April 29, 2024
By Olivia Cal

Let's face it: event marketing is a critical part of any overall marketing strategy. From increasing audience engagement to driving more revenue, events are well worth the time and effort it takes to organise them. And through the use of technology, data, and analytics, event marketing is easy to implement across events, at scale.

This event marketing guide will define event marketing and why it’s so important. You’ll also learn how to create a winning strategy, measure your success, and how AI could lighten your load. 

What is event marketing?

Event marketing is the strategic process of planning, organising, hosting, or attending an event to promote a brand, organisation, service, cause, or product. Events can be in-person, virtual, or a mixture of both, and can include a wide range of activities.

Although event marketing is a pretty broad term, by and large, it encompasses two things: 

  1. The use of events as a marketing channel to support overall marketing goals

  2. The marketing tactics used to promote an event

For many organisations, events represent a large share of their overall marketing spend. According to the 2024 AMEX GBT Global Meetings and Events Forecast, marketing teams dedicate, on average, 14% of their budget to event marketing.

According to an IPA Bellwether report, event marketing budgets in the UK have increased by 23.1% in Q1 2024 compared to a +15.9% increase in Q4 2023. 

And with good reason: events are a powerful way to connect and build deeper relationships with your target audience. 

Why is event marketing important?

We know that organisations place enormous value on event marketing – the proof is in the budget increases – but why? What makes event marketing special?

1. Engage directly: Events provide a unique opportunity to interact directly with your target audience. Getting to know your audience on a personal level leads to stronger brand loyalty and increased customer satisfaction. 

2. Increase brand awareness: Events help you reach a larger audience and create more awareness about your brand. Additionally, event sponsorship or branding opportunities further enhance your visibility.

3. Generate high-quality leads: Leads gathered at events are often more qualified because they’ve already expressed interest in your offerings by attending the event. This makes them more likely to convert.

4. Gather valuable feedback: Events make it easy to collect qualitative and quantitative information about the attendee experience and your market. Observe attendee behaviour, listen to their feedback, conduct interviews, and send out surveys for those valuable insights. Use this information to improve your future events and overall business strategy.

💡Learn more about how events can power your marketing strategy.

Types of event marketing

Event stand

Events come in all shapes and sizes. But picking the one best suited to your event helps you hit your goals and increase audience satisfaction. Let’s look at the different event types commonly used by event marketers: 

1. Trade shows: Trade shows are large-scale events where businesses from a specific industry gather to showcase their products or services to attendees. These include industry professionals, buyers, and potential customers.

2. Conferences: Conferences are gatherings that bring together professionals, experts, and thought leaders in a particular industry. They typically feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops, and breakout sessions covering various topics relevant to your audience.

3. Webinars: Webinars are online seminars or presentations where presenters deliver content to a remote audience. They are often used for educational purposes, product demonstrations, thought leadership, and lead generation.

4. Virtual events: Virtual events replicate the experience of in-person events using digital platforms and technology. Virtual events offer many of the same benefits as physical events, such as networking, education, and lead generation, but without the need for attendees to travel or be physically present.

5. Workshops: Workshops are interactive sessions led by subject matter experts or trainers. They are designed to provide hands-on learning, skill development, or problem-solving in a specific area or topic.

💡 This is just a snapshot of event marketing types. For a more in-depth look, check out our blog, 7 Event Types that Boost ROI (& How to Choose the Right One).

How to create an event marketing plan

Events are costly, which is why creating a robust event marketing plan comes first. Your budget and goals will determine what events you plan and the type of promotion you run with. The event marketing process begins by acknowledging that there is an event that can help your organization achieve a goal.

1. Set goals: Looking at a blank page and a blinking cursor is intimidating. So begin by setting some goals. Are there any wider organisational goals – such as driving revenue or brand awareness – you need to work toward? 

2. Define and segment your target audience: Understand who your target audience is and what motivates them. Define their demographics, interests, challenges, and preferences to tailor your event to their needs and interests effectively. Once you know your audience, you can segment them. 

3. Programme your content: Develop a strong content strategy that caters to every audience segment. That way, there’s something for everyone. This strategy should take into account your pre-event and post-event content as well as your sessions. 

4. Decide how you’ll promote the event: Create a comprehensive plan to promote your event and attract attendees. Use a mix of online and offline marketing channels, including email marketing, social media, content marketing, paid advertising, public relations, and direct mail, to reach your target audience.

