Hitting your in-person attendance goals has never been easy. Still, the current economic environment makes it even more critical that your marketing and promotion machine is firing on all cylinders.
Today, the bar is even a little higher. With travel costs rising and travel budgets shrinking, delivering clear, compelling value to your attendees and the organisation sending them is extremely important.
Following some best practices can sharpen your event strategies and ensure your event is successful and well-attended. In this post, we’ll offer some event marketing examples to help you hit your registration goals.
What is Event Marketing?
Event marketing is a promotional strategy involving events, such as trade shows, conferences, product launches, and other gatherings, to promote a product, service, or brand.
Businesses and organisations often use event marketing to connect with potential customers, generate leads, increase brand awareness, and build relationships with existing customers. By hosting or sponsoring an event, businesses can showcase their products or services, educate attendees, and engage with potential customers in a more personalised way.
Event marketing can take many forms, including product demonstrations, interactive exhibits, sponsorships, contests, giveaways, and networking events. Event marketing aims to create a positive and memorable experience for attendees that will leave a lasting impression and drive them to take action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a service, or recommending the brand to others.
The Benefits of Event Marketing
Driving registrations in a tough economy is clearly a challenge. Event marketing offers a range of benefits for businesses and organisations to increase registrations and return ROI.
Here are some of the key benefits of event marketing:
- Increased brand awareness: Events allow you to showcase your brand, products, or services to a large audience. By creating a memorable experience, you can increase awareness of your brand and generate positive word-of-mouth.
- Lead generation: Events effectively generate leads and build relationships with potential customers. Attendees can provide their contact information and engage with your brand, making it easier to follow up and convert them into customers.
- Personalised engagement: Events allow for personalised engagement with attendees, creating a more meaningful and lasting impression. This can help build trust and loyalty with customers.
- Networking opportunities: Events provide an opportunity to connect with industry leaders, potential partners, and other professionals in your field. This can lead to new business opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations.
- Data collection: Events can provide valuable data on customer preferences, interests, and behaviours. This data can improve future marketing efforts and develop targeted campaigns.
- Increased sales: Event marketing can increase sales by generating interest in your products or services and driving attendees to purchase.
Overall, event marketing can be a highly effective way to build brand awareness, generate leads, and drive sales. Creating a memorable experience for attendees can build long-lasting customer relationships, drive business growth, and further engagement beyond the event end date.
Start Your event marketing early
For starters, consider starting your promotional calendar earlier than in prior years. The multi-channel mix you’ve used in the past can still be effective, especially if you give it more time to “work.”
The advanced notice provides attendees ample time to make their business case to supervisors and colleagues, secure approvals, and plan their attendance. It may also help them secure more cost-effective travel arrangements.
Ensure you have all the logistical details worked out early, such as venue, date, and time, and even high-value speakers to communicate this information to attendees as soon as possible.
After three years of (mostly) communicating through screens, it’s unsurprising that networking is high on the list of most prospective attendees when it comes to in-person events—even more than access to content. There is no substitute for the face-to-face and experiential elements of in-person events.
Promotional messaging that emphasises the opportunities for face-to-face networking, best practice sharing, hands-on training, and the unique appeal of the destination and venue can be effective.
Master the basics
Next, don’t forget to nail the basics. This includes having an appealing event website that is easy to navigate and provides all the information your attendees need. It's also important to have personalised registration paths that make it easy for each attendee type to understand the unique value the event will deliver.
One thing to remember—the core of any strong event marketing strategy is event email marketing. Its cost-effectiveness and ability to hit the right people at the right time is unrivalled by any other event marketing tactic.
A consistent, well-planned e-marketing campaign can help you nurture prospective attendees who have not yet registered (including abandoned registrations) and keep those who have registered engaged and excited about your event.
Team up for registration goals
“All Hands On-Deck” has never been more appropriate for event promotion. Audience generation for your event can and should be a team sport; it’s not all up to you and the marketing team. If your organisation has a sales team, they can be an invaluable asset in promoting your event and driving registrations.
They already have relationships with potential attendees and can use these relationships to encourage attendance. In addition, they are likely eager to connect with their customers after a long period of pandemic-related disruptions.
Use video to create buzz. In the past several years, video has become an increasingly popular way to promote events and generate excitement. Consider creating short videos that showcase your event venue, highlight the keynote speakers or other featured guests, and provide a glimpse into what attendees can expect from the event.
You don’t need a crew--you can create these videos on your iPhone and share them on social media, your event website, or in promotional emails. Increasingly, organisations are “opening up” their event weeks before it starts, featuring these videos to create pre-event buzz and maximise in-person attendance.
Promoting an in-person event in the current environment requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. By clarifying the value proposition for attendees, starting promotion early, nailing the basics of event website and registration, emphasizing the importance of face-to-face networking, leveraging sales teams, and using video to create buzz, you can ensure that your event is well-attended and a success.
Event marketing examples
There are many tactics you can utilise to drive registrations for your events. Take advantage of the many ways and channels available, which are very cost-effective or free. Build the buzz!
- Social media marketing: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tik Tok are great places to promote events. You can create a dedicated event page, share updates, and create targeted ads to reach your desired audience.
- Email marketing: Emailing your existing contacts or subscribers is a great way to promote your event. You can send out invitations, updates, and reminders about the event.
- Influencer marketing: Working with influencers or industry leaders to promote your event can help reach a wider audience. They can share information about the event on their social media channels or blogs.
- Content marketing: Creating engaging and informative content for your event can help build interest and drive attendance. This can include blog posts, videos, or podcasts.
- Guerrilla marketing: Using creative and unconventional marketing tactics can help create buzz around your event. This can include flash mobs, street art, or other attention-grabbing techniques.
- Event listings: Listing your event on popular event listing websites can help increase visibility and attract attendees.
These are just a few examples of event marketing strategies. The key is choosing the right tactics to resonate with your target audience and help you achieve your event goals.
Using every marketing channel to drive registrations (and attendance) to your events is important. You can maximise your marketing opportunities and achieve your goals with a good strategy.