Make sure all the hard work that goes into planning an event pays off with these six tips on how to ensure people attend.
Taking the time to plan the perfect event is the important first step in its successful execution. Event marketing is the crucial next step, and there is an abundance of options to choose from when thinking about promoting your event. It’s savvy to choose a few and implement them well rather than taking a broad-brush approach. Here are our top six ways for successfully marketing events.
1. Start with Your Network
You’re most likely to catch the attention of your customers, previous event delegates and business partners with your event marketing because they already know and trust you. Maximise these relationships when promoting your event for some quick wins. Send out tailored email communications, distribute event invitations and talk about the event in verbal and face-to-face contact with your existing audiences. It’ll be a great boost to your event bookings and should kick-start some word-of-mouth promotion too.
2. Offer Incentives
Everyone loves a deal, so offer discounts or other incentives to encourage people to book or register for your event. Offer a percentage off the standard ticket price to loyal customers or partners, and give all potential attendees an early-bird discount if they book before a particular date. Also consider other incentives to encourage people to register, which could be a coffee voucher or a discount on a related training course if they book both together.
3. Create a Great Website
Having a dedicated and professional website for any event is a must if you’re serious about effective marketing. Event websites should have a url that is relevant and easy to remember, strong branding and compelling copy. Include all the key information and unique selling points of your event – which should be displayed in an easy-to-read way. Crucially, the ability for users to book tickets should be as quick and simple as possible. Include ‘book now’ as the call to action in multiple places on the website too.
4. Maximise your Web Presence
Having a good-looking website is one thing, but a web presence will work even harder for you with a little search engine optimisation (SEO) too. This includes a range of tactics to help search engines find your website, so include all the relevant keywords for your event in the copy and create lots of compelling content to give your event kudos, such as blogs about some of the speakers or event subject matter. Also ask business partners to add some content and a link about the event from their websites too, and see if local or national media is interested in your event, as links from press websites are valuable for your SEO as well.
5. Tap into Social Media
Social media websites offer crucial opportunities for event marketing, with both free and paid-for options that can be effective. There’s no need to promote your event on all social networks – instead choose the channels where you’re most likely to find your audience. In particular, many professionals can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter. Create your own event hashtag and use other relevant hashtags to target relevant interest groups, and message individuals directly if they seem like the perfect attendee for your event. If you have the budget, create some paid-for campaigns to target specific audiences on these channels too.
6. Get Attendees Excited
As bookings start to come in for your event, use this to build momentum and achieve further bookings. If someone has booked to attend your event, they could be one of your greatest advocates. Set up a marketing strand just to encourage them to spread the word. This includes offering them incentives if they tell their colleagues and friends about the event, or if they post about it on social media.
Honing your event marketing tactics to a few key areas will drive bookings for your event and create some buzz around it too – further enhancing your company’s brand positioning and enhancing opportunities for business success.