7 must-have tactics to drive demand for your events

Let’s talk a little bit more about promotion. After all, there wouldn’t be an event without it. Here are the key tactics to consider when it comes to building out an event marketing promotion strategy: 

Event website 

Few events can get away with not having a website. Your event website is the primary touchpoint for potential attendees. It’s where they can register and find vital information. It also serves as a place to convince potential attendees to attend.

Event technology helps you personalise the entire event planning process. Use it to create a branded event registration website that’s designed to identify who is visiting your website. With more sophisticated software, you can even create dynamic registration paths and pricing based on pre-set criteria.

Your event website should include the following:

  • Event overview and description
  • Registration page
  • Date and time
  • Cost breakdown
  • FAQs
  • Agenda
  • Venue and location information
  • Speaker profiles
  • Testimonials
  • Media gallery 
  • Contact information

Email marketing

Great event email marketing ensures you get the largest and most relevant audience for your event – but your efforts shouldn’t stop there. You want to build a buzz around your event and get your registrants engaged and talking before, during, and after your meeting or conference. 

Here are a few email marketing tips to get you started: 

  • Use online email marketing software to easily review, manage, segment, and update your contact lists. 
  • Segment your audience: Targeted campaigns significantly drive registration. So, rather than sending the same promotional materials to your entire audience, create email content that is tailored to specific segments. 
  • Allow your recipients to opt out to comply with GDPR and privacy regulations.
  • Create your emails to be consistent with your event website to ensure brand cohesion.
  • Maximise registration by pre-scheduling emails, automating updates, and be sure to send confirmation/thank you emails.
  • Review reporting (your marketing software will help you do this easily) to analyse open and click-through rates to see what’s working, what’s not, and to uncover additional marketing opportunities.

Social media marketing

One of the best ways to build event attendance is by building a community around your brand. And social media is the perfect place to do just that. Use it to understand your target audience and share engaging, relevant content for your event before, during, and after. 

But to get the results you’re after, you need a bit of creativity and knowledge of each platform. For example, create a short and unique hashtag associated with your event. This can be used across social media platforms. Then, get attendees to use it by hosting contests and giveaways. 

During the event, encourage attendees to share pictures and videos and repost them on your brand channel. This is user-generated content, and it’s a fantastic way to increase promotion around your events – without all the heavy lifting. 


  • Create LinkedIn events to promote your upcoming in-person and virtual event/s. Use this page to share information about your event and invite your audience members to join. 
  • Use your LinkedIn page to advertise any new blogs, webinars, or announcements about your event. 
  • Create polls to gauge your audience’s opinions on certain topics and use the results to iron out your event content. 
LinkedIn Event Marketing Screenshot


  • Use an app like CapCut to edit vertical video. Post these to your stories and reels. 
  • Picking the right audio for your posts is crucial. Does it fit the mood of your reel, for example?
  • Post Stories every day to keep your brand fresh in your followers’ minds. Bring your audience behind the scenes with snapshots of rehearsals or video teasers with event speakers.


  • Run contests to drum up engagement and excitement around your event. 
  • Keep your Facebook page fresh with the latest information. Include a ‘Book Now’ button linked to your ticketing site. 
  • Treat your page like a customer service channel. Respond to grievances on your page quickly, too. 


  • Like Instagram Reels, create and edit engaging video content designed to capture the attention of your audience. 
  • Bookmark TikTok viral trends to discover what’s relevant and entertaining right now.
  • Post, and post a lot. This is how you’ll stay relevant to your audience.


  • YouTube is a search engine. This means it’s vital to get to know YouTube’s search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Add timestamps to your videos so your audience can skip to the part they are most interested in.
  • Create thumbnails that pop visually to up the chances of people clicking on your videos. 

X (formerly Twitter)

  • Make sure your brand voice shines through in each Tweet. 
  • Maintain a conversational tone.
  • Amplify your community by retweeting their posts. 

💡Want to know even more about using social media to advertise your events? Check out our blog: 20 Cool Event Promotion Ideas You Need to Try.

