Event marketing is the phenomenon that creates value for everyone that is involved in the process of organising and hosting an event. It can help you reach a wider set of audience, generate leads faster, and improve attendee engagement. Therefore, event marketing is not just limited to event organisers but can cater exclusively to the attendees, spectators, and people watching the videos or listening to podcasts even after the event is over.
Having closely worked with event organisers for the last 5 years, we have designed a framework that works effectively for majority of the event organisers. Try it for yourself!
PCME Framework to Ace Event Marketing
1. PLAN IN ADVANCE
You know it is important for you to plan your event in advance. Similarly, it is important to plan your event marketing in advance to make the most of it. After all, living life as it comes and living it by the horns is good as long as you are not running your own event business. Because your event business is not only yours but multiple people depend on it. Therefore, the first step in event marketing is planning in advance.
Study the previous year stats and read about the top event industry trends that will guide 2019. These trends will help you identify the key areas that you should focus to promote your event. A good event marketing plan must have thorough research on your target audience, use behaviour pattern study, and how to reach your target with a uniform content. Think ahead and put everything on a calendar for better execution. A promotional calendar can track all the promotional communication.
While designing an event, you must set aside a specific budget that covers your marketing. You don’t have to burn a hole in the pocket while doing so. Act a little smart and keep the budget tight. Key points to consider – what and where is the venue? Are you paying for the tickets and accommodation of speakers? What is the PPC budget? What kind of payment gateway are you using? How much technology dependent is the event? etc
2. GET YOUR CONTENT RIGHT
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. That is true to ace event marketing as well. You must decide an event theme and every visual and written content should build around. To start with, invest in a good photographer– no, your phone camera will not work. A good photo helps to create the recall value. A signature picture of the event that accompanies all your marketing collateral can create good brand awareness.
Every event is unique with a different theme, a different list of speakers, a different venue. Create a website that has an on-point description of your event. Based on the type of your event you need to understand how best your content can reach your target audience. Next, align your website content to your attendees’ expectations.
For instance, if you are organising a conference, list down the speakers with a short bio. One of the reasons that people choose to attend an event like a conference is because of the speakers and how closely people connect with them. Therefore, a good speaker list can instantly boost up audience’s interest and sales. Keep your website simple and hyperlink it in all the promotional campaigns. Your potential attendees want to be routed to it without being lost.
Master the art of emailing
There is a reason some writers sell like hot cakes, while others fade away. Writing promotional emails is equivalent to serving what people want to read. You need to master this art, if you can’t, hire one who knows it. Use tools like MailChimp to get custom email bombarding. This method has worked not only for our organisers but also, according to DMA National client email report, 58% of revenues are generated from targeted emails only.
3. FOCUS ON MEDIA
3.1 AUDIO AND VIDEO MEDIA
Majority of our event organisers experienced that audio clips and video clips are very powerful with higher retention value. Therefore, think beyond just written content. Explore alternative media such as podcasts, and live videos.
How often do you listen to the radio while driving to work? The most likely answer would be always. Podcasts are pre-recorded audio messages that can be edited as and when required. This gives you the flexibility to add some extra information whenever you need or delete something out of it. The solution is entirely customisable. It is also cheaper than radio. However, radio is still the preferred option while creating a pre-event hype for your attendees and other potential stakeholders. The primary reason is that people connect to their local RJs and therefore higher chances of buying a ticket to your event.
Facebook live and youtube
Creating videos of the event during your event makes for a good marketing tactic. A 15 minutes live stream on Facebook can garner a lot of attention. People like to see what they are a part of and videos serve the purpose brilliantly. Live streams also lead to an increase in your subscribers and followers much faster. More subscribers mean more data and data means better revenues.
3.2 SOCIAL MEDIA
When we say social media, we want you to get addicted like to FB, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube like a student, but with business in mind. Social media has become an integral part of life, and the biggest medium to share instant information. These platforms are easily accessible and used by masses every second. Irrespective of the type of your content, use social media to spread information about your event far and wide. Our organisers have shared what has worked the best on social media for them.
The most effective way to increase your reach is by partnering with the right party that shares your interest. It could be your event planners, your event registration and ticketing partners (like Townscript), or a social media influencer. Partnering with your business partners will lead to co-marketing efforts as both the brands get traction.
Social Media Influencer
Social media influencers work differently. An influencer is someone who is an achiever in their field, and has the ability to promote a brand among their followers. Depending on the nature of your event, invite influencers from the domain and ask them to promote your event in their respective networks. 31% of the respondents agreed that social media influencers and celebrities they follow have influence over their purchase decisions. Share quick video interview with the influencer as a push notification to your attendees and go live on FB. Share a promotional code with the influencer and track the ROI.
Instagram and Twitter
Instagram offers an instant visual treat. Run multiple stories on your Instagram handle to keep your attendees posted on the progress of your event. It won’t cost you a fortune and also, anyone who is touch-phone friendly can do it. Equally, tweet about the event at every stage. A short and crisp tweet is read by millions in one go. This is extremely helpful in case you are targeting the decision makers. Insert a bitly link to your landing page and convert them into won customers. Alternatively, create a hashtag. This one word can do a lot to keep your social media followers engaged. Social media hashtags work like the domino effect. You start with one and leave the rest for your followers/ customers/ sponsors etc.
4. ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE
Events are going global and the industry trends predict that 2019 is going to be about engaging your attendees through event venue and experience.
Aesthetics of the venue
A large part of your event is about the venue where it is being held. People enter the venue with high hopes, make that first big impression. Throw as much information as you can about the venue, why did you choose it, what is the historical significance etc. Let people know that the venue is interactive. You, attendees, should be able to navigate from one place to another without any hassle. Make use of signboards wherever required. Be creative and share a sitemap, an image/ map would work best.
Easy registration process
A long queue at the registration desk hurts the most. Get rid of it. Make use of technology and try to get the registration done before the start day. Send crisp information on what should they expect on day 1. Give them an experience that lingers on for long.
Events constitute of upto 24% of the B2B marketing budget of an organization. The sure shot way to ace your event marketing is having your strategy in place and implementing it right. You should have all the dates chalked out. This includes what content will hit which market segment, on what date, and via what medium.
Use the PCME framework to define your event marketing strategy based on your event. Next, be consistent with your strategy and keep the information on point. Events are usually volatile in nature and you should be ready for last minute changes and ad-hoc marketing idea. Remember, most events are 2-3 days affair, but those days are the ones that you are judged by many. Make your attendees’ time and your efforts count. All the best!