We all have an idea of events. To some extent, we know what marketing is. However, when these words are combined, the whole new term begins to mean more than its components. Event marketing is a multidimensional and effective marketing channel that is becoming more and more important for different areas of business. Professionals from Write My Resumes claim that there is a great surge in popularity for such specialists this fact is confirmed by the ever-increasing budget that companies are setting for event marketing. And this is not surprising. In the era of modern technology, when thousands of digital messages in a variety of forms are flowing to consumers, real events have the advantage of breaking through this “noise”. Event marketing is one of the most direct and personal ways to reach your target audience.
Running events, however, is never easy and requires control over a lot of details. Check out these 15 steps that will help you organize a large-scale and successful campaign.
Set SMART goals
SMART is an acronym for describing the precise, measurable, achievable, and relevant goal.
Specific – being specific in setting goals is crucial for better management of the whole process and efficient communication with team members.
Measurable – a measurable goal will allow you to correctly assess the effectiveness of the event campaign.
Achievable – a goal, when achievable, gives a persistent sense of success throughout the planning process.
Result-oriented – this quality helps focus on how the choice of each goal will affect the outcome.
Timely – it goes without question that timely completion of tasks and tight deadlines will ensure the implementation of everything that was originally envisioned.
Choose the right ROI metrics
Once goals have been selected and assigned to team members define the metrics against which each goal will be measured. Remember that goal can be measured in different ways, and it is of the utmost importance that you choose the right metric to accurately analyze your event marketing ROI.
Choose an attribution model for your events
Even if a large number of deals are on the brink of closing, thanks to the marketing campaign, the question remains, however: what is the real merit of this particular event? Is it at the event where the client is going to interact with a brand for the first time? Attribution models are very important to assess this impact. First, you must analyze all marketing campaigns running in parallel with the event campaign, and then decide which attribution makes the most sense.
Create a detailed schedule
Once you got the drift of your objectives and metrics, it is high time to create an “attack plan”. When planning, less focus should be on establishing the list of tasks and more on deadlines. Considering a process as a timeline rather than a to-do list you can quickly prioritize tasks and make adjustments easier within the campaign progress.
Book the perfect place
The first thing you should take care of is to ensure an event venue since popular locations often need to be booked weeks or months in advance. Having said that, before booking, make sure you have a clear idea of how the event should go. To do this, take a look at your goals. Is ensuring the networking between the participants on the list? In that case, there obviously should be a large open space for communication or even small conference rooms for more organized study sessions and contact exchanges. It is also important to consider issues such as lighting, scene characteristics, opportunities for presentations, and accessibility of the environment for people with disabilities. Make sure you have a list of venue requirements before starting your search.
Make sure you have a sponsorship
Providing sponsorship is always one of the most difficult tasks, but it is extremely important if you are preparing a large-scale event. In addition to contacting potential sponsors as early as possible, you need to prepare an attractive sponsorship package that will be hard to say no to. After all, sponsors want to recoup their investment in an event as much as you do. The ROI can come in the form of sales, social media impressions, or website visits. Provide specific metrics that are most interesting to your target sponsors and use those points as part of your sponsorship package.
Choose the right event management software
Take the time to find the right software. The crux is that first-class platforms allow you to collect valuable event data and provide a wealth of insights from it. Before making up your mind about particular software, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can I track registrations for attending the event in real time?
- Does the platform have a website editor? If so, how deep can the site be customized?
- Does the platform also have a networking app for the event?
These questions will come in handy for a better understanding of how the relevant software aligns with the goals of the event and what direct impact it will have on your global goals.
Set up software integration for your event date
Chances are that you will be using more than one type of marketing campaign management software. It could be a marketing automation platform or a Customer Relationship Management System (aka CRM) in any case, you will need several tools to process all the valuable data generated by the campaign. The key to using all of these tools is integration across platforms to provide a high-level view of event data. The integration significantly reduces inefficiencies, increases productivity, and provides process insight.