Content marketing 

Content marketing is arguably one of the most important elements of event marketing. It’s the lifeblood of your event. It’s what convinces your audience to register. It’s what keeps them engaged during the event. And it’s what (hopefully) convinces them to come back next year. Content marketing encompasses:

  • Blog posts
  • Email marketing
  • Webinars
  • Case studies 
  • Podcast episodes
  • Videos
  • eBooks
  • Infographics
  • Quizzes
  • Social media posts
  • Online workshops

Here’s how you create a winning event content strategy:

  • Repurpose your content: Repurposing your content makes you more efficient and amplifies its impact across multiple platforms. For example, take a blog post and turn it into a video or vice versa. 
  • Promote and distribute your content: You’ve spent hours creating content, and now you need people to actually see it. Distribute it through email, social media, and paid ads to boost your reach. 
  • Measure its performance: Creating content is time-consuming. That’s why making sure it’s getting you results is vital. Set key performance indicators like website traffic or engagement rates. Use analytic tools like Google Analytics. And don’t forget to A/B test your content elements like headlines, visuals, and CTAs. 

💡Check out these top tips for repurposing your event content.

Paid digital promotion

It’s easy to rely on free modes of promotion for your event, but don’t forget about paid promotion. This includes social media, display, video, and search engine advertising. The benefits of paid promotion include instant traffic, advanced targeting, and the ability to track performance. Here’s how you can achieve these things:

  • Choose the right platform: Select digital advertising platforms that align with your audience's preferences and behaviour. Consider platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, or specialised event listing websites based on where your target audience is most active.
  • Create compelling ad creative: Use engaging visuals, persuasive copy, and clear calls-to-action to entice viewers to click on your ads and learn more about your event.
  • Optimise landing pages: Ensure your landing pages are mobile-friendly, fast-loading, and optimised for search engines to maximise visibility and user experience.

Influencer marketing 

More and more brands are turning to influencer marketing. In fact, according to Influencer Marketing Hub, over 83% of marketers say that it’s effective as a strategy. They also report that 67% of brands increased their influencer marketing budgets in 2023.

So, what exactly is influencer marketing? Think celebrity endorsement that’s been rejigged for the modern world. Today, anyone can be a social media celebrity - or influencer. With hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of followers, these people have immense reach and influence over their audience. 

Brands work with influencers to promote products or their brand image. Here’s what you need to know about getting influencer marketing right:

  • Find the right influencers: You want to find influencers who have a strong following but also resonate with your brand values and ethos. If you’re a sustainable clothing brand, for example, look for influencers who care about the environment. 
  • Provide creative freedom: Once you have your influencers, try not to restrain them too much on what they can and cannot create. This may cause them to walk away and find brands that offer more freedom.
  • Offer exclusive benefits: Offer influencers exclusive benefits to encourage them to promote your event enthusiastically. This could include complimentary event tickets, VIP access, backstage passes, or networking opportunities.

Public Relations (PR)

Build a robust public relations (PR) strategy to advertise your events and generate buzz among your target audience. This is a great way to zone in on your ideal event-goers through local publications. But how do you write a press release (or pitch) to capture the attention of journalists and break through the noise? 

  • Start as early as you can: If you want your event to appear in a specific publication, it’s best to give journalists as much notice as possible – at least one month for digital publications and two for print. 
  • Provide the essential details: Make it easy for journalists to pull out the key details of your event by providing the event’s name, date, time, location, price, theme, and a link to buy tickets. 
  • Write a compelling pitch: Use simple but punchy language when writing your press release. Avoid industry jargon and overly promotional language. Essentially, it shouldn’t sound like an advertisement. Tell journalists exactly what they can expect from your event and what makes it special.
  • Work with industry partners: So, which journalists do you choose to send your pitch to? Begin with industry partners. They’ll be most familiar with your audience and your brand. 


Not only are you marketing to attendees, but you need to be able to market to potential sponsors. After all, they’ll be key to defraying costs and gaining more interest. Work out clear sponsorship packages that can be conveyed easily, but also be ready to be flexible.

Using AI to support your event marketing

If you’re an event marketer, you probably wish there were more hours in the day. If you’re not writing content or creating videos, you’re managing event follow-ups and analysing event success. So, could artificial intelligence (AI) help? 

Absolutely! AI has been around for years in one form or another. But with today’s recent advancements, it's more helpful than ever – especially for busy event marketers like yourself. Maybe you’re already using it.

Use generative and predictive AI models to boost creativity, automate processes, and support content creation. Simply put: it’s there to save you time. Use writing assistants, for example, to help you create landing pages, social media and email copy, speaker bios, session content, and more. 

