Successful event marketing doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Lots of people and planning must be considered before, during and after an event. From its location to its messaging, you’ll have to bring together the best of your organization to drive real results. Here are some event marketing tips to consider when planning your next event:
1. Choose a Picture-worthy Venue
A lot goes into researching venues, and this can be the most stressful component if you’re on a tight budget. You’ll want to choose a space that people want to not only be in but take and share pictures of. Social Times reported that 8,796 photos are shared every second. Attendees will be more inclined to post event photos if they enjoy the event’s atmosphere. Be sure to encourage this: during the event post pictures of attendees and speakers to social channels like Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram.
2. Search for Ideas, Not Speakers
Before inviting speakers, do your research. TED Talks encourages that you look for ideas rather than speakers. The goal is to have the audience leave discussing its message with others, not about its messenger. Look for ideas that are relatable to your industry’s community, but aren’t cookie cutter versions of talks heard elsewhere. Build a list of potential speakers that present their field in a new light or perspective and are known to generate buzz.
3. Craft an Invite People Want to Open
People get loads of email invites and few of those are read entirely, if at all opened. The biggest hurdle is getting them past the subject line. MailChimp suggests to refrain from trying to sell what’s inside the email and instead tell what’s inside. Other factors from compelling design to clear and personable copy also help to drive attendance. Just don’t go overboard with creativity and forget to include components like the location, date, time and a clear call-to-action (RSVP) button.
4. Watch for the Devil in the Details
It’s the tiny details that can reap the big rewards. Details are important and shape the outcome of any event. When mistakes are made in the small details, you’ll find that it can render large-scale failures. For instance, speakers can run late and may result in some agenda shuffling. Stay composed. You’re going to need instant access to resources like slide decks and speaker profiles that can be edited on-the-fly.
5. Guide the Conversation
Any event is bound to have a conversation taking place in some online social sphere. From Twitter to Instagram and everything in between, people are going to be talking in real-time about your event. You can capitalize on the discussion by creating a clever, memorable event hashtag. Make sure the hashtag is prominent both before and during the event by placing it on printed handouts like agendas, flyers, and brochures along with banners, posters and on monitors between presentations.
Not only does this encourage discussion among the attendees, but the hashtag provides a window into the event for those curious but not in attendance. Plus, a hashtag adds the convenience of quickly consolidating the conversation and making it easier for your team to gather feedback and track engagement.
6. Customize Sponsorship Materials
Sponsors give and they expect to be accommodated with added benefits beyond event advertising. You can take it a step further by customizing their sponsorship packages with branded merchandising. Supply them with take-home items like a branded backpack filled with goodies and a printed, personalized thank you.
7. Emails Don’t End After the Invite
You can never under communicate event details. Remind attendees every week starting a month in advance and the day of the event.
After the event’s finished, send out a thank you with a recap and a survey to collect feedback. Recording and documenting what is discussed at an event is a great practice you should put in place. You can repurpose the content into videos, blog posts, eBooks and infographics for future posts.
8. Don’t Rely on RSVP Counts
Just because someone hits “Attend!” doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll show up. In contrast, there will be last minute and on-site sign-ups. Try to get an estimated final head count a week in advance, but leave room for a buffer. Preparation always goes to the last minute. When it comes to attendance uncertainties, with Mimeo you can order extra materials the day before for next day delivery straight to the venue door.
9. Forge New Partnerships
Partnering up for an event is a great way to get your product or service front and center. Partnerships not only grow the scope of your event but also plant the seed for deeply rooted relationships. EventBrite recommends that you think ahead to future partnerships by adding them to your guest list. If your event is executed with excellence, they’ll be more inclined to partner with you for the next one.
10. Plan Ahead
Whether the event is a year or a few months away, you have to think ahead. Use editorial and planning calendars to draft out a timeline. Assign team members to specific deadlines and hold meetings to check the status of assignments. At the end of the day, tying your event to a timeline will drive consistent results.
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