Event Marketing: The Other Half of Event Planning
For many businesses, event management has two major stages: event planning, where the event is designed, budgeted for, and set up; and the event itself. When events underperform (i.e., people don’t show) or the events impact on sales and leads doesn’t pan out, it’s because of a crucial missing third part: event marketing. In this article, we’ll go over how to integrate event marketing into every step of event management, from the early planning stages to following up to maximize the impact online and off.
Planning an Event? Plan to Market It Too
Why do you want to make an event for your business? Regardless of the theme (customer appreciation to a training seminar), the end goal is the same: bring people in. In that vein, the reasoning behind almost all events is the same: to market your company and sell something – from direct sales to more intangible goals such as goodwill and PR. Because of this, integrating (and executing) event marketing early into the project will allow you to increase the impact of your event, both during the event itself with higher attendee numbers and afterward with a larger return on online and offline presences.
Parts of Event Marketing
Anytime you can get the word out about your event to clients and new agencies is good event marketing. To better facilitate this, focus on the various platforms you can promote your event from. The following are the places to get started.
- Physical Location: Depending on your business and location, you’ll see a lot of foot traffic by and into your business. Start promotion here with a simple one-page sheet that includes the basic information.
- Website Page: For the same reasons as your physical location, your website should act as the electronic hub of event promotion. Dedicate a page or post to the event with the same information. Include links from and to this event. Tracking the page allows you to better gauge interest.
- Social Media: Social media was designed for sharing news and events. Any and all platforms can be used for both event promotion and post-event marketing. Don’t have a strong social media presence? Learn about how to start social media marketing as an established brand.
- Event Services: If you’re using an event management app like Eventbrite, it can also be a useful tool that can integrate with many of your platforms. If your event has a ticket price, make sure to provide clear instructions on the cost and how to use it.
- Public Relations: Social media and event services aren’t the only third parties to use. Get your event listed on online event lists in your area and send a press release both before and after the event to your local papers and online news services.
Why You Should Start Event Marketing Early
Once you’ve locked down the basic information about an event (the time, place, and activity), it’s time to start marketing it. Start with your physical location and then copy that information to the website. If you’re going to use an event management app, make sure to set up and link to it as needed. Then the press release, listing sites, and social media. Starting early (at least a month if not longer) allows you to not only get people to start RSVPing but also starts the ball rolling on SEO from your event content.
Remember to Follow Up After the Event
Remember that even after the event is over, marketing it shouldn’t be. Once the event is over, it’s time to use the goodwill and significance of the event to market your company. With this in mind, make sure to take pictures during the event. Post-event marketing focuses on many of the same platforms, such as social media and news. Talk about the fun, productivity, or educational experience of the event, provide attendance and other stats as needed, and generally use this as an opportunity to promote your business.
Event planning, management, and marketing can be a lot of work, but it’s always worth doing. Need help doing it and doing it right? Vision Advertising can help. From helping you think up event ideas to promoting them online and in print, Vision Advertising can take over parts or all of your event management needs. Contact us today to get started and to learn about our comprehensive marketing options.