💡Discover everything you need to know about using AI as a marketer in our blog: The No-Nonsense Guide to AI for Marketers.

How to measure the success of your event marketing efforts

Event marketing objectives help guide strategy and create a baseline to determine event ROI and evaluate performance. Here are a few metrics to consider: 


Registrations refer to the number of people who have registered to attend your event. This measures the level of interest and commitment from your target audience. Tracking registrations over time helps you monitor registration trends, identify patterns, and make data-driven decisions.

Event ROI

Event ROI measures the return on investment generated from hosting or participating in an event. It compares the revenue or benefits generated from the event against the costs incurred to organise or sponsor it. To get a true calculation of event ROI, you need to take a deep dive into both the costs and benefits of running an event. 

Audience satisfaction

Understanding what your attendees thought about your event is critical to identifying areas for improvement. Audience feedback encompasses the opinions and experiences shared by event attendees through surveys, evaluations, reviews, and direct feedback channels. 

Use event survey tools to gather feedback, and use these findings to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your event, address issues, and make informed decisions to enhance future events.

💡Learn more about the event survey questions you should ask before, during, and after your events.

Social media engagement 

Social media engagement measures the level of interaction, participation, and reactions your event generates on social media platforms. This includes likes, shares, comments, and more. 

Use these insights to measure the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts, the resonance of your event messaging, and the level of audience interest and engagement with your event content.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate measures the percentage of event attendees who take a desired action like completing a registration.

Essentially, how effective is your event in driving desired actions among attendees? This metric helps you evaluate the impact of your event marketing efforts, optimise conversion methods, and increase event ROI.

Attendance rate

Measuring the total attendee draw is a natural gauge for event success. Higher attendee numbers have a trickle-down effect as they can translate into more leads and greater event buzz.

Leads generated

If the goal of your event is to generate leads for sales, make sure to track the number of qualified leads generated from the event. You can then track how many of those leads convert down the funnel. This data can help you clearly attribute pipeline to events and get more buy-in for future events.

6 common event marketing misconceptions

1. Event marketing is a one-time effort

Reality: Event marketing is a continuous process involving pre-event, during-event, and post-event activities. It’s not just about promoting your event. Events have knock-on effects when it comes to the quality of your relationships with attendees and long-term business outcomes. Think big-picture. 

2. Event marketing is all about attendance numbers

Reality: While attendee numbers are important, event marketing success isn’t only about the quantity of attendees. Quality engagement, attendee satisfaction, and achieving event objectives are equally important factors to consider. 

3. Event marketing is only about promotion and advertising

Reality: Event marketing encompasses a broader range of activities beyond promotion and advertising. It includes strategic planning, goal setting, audience segmentation, content creation, attendee experience design, data analysis, and more.

4. Event marketing is separate from overall marketing strategy

Reality: Event marketing should be integrated into the overall marketing strategy of a business or organisation. It works best when aligned with your brand, target audience, messaging, and marketing goals. This ensures consistency and maximises the impact of your event.

5. Event marketing is only about attracting new customers

Reality: Event marketing is not just about acquiring new customers; it’s also a way to strengthen relationships with existing customers, partners, and stakeholders. Events serve as a platform for customer retention, upselling, and building brand loyalty.

6. Event marketing is expensive and resource-intensive

Reality: It’s true: events do require an investment of time and resources. But you can tailor your event marketing to fit various budgets and resources. There are cost-effective strategies available, such as using digital channels, partnerships, and focusing on targeted marketing efforts.

Event marketing is an essential part of any marketing strategy

Events drive organisational success. Whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid, they empower connections and educate attendees. Event marketing is essential to persuade attendees and increase registrations. 

And it's made easier with AI and event management software. Without promotion, no one would know that the event was happening. Through the use of event technology, promotion is easier than ever. As you plan your next event, take the time to outline an event marketing plan.

Want an even deeper dive into event marketing? Read Event Marketing Strategy for Dummies to learn about optimising registration conversion, attracting and converting the right audience, and so much more. 

Olivia Cal Headshot

Olivia Cal

Olivia is a copywriter and content marketer specialising in hospitality, events, and retail. After five years of in-house experience, she now works independently, writing articles, eBooks, case studies, and more for a wide range of clients.

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