When it comes to marketing strategies, event marketing oftentimes becomes overlooked. But if you’re looking for a fun and exciting way to market your business, product or service, event marketing can be very effective.
Some companies overlook event marketing because it seems like too hard of a process or because they have no idea where to begin. When you’re equipped with the right knowledge, though, event marketing can become an asset to your strategy and a great and effective way to reach your audience. The following are eight tips for event marketing.
1. Create a captivating message.
If the overall message of your event is boring, people are going to assume the same about the event. You need to entice people to attend the event, you need to make them WANT to go, and you need to make them feel like missing it would be the end of the world. Take a great amount of time to determine your message, but make sure you keep it clear and succinct. If you confuse your audience, it will also deter them from going.
2. Get the word out.
If you want people to attend your event, you need to tell people about it. Use print invitations, send electronic invitations, use the power of social media, create a press release, add it to your website or blog—employing any or all of these tactics will help ensure that people know about the event.
When spreading the word about your event, it’s important to make sure that all event details can be easily found. People need to know where and when it’s taking place along with other valuable information, such as price, attire, entertainment, etc. If you fail to include necessary information, people won’t have any idea of where to go, when to be there and what to wear. If people are uninformed, they simply won’t attend.
3. Offer an incentive.
The way to generate foot traffic at an event is to offer an incentive. People are more willing to attend events where they won’t walk away empty handed. With your marketing message, you can always send out a voucher that people can use to redeem for a special prize. You can also offer a discount on products or services to those who attend the event, or you can simply give away a great gift.
It’s extremely important to ensure that your giveaways tie in with the theme of your event. If your event has a disco theme and you’re giving away iPods, the two don’t go hand in hand. The more compatible your giveaways are with your theme makes them that much more valuable to your visitors.
4. Stick with your theme.
Just like your giveaways should tie in with your theme, so should everything else at your event. Your entertainment, your food, your decorations—all of these need to be consistent and complementary to each other. The more tied together your theme is, the better overall event it will be.
5. Engage with your visitors.
If you throw an event to promote your business, products or services, but you don’t connect with the people who attend, you’re defeating the purpose of event marketing. Not only is supposed to promote your event, but it also gives you a way to connect with real, interested customers, and it provides you with opportunity to hear what they like and dislike and have a real feel for your audience. Greet everyone who attends, ask questions to gain real feedback, but most importantly, LISTEN to what they have to say. You’ll be surprised at how much you can gain from a simple conversation.
6. Do something different.
If you can make your event stand out from others, visitors will be more impressed with your company, product or service, and they’ll be more willing to advocate for your brand by sharing their experiences. Try to think outside of the box and offer your visitors something unexpected. Rather than have a presentation about your product, for example, give every attendee their own sample and let them play around with it. If your event can be unique, your company will stay top of mind to your visitors.
7. Track your visitors.
In order to determine how successful your event was, and in order to reach out to attendees to thank them for coming, you need a way to track them. Tell visitors to put their business cards in a bowl for a chance to win a prize. Or ask attendees to follow you on your social media sites, or simply have them fill out a small questionnaire. Whatever you can do to track who came to your event and also capture their contact information will be beneficial to your company.
You can also track sales by offering your attendees a special promo code. By tracking the use of this promo code, you’ll have a better idea of the amount of sales your event generated.
8. Follow up.
Be sure to follow up with your attendees with a thank you card or email. By taking the time to express your gratitude, you are once again getting your company name in front of them. Be sure to remind them to follow you on social media, or present them with additional incentive to make a purchase.
Event marketing is a great way to connect with your audience and get to know them on a more personal level. By following these eight tips, you’ll have a better event marketing experience and more overall success.
Charlie Adams is a tech guru and marketing professional who works with the Palms hotel in Las Vegas. He often writes and gives advice to others on how to properly advertise and promote events and campaigns.
Event Marketing: What You Need to Know by Steve