10 Ways to Successfully Market Your Events
Published by Aimee Boschier | 17/02/2020
Promotion is one of the most fundamental steps in your process to creating a successful event. And having it in place leading up to and during your event can put you ahead of your competitors in gaining most traction and engagement from attendees and potential prospects at exhibitions, or put you well on the way to securing a great turnout at your own organised event.
Put simply, event marketing is the promotion of a product, brand, or service through different techniques and channels to get people to come to your event and engage with your brand.
As the experts in the events industry, we’re letting you in on our top 10 ways to successfully market your events, online, offline, and through word of mouth, we cover it all!
1. Email Marketing
There has been dispute that email marketing has been in decline, but we’re telling you now that we are far-off from that happening with around 90% of marketers using email as their primary channel for generating leads (1).
Email marketing is a great way to share your event details and give people the chance to plan ahead; increasing the likelihood of people attending to see you. At exhibitions, 76% of visitors attend a show with a fixed agenda (2), they know who they want to see and why. So, it only makes sense for you to contact your customers and prospects beforehand to let them know you’re exhibiting!
Schedule and plan to send a few emails leading up to the show to keep people in the loop. Ensure you include specific details including, if you’re exhibiting at a show, the show name, times and dates, and your stand number. And if you want to take it a step further, include a show floor plan and give people easy directions to find you.
Whether at an exhibition or a proprietary event, make your email exciting and give them good reasons to come and visit you. Use incentives to entice people, tell them what you’ll be doing at your event and whether there is anything new to your business.
Don’t just keep the email marketing as a step before the event, make sure you’re continuing the attendees’ customer journey by following up after the event with an email. Thank them for coming to your event and give them a quick recap of who you are and what you can offer.
2. Social Media
Social media is a must-have, with the likes of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn amongst the most popular. And part of their popularity is down to event marketeers using social media as part of their promotion, with 82% using social channels to market their events (3).
In the lead up to your event, ensure you take into consideration how you can engage attendees the most on each channel. See some of our ways below:
– Create an event or group quickly and easily
– Use hashtags on all channels, ones that are relatable and memorable
– Include the event organiser handle/hashtags in your posts, they’re likely to share to a wider community!
– Use LinkedIn to reach out to your contact and pre-book meetings at your event
– Post sneak-peek photos in the lead up to your event
On the day, ensure you are keeping your social channels up to date throughout the day. Not only will it hype up the event, but it will also encourage people to visit your stand. Check into the event or location and make people aware of your presence!
Blogging is powerfully simple, allowing even small businesses to attract large number of impressions with a little research! Blogging places you in an authoritative position within the industry, encouraging people to visit your event specifically to see you.
Blogging can provide content that is both relevant and interesting about what your event or exhibit is promoting. When writing content, identify what is most likely to gain attraction to your website and event, whilst also taking into consideration what people are looking for in the industry. Target your content to fulfil the requirements of a reader, answer their questions, and make sure to include details of your event. Try to think of new ways to push content out, you might want to write an article, design an infographic, or even create downloadable content that will interest people and entice them to come and visit you.
Focus on what keywords are popular around the time you’re posting. What questions are people asking about your event? What keywords are being used when your event is being searched? Try to include these within your content to ensure you will get the best results with SEO. And as a result, boosting popularity on Google searches and increasing traffic to your website.
4. Online Exhibitor Profile
Whilst it is a great idea to build up excitement and hype for the event on your personal channels, it is equally important to fill in your online exhibitor profile on the event’s site (if applicable). Visitors will be researching the event and subsequently looking at your website. If you’ve uploaded your details, people can find you directly and find out what you’re offering.
Online exhibitor profiles are a great way to promote your brand, business and services, and for free! Take advantage of the free advertisement and guarantee visitors understand exactly who you are and what you do within the first few minutes of viewing your profile. Event profiles are limited in number of characters or words, so make every word count and get your points across in the first couple of sentences! Furthermore, a lot of exhibition organisers will give you free marketing to utilise across your own channels.
Depending on the target audience, tweak your content to focus on what people will be looking for at the event. For example, if you’re attending a print show, you’ll want to highlight the print services you offer first to grab audience’s attention.
