Even though you may have some outstanding event content, it doesn’t necessarily mean that masses of people will come through your venue doors – they first must become aware of what it is you’re offering. Marketing plays an enormous role in driving ticket sales and general awareness of your event. But, to accomplish this, you need to start with a strong foundation.
That’s why it’s so important to implement a plan that will help you take the right approach to building an engaged audience. As such, here are 10 steps for creating a great event marketing plan that is sure to drive more interest in your content.
1) Set A Marketing Budget
The first thing you’ll need to do is allocate the proper funds for your marketing efforts. The amount you set aside will depend on a number of factors, from the type of visuals you use, any personalized outreach, staffing needs and technology implementation, among other items. The first place to start when determining a budget is to take a look at previous years’ revenue sheets. If this is your first event, start with your “must-haves” and add “nice-to-have” items with any leftover dollars.
2) Set Marketing Goals
Events are normally an extension of your brand’s offering. And, you likely want to maximize your company’s return on investment (ROI), not just over the course of the event, but well into the future. Defining goals from the outset will help you and your staff rally around common talking points, product pitches, service benefits and other unique value propositions that provide a way to get potential attendees interested.
3) Define Target Audience
Before you begin drilling down into specific marketing content to reach your audience, you must first define who that audience is and the best way to reach them. When you have a better idea of who you’re talking to, why they should be interested in your event and which sales messages they’ll connect to, you can then refine your marketing plan to specific channel outreach, be it social media, traditional print ads, billboards, radio advertisements or whatever else your persona data is telling you.
4) Determining Promotional Channels
Which channels will serve you the best to conduct outreach to your target audience? For example, younger audiences may connect better with ads on streaming platforms or certain social media sites like TikTok or Snapchat, while an older audience may be better reached through television commercials, Facebook or the Sunday newspaper. There are no shortage of options when it comes to promoting your event – get your team together and conduct a thorough brainstorming session to help flesh out ideas.
5) Maximize Your Event Website’s Reach
These days, it’s no longer enough to simply post a blurb on your corporate website and expect it to provide enough valuable information about your event. Build your own standalone event website to keep everything in one place, including registration, press releases, social media feeds, blogs and speaker information. This also gives you a place to post content year-round, keeping the buzz consistent and engaging potential ticket buyers even if the event is a ways off.
6) Leverage Your Event Speakers and Sponsors
The speakers and sponsors that participate in your event have the same goal as you – bringing visibility to content, brand offerings and ultimately increasing leads for their business. Use these commonalities within your event marketing plan by encouraging speakers and sponsors to post on social media, their own websites, and in other promotional content.
7) Leverage Current or Past Ticket Holders
Those early registrants are the most likely to participate in promotional elements through their own channels, extending your reach to personal and consumer-based networks. Encourage the use of your event’s hashtag, monitor frequent posters and offer free swag or ticket discounts to those who are helping spread your message.
8) Extend Your Event’s Reach With A Hybrid Option
Events have transformed in recent years, particularly with the events of the 2020 pandemic. Live events are making a comeback, but a supplemental virtual experience has become expected from audiences around the world. And, with the many benefits of a hybrid event, it’s easy to see why. Not only are they safer and more budget friendly, but you expand your reach to those who are unable to travel to your event but would still like to participate. This increases your networking opportunities in new, unique ways through things like virtual Q&As, video conferencing, live polls and much more.
9) Measure event success with relevant KPIs
As an event producer, you know that your marketing efforts don’t end when the curtains fall and your audience shuffles out of the room. Following the conclusion of your event, you must determine successes and failures compared to the goals defined at the outset of your marketing plan. This is where key performance indicators, or KPIs, come in handy. From YouTube video views to website hits to number of registrations, establishing these KPIs is crucial to understanding the performance of your overall marketing campaign. To take full control of these data points, it may be best to use an integrated platform that automates much of this work for you, and uncovers insights that you may not have even considered.
10) Manage Event Marketing With An All-In-One Platform
A trusted event marketing platform will make your life as an event producer much easier. You get useful tools for delivering content and engaging attendees, as well as lead-generation tools that assist with outreach, reporting and content impact. This gives you and your team a place to monitor marketing efforts in real time, ensuring you have the data you need to understand what’s working and what isn’t, which can then be applied to future events.
Are you searching for help with your event marketing plan?
Turn to the event marketing experts at Second Stage, the world’s leading hybrid event platform and provider. We’ll help you improve the promotional aspects of your brand, speakers and sponsors, while providing your audience with an unforgettable hybrid experience. You’ll receive such beneficial features like live streams, social media integration, personalized chat capabilities, a full lead-generating toolbox and so much more, all in a single package.
Craft a memorable event that boosts the connection between company and consumer – contact us today to learn more about our solutions or speak with a representative.