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Planning for success: Event marketing 101

4 July 2014
by Adam Oldfield

Event marketing can be one of the best ways to drive new business and get people talking about your brand. Done right, it can have much greater resonance than, say, a bog standard email campaign. But knowing exactly what kind of event to put on and how to promote it can be a tricky task.

The event itself can take many forms; virtual or physical; undertaken solo or in tandem with another company; lecture/learning based or fun and interactive. The list goes on.

At Force24 we’ve been working with our clients to achieve event marketing success for years, so here are a few best practice tips which we can share.

Plan, plan, plan:

It might be tempting to concentrate on what happens on the big day, but planning is vital to a successful event marketing campaign. You’ll need to:

  • Draw up measurable goals.
  • Ensure your database has quantity and quality. If large numbers of decorators turn up to a plumbing convention, it won’t be of much value.
  • Make sure your comms work on all major mobile devices/platforms.
  • Start engagement with qualified prospects by email, social, e-newsletters etc. It’s all about building anticipation early on.
  • Pay attention to the content of communications. They need to be targeted and relevant. To do this you need to…
  • Segment your prospective attendees. This will help ensure the invite they get is as relevant as possible, giving you the best chance of them signing on the dotted line.
  • Consider building a microsite; it will give the feeling of exclusivity and ensure practical info is all in one place.
  • Make signing up as easy as possible. Let’s minimise the number of drop-outs at this stage.
  • Think about forcing prospects to choose event sessions when they sign up (if it’s that kind of event). Having data on which sessions are best attended will help you know which areas need more marketing / promotion.

On the day

The big day is finally here. Now it’s all about creating the smoothest journey possible for the attendee, maintaining that high level of excitement and making sure they’re talking about it for weeks to come.

  • Send a reminder email the day before to keep the event top of mind and make sure people known how to get there. Time it right too – not on a Monday morning or Friday afternoon please.
  • On the day; scan badges and export data every 15-20 minutes if possible. Send attendees a welcome email at these intervals, which will help drive excitement and expectation amongst those at the event.
  • Send out reminders before each session. This is good from a practical point of view to ensure everyone knows where to go, and it will show you are in control. For attendees who haven’t checked their inbox at the show, it will mean they have several emails reminding them what a great event it was when they get home.
  • After a week or so send a “relive the conference” email with a link to a feedback form and any videos, powerpoint slides or other content from the event. It’ll give you great intelligence for future events and keep your brand front and centre in attendees’ minds.

Planning an event? Speak to us about how we applied the above to a customer conference recently run by our client Ceridian.

Photo of Adam Oldfield
Adam Oldfield
Managing Director & Founder

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