5. Paid Ads
We all prefer it when advertising is free, but you can also consider using paid advertising to widen your reach and exposure. Paid ads will increase impressions, visits to specific landing pages, and increase the likelihood of visits to your event and even sale enquiries.
Paid ads are pretty straightforward if you’ve done the research and understand the basics of the tools you’re using. You first need to understand what keywords people will be searching for in relation to your event. Think about including locations, dates, and the event name. Try to make your keywords as relevant and as specific as possible. Then bid on those keywords against competitors.
The next step is to create eye-catching ads. Whether you use words or imagery to support, you need to ensure they will stand out in order to attract a large number of clicks through to your landing page. Ensure the page has details of your event and a clear call to action, whether that be booking a meeting or getting in touch to find out more about your event.
Remember to utilise all your channels to gain the best possible reach. Think about setting your event up on your social channels. For example, setting up an event on Facebook is easy and can be done in less than 5 minutes! With action buttons and an option to buy tickets directly on the platform, it’ll make inviting and responding ten times easier!
6. Email Footer Signature
Email is a popular resource used by many businesses, with around 90% of consumers reporting that they check their emails daily (4)! And not only is email commonly used to connect with current clients, but it is also an easy way to connect with new prospects. And there is an easy way to market your event without all the hassle!
Ensure you create an email footer that stands out at the end of your email, that also states the key details of your event including date, the event name, venue and stand number (if applicable). And remember to add a hyperlink that will direct people to more information about your event, and/or to register to attend. Whilst email footers won’t effectively market your event alone, they can improve and support engagement in the lead up to your event.
Everyone likes freebies! Think about what you can offer attendees or visitors that will incentivise them to attend the event and come to see you. Try to link it to your event objectives and think about when the incentive is exchanged. Do you want the visitor to do something in exchange for their goodie bag or free item? Do you need to complete something or participate in an activity to be entered into a competition? What is going to intrigue people to come to your stand beyond your product and services? When promoting your event online or even offline, make sure to include these incentives to build hype around your event.
Some examples may be giveaways, games or competitions. Create some excitement around your incentive. Make potential visitors and event-goers aware of exciting features that they won’t want to miss out on. Perhaps send them something in the post that can be exchanged for an item when they visit you? This can create exclusivity for your VIP visitors that is trackable post-event. Whatever you decide to do, be specific about what giveaways are on offer and the available prizes if they win competitions.
Event sponsorship is where a company supports an event, usually with funds. The event will then exchange these for increased brand awareness, access to specific audiences, discounts, a chance to generate leads, and even speaking opportunities at the event.
Sponsoring an event will raise your credibility amongst audiences who may therefore be more inclined to attend. Only sponsor events that focus on your target audience and which will enhance your marketing efforts. Sponsorships are a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and build a sense of community in time for the event.
Newsletters are a popular strategy to effectively market upcoming events. Especially as 40% of B2B marketers say that email newsletters are crucial for successful content marketing results (5). Email newsletters keep your clients and prospects up to date with your company’s news and are an effective channel to promote upcoming events.
If you’re already sending out monthly content, it doesn’t take much to dedicate a small section to your event! Before sending your newsletter, make sure to segment your audiences to target the right people for your event. Have a unique and exciting title that will encourage people to click, leading them to a landing page specific to your event. Make sure to include key details on the email and include more information on your landing page to keep people engaged throughout.
10. Word of Mouth
Finally, what could be easier to promote your events than a simple bit of chit chat? Whether it be your employees or partners of your business, word of mouth marketing can often be more effective than paid advertising (according to a study by Nielsen).
Once you start the conversation, it kickstarts a chain that (specifically for events) will encourage attendance, generate traffic and drive sales. People trust what their peers are saying, and if they’re saying positive things, you’re off to a good start. Word of mouth marketing works effectively to build a community and ensure people are actively engaging with your brand.
Hopefully the above 10 ways will give you a head start in marketing your event effectively and giving you the widest reach possible! Before implementing any of these into your strategy, understand which ones will work for your brand, product, service and the audience you’re aiming to target. And before you know it, you’ll be effectively marketing your events like a pro!
Next up, find out our hidden tips and tricks to perfecting your stand engagement!