According to research by HubSpot around 20% of an event budget is spent on marketing the event. Additionally event planners tend to promote their events using 5 tools with 40% of planners promoting via social media channels.
The most used event promotion channels are:
- Email marketing;
- Event website;
- (Registered) Mail invites.
Before we can dive into the success factors of event marketing, we need to understand exactly what event planners’ challenges are. The main challenges that Azavista’s customers mentioned to us during our discovery conversations were:
- Getting guests to respond to email invitations, including getting them opened and read;
- They had a high rate of no-shows to their events, which was problematic for workshops, etc.;
- Confirming which event invitees were going to actually attend the event.
Coincidentally, extra marketing efforts can and do make the difference here (who knew!) and there are 6 tools that I perceive as being the most effective in marketing an event.
#1 Event Website
Your event website is a year-round marketing tool at your disposal. Depending on your set-up and the limits to your creativity, it’s possible to use one website as the focal point of your event marketing activities. Here are some ideas for you to make the most of your event website:
- Share pictures from your previous events so that potential attendees can get an idea of what your events entail;
- Share videos of guest speakers and attach their presentation slides as well – this way potential attendees can
- event pictures, videos and presentation slides on the website;
- Promote your upcoming events early in the planning process to build up excitement up to your event.
Always bear in mind the saying: “Garbage in means garbage out”, a little extra effort goes a long way;
Remember to keep testing your content to see what your audience is looking for. Play around with mailing times, personalised content, the type of content, etc.;
Remember to gather data throughout the process and actually use it to determine what works and continue improving the process.
#3 Content Marketing
- Create and run a blog for your events where you share updates regarding your events or event-related content. It’s a great source of continuous engagement and builds brand personality;
- Consider the 10:1 principle, where for every 10 pieces of content you undertake 1 promotion action.
- Create webinars that build up to your coming events or reflect on previous topics or themes;
- Webinars can be quite versatile so why not conduct interviews with past speakers and use them to soft-sell your events?
#5 Social Media
- Find your audience where they like to ‘be’ online and focus on those channels;
- Share your content via social media and get in touch with desired attendees;
- Develop and nourish relationships with speakers or potential speakers in an arena visible to their fans as well.
- Team up with your event speakers to create content related to your event themes;
- Interview them and share the videos and various content you create together;
- Use your ‘partners’ as marketing assets and treat them as your team members.