Guest post by Nina Petrov.
Whether you are planning an online event, a live gathering, or a hybrid one, you won’t reach your goals and key objectives without effective event marketing and promotion. You might have the best event of the season planned out, with top-of–the-line production and guests, but that won’t mean much if your target participants don’t know the event even exists.
That’s why investing in a wide range of marketing tactics in the months and weeks leading up to your event is so important. From social media posting to writing about your event in your email newsletter to promotional teasers and trailers, there are many ways you can raise awareness and inspire people to sign up early.
To that end, here are seven event marketing ideas you can use to ensure your event is a resounding success even before the big day.
Make Your Events More Accessible
Start by addressing the needs of people with disabilities and special needs who might have difficulty attending your event. Marketing to these demographics is not only an amazing way to build a positive and inclusive brand image, but is also a worthwhile investment that will let you tap into a vast pool of potential attendees.
Keep in mind that millions of industry experts are disabled, and that they too deserve to attend important events. Not only is this a moral and ethical obligation for modern businesses, it’s also an important step towards inclusivity and equal opportunity.
With that in mind, using the right technology for events to improve accessibility is vital to help you enhance your brand image, boost attendance, increase engagement, and build a loyal following. When choosing the tech to help make your events more inclusive, make sure you’re able to:
- Provide a high level of customization and allow individuals to make visual and auditory adjustments;
- Provide equal access to visual and auditory content during the event, but also during promotion; and
- Provide complete access to your event, whether online or offline, by making your technologies compatible with assistive tech.
Weave Your Brand into Your Event
Branding is one of the most important elements of successful event marketing and management. To build brand loyalty and trust, it’s essential to weave your brand’s identity into every facet of your online and offline presence, including branding for your events.
Among the key brand elements to include are:
- Tone of voice
- Mission and vision
It’s important to note that branding your event means branding every step of the “attendees’ journey.” This means weaving your brand into your communication channels, promotional materials, marketing campaigns and content, newsletter, and the event itself in terms of presentations, speakers, and event visuals.
The key idea here is to ensure branding consistency between your event marketing elements and the brand elements on your website, social media, and other customer touchpoints. Ensuring consistency will build trust and add value to your promotional materials.
Stand Together for a Worthy Cause
Modern events, like modern businesses, need to stand for something greater than themselves. Bringing people together and inspiring them to join forces for a worthy cause not only creates a sense of unity, it also adds immense value to your brand and creates deeper relationships with your customers and audience.
Giving back to your community through corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, or supporting a worthy cause or charity, is one of the most powerful ways to boost your events and your pre-event promotional strategy. Weave your charitable cause into your event marketing campaigns on every channel to spread the word about the causes you support and how attendance will help these charities.
The key to making this strategy work is to be very specific and concrete about whom you support, how you support them, and the impact you expect to make on these charities and causes.
When promoting your event, start with the cause and the charity, specify how the individual will support them with their attendance and exactly how much of their money is going to that cause, and then add value and relevance by telling them what you expect the net impact of your event to be in a specific timeframe.
Send Out Personalized Invitations
Personalization is a big part of modern event marketing, as it is with marketing in general. To maximize the ROI from your event marketing content and all your promotional campaigns, personalizing the whole experience is a worthwhile investment. Sending out personalized email announcements and updates is a must for any promotional campaign, but it’s also imperative to personalize your direct messaging and comment replies on social media.
One of the best ways to personalize your event marketing is to send out personalized invitations and tickets. Invitations should be branded but also speak to the individual, which is crucial when you’re sending out invitations to B2B attendees who place a huge value on personalized brand experiences.
To make your event stand out when send business invitations, send a personalized note by snail mail. Then send out a personalized email that gets your event on your customer’s calendars by letting them RSVP to your event, or doing it through a subscription or a one-off event.
The same goes for your event tickets. Whether sending out physical tickets or digital tickets in an email or the app, all of these tickets should address the person. Try making each ticket different with a unique visual design for extra personalization.
Incentivize Early Sign-Ups
The early bird catches the worm, which is a great metaphor for why inviting early sign-ups is one of the best ways to ensure the success of your event weeks before the big day. Early bird registrations are not just great for filling seats quickly, they’re also great for building hype and social proof for the event and inspiring the FOMO (fear of missing out) effect.
Once the early bird registrations start coming in, use those numbers to create countdown timers and live feeds on how many seats are left before the event is sold out. This will add a sense of urgency to your event and get people to act now, or risk losing their spot.
To inspire early sign-ups, you’ll need to offer valuable incentives. These incentives can range from early bird pricing to special perks such as backstage passes or even one-on-one time with a keynote speaker.
Promote Your Event Through All Online Channels
Successful event marketing requires an omnichannel approach to content promotion, dissemination, messaging, and engagement. You need to be able to engage with potential attendees on all brand-customer touchpoints, both online and offline, in order to maximize the registration potential and raise event visibility, awareness, and value.
Some of the key communication channels to include here are:
- Direct messaging
- Online forums
- Social media
- Your website and landing pages
- Website chat
- SMS marketing
- Phone calls
- Other authority websites
All of these platforms, individuals, and businesses can help spread the word about your upcoming event. The channels under your direct control are great for continuous promotion, while external channels like authority websites or press publications work well for one-time announcements.
Always make sure your branding and tone of voice is consistent across all channels and platforms.
Invest in Video Content and Pre-Event Trailers
Last but not least, keep in mind that content marketing will be at the forefront of your event marketing strategy. It’s vital to get quality content out to your audience and potential attendees to build hype, awareness, and engagement, which will not only motivate attendance but also boost your WOM (word of mouth) across the industry.
While creating written content is extremely important, it’s also helpful to focus on high-quality video production. Creating video teasers and trailers for your event is an amazing way to engage with your audience on numerous online channels, and provides the content that enables you to create a video drip campaign in the months and weeks leading up to the event. The event photographer you use for your pre-event campaigns will also capture in-event photos and collages that will serve as excellent post-event tools and teasers for future campaigns.
Ask your interviewees, speakers, and presenters to produce snippets and previews, tell people what you’ll talk about at the event, and let them know why they should book their seat right away.
Over to You
Investing in event marketing in the months and weeks leading up to the big day is vital to ensure a high attendance rate and to get the industry talking about your event. Raising awareness will boost interest, and investing in various promotional tactics will incentivize people to book their seats and get their tickets early.
Use the seven tactics detailed here to not only increase attendance, but also stimulate engagement through creative marketing and content formats. When the big day comes, all that’s left is to deliver on your promise and let your keynote speaker and presenters deliver a valuable and memorable experience.
Nina Petrov is a content marketing specialist, passionate about graphic design, content marketing, and the new generation of green and social businesses. She starts the day scrolling her digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee with milk and sugar. Her little white bunny tends to reply to your emails when she is on vacation.