Event professionals, read on!
Among all the possible tools at a marketer’s disposal, events have to be one of the most effective. While emails and demand generation are certainly powerful tools, events stand apart for exclusively offering that necessary face-to-face connection.
With this in mind, here are a few of the best practices for marketing your business with an event that all event professionals should put into action.
Know your audience
It’s one of the most essential rules of marketing: don’t send an email, don’t write a blog post, don’t tweet, and don’t ever throw an event unless you know your intended audience. Without that crucial information, how can you tailor that email, blog post, tweet, or event to the needs and interests of your intended target? Knowing the kind of audience you except to attend your event is fundamental knowledge that must be understood before an event can promote your business.
Pick a perfect time and place
In real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. In event marketing, it’s about time and place, time and place, time and place. Make sure your event doesn’t conflict with another event aiming for a similar purpose or, worse, a high-profile conference that could steal attendees. Capitalizing on long weekends or holidays may be effective if done cleverly, but do your research to be sure that people will actually be in town (or willing to travel) for your event.
Promote far in advance
As we previously blogged about, no event can be successful without weeks or even months of prep work. From social media campaigns and webinars to blogging and press outreach, it’s never too early to start promoting your event and marketing your business. When it comes to journalists, for example, schedules fill up fast and far in advance, so alert them ahead of time and entice them with exclusive engagements with speakers at your event.
Host a webinar
Inviting everyone to a webinar a week or two out is an artful way of getting confirmed attendees even more excited about the upcoming event while also giving anyone on the fence a clearer reason why they should jump for a ticket. Webinars can be used to introduce topics, tease special guests, and also serve as an open channel for participants to influence the direction of the event. And since events are social by nature, webinars also promote relationships between attendees and speakers, encouraging participants to build connections before the event comes around.
Integrate social media
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: whether or not you make social media integral to your event, speakers and attendees will be tweeting and sharing across their social networks regardless. By creating hashtags for the event, encouraging attendees to share questions and key takeaways, and taking all-around leadership of the social media conversation, organizers not only ensure that the event will be a resounding success, but they also help promote the business even further.
Blog before, during, and after
While many companies today often feel starved for content to be sharing on their blog, any organization hosting an event should never feel this way. Events give you the perfect reason to blog before, during, and after the actual event takes place. In advance, share details about where the event will be held, share a link to ticket sales, and generally promote the most exciting sessions. During the event, if possible, share blog recaps of sessions in real-time. After the event, write a recap of the entire event complete with high-quality photos and key takeaways.
Follow up after the event
Most businesses use events to capture customer information—it just makes sense. With your prospects physically present, you have a prime opportunity to learn their interests and pain points while also establishing a basis for connecting in the future. Use the blog post recaps you share after the event (see above) as the perfect reason to reach out soon after the event, and use the great rapport you’ve established to keep the relationship going.
Livecube is a responsive web app that engages your attendees with a fun, memorable experience through social media, game mechanics, and compelling rewards.Follow Justin Schier on Twitter @justinschier
Follow Livecube on Twitter @livecube