No matter if you are planning to hold small or large-scale events, you’ll be wearing many hats as an event planner. If you want to make sure you’ll succeed, here is what you need to know.
Identify your Event Goals
Many businesses do things simply because the competition does them, including event marketing. But, before you start planning an event, you need to know exactly why you are doing it. To help you figure things out, here are a few questions to consider:
- Will the event cater to your target audience? How?
- How many people do you want to reach?
- Will the event be tied in with your overall marketing strategy?
- Will the event contribute to your brand equity?
- Will the event earn a certain amount of profit?
Some goals you can strive for may include:
- Increasing pre-event revenue
- Building an audience of 50% repeat attendees
- Increasing post-event engagement.
When you have clearly defined goals, it will be easier to figure out how you will reach them. For instance, you can increase pre-event revenue by selling VIP tickets or you can increase post-event engagement by creating content that will have a longer lifespan than the event.
There are many different goals you can target. However, you need to make sure the goal (or goals) you target will be aligned with the overall goals of your business or brand.
Leverage Your Resources
You need to define other variables after you have set your goals. You need to set the date and time as well as choose a venue. Let’s not forget about the budget and the ways you will be promoting the event.
Naturally, you probably already know who your target audience is. But, you need to figure out whether the event will be targeted at your entire target audience or just specific archetypes of that crowd. To accomplish this, you can create a detailed buyer’s persona.
To promote an event, start with your own internal resources. First, tap into your email list. To keep people updated with your event, send promotional newsletters.
Email is also a great way to establish a close relationship with your audience. For instance, you can offer your email subscribers’ access to early bird tickets.
You should also make good use of your social media presence. But, while it’s good to promote your event across all major social media channels, not all of them deserve equal attention. Invest most effort in the ones where your target audience is.
For instance, if you are organizing a business event, LinkedIn and Facebook are your best bet. If you want to attract a younger audience, Instagram may be a better choice.
Don’t forget about the traditional, tried and true marketing channels as well. If your goal is to reach a wider audience (including consumers that are not so tech-savvy), you can utilize banner printing services to spread the word.
You will most likely need display stands and outdoor banners for the event, so why not make use of them even before the event starts? They are a great way to increase visibility where online channels can’t reach.
You can also promote your event on radio shows and podcasts. Radio and podcast hosts are always looking for someone with an interesting story. This brings us to our next point.
Tell a Story
At its core, your event is a story that you’re telling. If you want to win your audience, first you need to master brand storytelling. But you also may want to tell a special story just for your event.
Cultivate your story at the outset. You also need to consider how you will communicate it. You can utilize multiple mediums. Here are a few strategies and formats that may prove to be useful:
- Share snippets of the planning process. Use Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook stories for breaking news or guest announcements.
- You can create conversations on Reddit or Facebook Groups. Advertising doesn’t always have to look promotional.
- To generate talk and build suspense, you can create event “Easter eggs”, scavenger hunts with prizes, flash mobs, and other on-location surprises.
- Steam live video teasers on Facebook or YouTube.
Going forward, consider what you want your brand or organization to be identified with. Use your ideal audience’s point of view to gather and create a story. Identify the value your event can offer them.
If you organized events before, use testimonials given by speakers, guests, and attendees, as well as photos and videos, to develop your campaign. Rather than advertising a “thing,” focus on promoting a message.
Planning a memorable event is all about defining clear goals, utilizing the right promotional channels, and telling a compelling story. But, if you really want to win at event marketing, the work doesn’t end when the event is over.
Once the event is over, measure and analyze the data you have gathered from all your marketing efforts. Analyze and collect attendee feedback as well.
Consider these words from Bill Gates, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Be honest with your attendees and encourage them to be honest with you.
Jennifer Wilson is a writer at Qeedle.com She knows business processes and operations management inside out. As she understands all the challenges of running a small business firsthand, it’s her mission to tackle the topics that are most relevant to entrepreneurs and offer viable solutions.