages and those of your sponsorships and fans. Start the conversation yourself to get people talking about the parts of your event that you want to highlight. Create collateral that is eye-catching and encourage attendees to share it on their personal accounts. After all, the broader the audience you can reach, the better the chances your event will fill up.
4. Engage and interact with your audience in real time
Making your event enjoyable for your guests is the first step to increasing engagement. If you are upbeat and provide interesting insights, they are more likely to respond positively and interact as well. By guiding the conversation yourself, you have a handle on the tone and the information being spread amongst attendees. Again, utilize social media by responding to comments, gathering suggestions and making your audience feel involved in real time. In this day and age, everyone is online and likely will be online during your event. To capitalize on this, pose questions and surveys during the event to keep your guests engaged and interactive. Create a unique hashtag to encourage guests to interact with you, with the added benefit of being able to easily track what they are saying about your event.
5. Give your audience something to take with them
Promotional Products and Branded merchandising is precisely what you want your attendees to take with them to remember you by. Be smart about what you send them, though, as you want it to be something useful, so they actually keep and utilize it. These promotional items bearing your name serve as an excellent tool for
building brand awareness after the event is over. Printed collateral, such as brochures, booklets, and flyers allow you to tell the story of your brand in a more compelling and memorable way than email alone.
6. Post Event Follow-Up
Once the big event has come and gone (too quickly, surely!) be sure to thank your guests and sponsors for participating and interacting with you. Take to the internet, issue a formal thank you via email and send out a survey along with it to gather input and valuable feedback. Ask your guests a series of questions that can help you learn what went well and what could be improved for next time. After all, the most valuable information comes from those who were involved and unbiased. Ask them to discuss specific details they found to be positive, and suggestions for how to improve on other things they saw as not so great. This is especially important for an event you want to make recurring, as this audience will likely be the starting point for your next rendition!
Most importantly: have fun with your event! Once the hard work is put in, the big day is very exciting and will feel like it happens too quickly. To ease the difficulty of planning a bit, start with these tips to make your day the best it can be.
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