8 Easy Tips for Writing an Event Marketing Plan
Events do not happen in situ. There are a whole host and pre-event and post-event marketing and planning steps that you should follow in order to maximise the impact of your event and prolong your success. Sometimes it can seem daunting but if you follow these 8 essential tips to create the ideal event marketing plan you will be able to navigate the process of event planning much more easily.
What is event marketing?
Event marketing is the use of various tools, channels, platforms and techniques to promote an event to get people to buy tickets or attend.
Making sure you nail event marketing is important so your event creates enough buzz and achieves the coverage and ultimately the attendance you want. Between 2017 and 2018 Bizzabo state that the number of companies organising 20 or more events per year increased by 17%. With B2B events taking off, nailing the perfect event marketing plan is essential to your success.
1. Understand and promote your events proposition
Before purchasing a ticket or registering for your event, potential attendees must understand what’s in it for them and what they will get out of attending. You should understand this from the outset and be able to communicate it clearly throughout your event marketing plan. That way your audience will understand what you’re proposing and you will attract the right type of attendees.
2. Event Listing
Start with your event page, whether that’s on Eventbrite, MeetUp or Billetto, there are lots of places you can host your event listing for free. Choose one and make sure the page looks engaging, explains exactly what your event is about and includes a clear call to action (an instruction for the viewer to do something, such as sign up or register).
Positive user experience and interaction with your event listing is the first step in selling tickets so it’s important that the event listing page is as effective as possible.
Top Tip: Make sure your event page reflects your brand. Use the same colours and fonts to unify your event with your brand, creating a stronger correlation in the audiences’ minds.
3. Tiered ticket pricing
This isn’t a new marketing strategy, but it is a tried and tested technique that will help you to boost ticket sales. Creating a limited edition, early-bird discounted ticket will encourage people to buy on two grounds:
1) In order to save money
2) For fear of missing out
The latter, fear of missing out, supports the idea that demonstrating demand compounds the pressure to purchase. This means that showing something is selling out or in high demand by someone’s peers increases the perceived value of a product and the feel of immediacy to purchase something. It could be a notification or email campaign which tells your audience how many people have bought tickets or how many you have left. Increasing the perceived idea of high demand encourages people to buy tickets.
4. Attendee referrals
Using your existing audience and building on your current connections is just as important when promoting an event as finding new audiences. Event planners often focus on bringing in new attendees, but you mustn’t forget that you often have an existing fanbase of contacts or previous attendees that you can tap into to boost your ticket sales.
Why not reach out to your existing attendees and incentivise them to refer a friend or promote the event within their own networks?
5. Content marketing strategy
Content is by far the best way to market your event. Content can be used to build a buzz before your event, whether you release teaser interviews with the speakers, showcase content on the event sponsors or simply the day’s agenda.
Using different types of content, such as videos or articles, gives different audiences the opportunity to engage in your content and get involved in the buzz. Whether you’re using audio snippets, short teaser videos or blogs, you can promote your event in a range of different ways that help build momentum and interest before the day.
6. Social Media
Social media is a powerful and free tool so you should definitely make use of it for your event marketing plan. Why not create social media profiles for your event? This is especially valuable if your event is part of a series. You’ve created lots of amazing content to market your event so social media is the medium to get it seen by a wide audience. Put together a detailed content marketing strategy before your event and use tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule posts and monitor engagements.
Create some specific hashtags and captions for your event and don’t forget to use them across social media.
Top Tip: Use collateral that is easily shareable such as short videos or infographics.
7. Email Campaigns
Nurture email campaigns are a great way to benefit from your existing network and digital database if you have one. Nurture email campaigns offer the ideal destination to slowly build interest in your event to a targeted audience and to persuade them over a period of time that they should buy a ticket. Setting up email sequences can help you produce targeted emails to your audience en masse. Creating targeted nurture email campaigns has many benefits, The Harvard Business Review states that personalisation can lift revenues by 5-15% and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by up to 30%. An easy way to include personalisation in your email campaigns is by using first names. If you wanted to take this further you could create tailored content for different job titles, companies or previous history of attending events. Time-consuming, but spending more time on pre-event marketing content can, in the long run, result in more sales and higher profit for your business.
8. Co-marketing with sponsors
If your event is sponsored, joining forces with them to create duel marketing content is an easy way to promote your event to an even bigger audience. It works for both parties; just be creative and proactive in creating co-marketing strategies that serve both you and your sponsors’ interests. A simple way to do this is to include sponsors’ logos and brand colours on marketing collateral.
There are plenty of tools out there when it comes to devising an event marketing plan but don’t be overwhelmed. If you consider these steps and use them to help shape your event marketing plan then you will be in a strong position to achieve more ticket sales.
Key takeaway: Understand your message and feed that into every piece of content you do. Once you’ve done that try and push lots of different types of content out several channels, for the biggest possible impact.