Have you ever thrown a party and nobody came? Or scheduled an event that you wound up cancelling because hardly anyone RSVP’d? Don’t worry, it’s not that you’re unpopular…probably. But you might benefit from getting the word out through event marketing. Event marketing is specifically geared towards spreading the word about any in-person or online engagement. It uses both inbound and outbound marketing techniques, and allows you to offer all sorts of incentives and rewards to attendees in a fun and engaging manner. Much of event marketing is based online, and relies heavily on social media to broadcast your message. But all the social media in the world won’t help you without the proper strategy. Your strategy should involve a coordinated effort between your email list, social media, and a high-converting, responsive landing page that people are able to purchase tickets on. It might be tempting to put up a landing page, randomly send out messages over social media, and email your list when you remember to do so. Trust me, it won’t work. An effective event marketing strategy will.
As with most things in the marketing world, success comes through trial and error. But you still need a foundation to get started, and a solid event marketing strategy is at the heart of that foundation. If you’re new to event marketing, it might help to apply my HERO principle to get started. Hashtag it: Create a unique hashtag and use it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instragram, or anywhere you promote the event on social media. Tag your banners and graphics with it as well. Also, be sure to live tweet at the event to really create excitement around your brand. Encourage attendees, vendors and sponsors to do so as well! Email your List: Email your prospects to remind them that your event is approaching. “10 days left to book your spot…” Be sure to list the benefits of attending, note any special guest speakers who will be there, and include a handy button that clicks right to your landing page. Be mindful of spamming though. No one enjoys spam, unless it’s in a sandwich. Revisit your Landing Page: How’s your landing page working? Getting lots of click-thru’s but few conversions? Try a new graphic, headline, or button that will get people buying. Ensure that people are able to purchase tickets or RSVP as well. Also, consider putting a countdown timer on your landing page to add urgency. Offer a Discount: Early Bird or Blue Plate? A small discount early in the campaign will attract a lot of early ticket sales. You can even sweeten the pot by offering a further discount to attendees who tweet about the event from your landing page! Referral program anyone? There are many other things you can do as well, such as create special event banners, run a contest for free tickets, and send out press releases to radio, print, television, and online media sources. Tell everyone you know, network extensively, and tap your colleagues to help you spread the word. By applying these principles and developing a solid strategy, you too can be an event marketing HERO! Ready to start your journey to becoming an event marketing HERO?