Design an easy-to-use event landing page
The goal of such a satellite site is to represent the brand behind the event through an intuitive user experience. Everything should be done as simply as possible, but at the same time delivering the main message of the event, namely the answer to the question of why users should attend the event. Make sure the site is capable of providing an algorithm with easy and hassle-free registration. It should be able to process all purchased tickets and completed registrations to ensure the most user-friendly UX possible.
Define your social media strategy
If you are the author and organizer of a gorgeous event, wouldn’t you like to share your story with the world? Just make sure you have a detailed plan for implementing your social strategy. Consider the following:
- Use branded event hashtags – short, simple, and catchy. Incorporate them into as many sites or marketing materials as possible.
- Turn event attendees into your promoters – it is these people who will experience the greatest emotional uplift under the influence of your event. Play on this by organizing a contest on social networks, drawing prizes among those who will receive the highest number of likes, retweets, and shares.
- Create online groups well in advance – social media platforms should be involved before the event to create buzz around it. In addition, it will provide visitors with a way of communication, once they get to know each other remotely, they will look forward to a personal meeting.
Prepare a custom email campaign
One of the main forms of communication between you and your guests will be via email. Make things easier for yourself by setting up an automated campaign that will automatically send emails as an event approaches. Keep in mind that you will have at least three separate correspondence streams: for attendees, speakers, and sponsors. The more meaningful each of these campaigns will be to different types of recipients, the more likely you are to get a high level of engagement. The basic guidelines for email marketing are similar to the ones we’ve provided for web design. Maintain simplicity, both in terms of content and design. Try not to overwhelm recipients with overly complex aesthetics or irrelevant information. Also, make sure you have a clear and understandable call-to-action button that leads to more complete information, whether it’s an event website or a separate landing page.
Maximize your onsite experience
After careful planning, organization, and strategy, a long-awaited day finally arrived. While there are plenty of things to do today, keep in mind that the following key points will ensure a pleasant experience for attendees at your event:
- Online registration – it is part of the forming impression about you. The registration process should be streamlined as much as possible. If needed, use event software that offers on-site registration technologies, including self-registration, scanning, and name badge printing capabilities.
- Special app – this is a great way to get the most out of your participants. It offers many possibilities such as networking, real-time voting, and registration for different sessions and panels. All of these features allow visitors to use the content of the event. Think about how participants will be able to download the application and apply it to its fullest.
- Coordinated team communication. Above all else, a strong team will always be the backbone of a successful conference. Clear and consistent communication coupled with a “We can do it” attitude is essential for the team to be able to overcome the difficulties on the day of the event.
Use the event as a source of content
Beyond the live experience, events are a source of original content that can be used for future marketing campaigns. Be creative with your content before, during, and after the event. Perhaps you will create a Facebook Live series ahead of the event and capture the exciting moments of organizing the event. Host a live Q&A session so people can participate virtually in the event. Once the event is over, post the highlights on the blog and explain what the audience can expect from attending next year’s conference.
Collect visitor data with surveys
Although surveys are usually associated with post-facto analysis, make sure you use them throughout the planning process. Before the event starts, send out questionnaires to attendees to rate what type of content, seminars, and speakers they hope to see. Amid the event send the questionnaires to each guest via the application. It is supposed to be a real-time exchange of views on a specific panel or workshop with a general perception of the event. Of course, after the event itself, be sure to get feedback from all participants, including sponsors, guests, and speakers. Here the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is of high priority. The overall picture of how the participants evaluated the event will form the basis for organizing the conference next year.
Check the starting metrics for the event
Once the event officially comes to a close, take enough time for your team to scrutinize the event data and relate it to your original goals and metrics. Take a look at key statistics such as Gross Revenue, total accounts, and event registrations. If you have advanced event management software, take advantage of its features to break down each metric in more detail and thus better understand the impact of the event. Only equipped with a comprehensive picture of how well a campaign has performed concerning its original goals, you will achieve positive progress in your future marketing strategies.
Building on your knowledge of event marketing is invaluable as live events remain the go-to solution for professional marketers across a wide range of businesses. Although event marketing may seem like a daunting task at first, it becomes much more manageable when you set up all your systems correctly.