There are a lot of things to consider when marketing an upcoming event. It can be a stressful process – you’re worried about the turnout and how you can make the most out of the event. We’ve created a simple guide so you’re not overwhelmed. Take these guidelines into consideration in creating your event marketing plan to successfully reach your target audience and maximize attendance and attendee satisfaction:
Set a goal and a budget
What do you want to achieve out of the event? The answer to this question should be the basis of your marketing plan. Your goals could range from achieving maximum attendance or strengthening ties with stakeholders or fundraising X amount of dollars. Make sure the whole team is on the same page as to what the goal is. Step one also involves setting a budget that will determine what you can and cannot do.
After you’ve agreed on the goal and budget, you can start developing content for the event. Create a website promoting the event, an event schedule, key messages, etc. The website is primarily where you convert prospective attendees to actual attendees so it should be a top-notch website.
The first aspect of this step is to identify your target audience. Find out their demographics, age, gender, interests, motivation to attend the event, use of technology, and so forth. Based on the data, channel your efforts towards reaching the targeted audience. Don’t forget to make use of event promoting websites and resources. Discounts and early bird tickets can also be a great way to promote the event.
This falls within promoting your event, but with an extra element of tapping into an already existing relationship or building relationships. Get in touch with your networks to spread the word about your event. Find people and organizations that may be interested in your event and reach out to them as well.
Tailor your message
Develop personalization tactics to attract people. For instance, if you’re sending out invites to former attendees, provide them with pictures from the previous event and mention statistics and outcomes. If you’re targeting a certain group that might be particularly interested in one of your speakers, then highlight that speaker.
Your sponsors and exhibitors will have the same goals of creating a buzz around the event and attracting more attendees. Take advantage of this common goal by creating a collaboration strategy. Find out ways in which you can work together. For instance, sponsors could promote the event in their emails they send out to their followers or have a link to the event website on their website or social media pages.
Create last-minute promotion tactics
The final stretch involves two aspects: giving one last push to get attendees and creating excitement for those who have already signed up. Create a buzz on social media before the event. It’s a good idea to create an event hashtag and encourage registrants to tweet using the hashtag. Remember to have some promotional tactics you can pull out of your marketing tricks hat in case there is a low number of registrants.