No matter how amazing your corporate events are in theory, they don’t simply ‘sell themselves’, which is pretty annoying, if you ask us. How to ensure that people will not only come to your event but will be highly excited to do so? By having a well-thought-out event marketing plan checklist.
In this article, we are going to tell you what you need to do to have a comprehensive, detailed, on-the-point content marketing strategy.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Step One: Preparation is Key With Event Marketing
Like with everything in life, you can’t have a stellar event without preparing for it.
Know Your Limits
Before you start to create or design your event, you have to know your limits and constraints, be they financial or otherwise. Hosting an event is not easy on the pocket – you have to factor in the venue costs, the guest speaker costs, promotional swag, display, and a lot more.
Know how much money you have, and what your needs are. Then tailor your budget to fit those requirements perfectly.
Set Your Goals
You need to understand what your event is for, what is the purpose, etc. Determine whether you will hold in-person events or virtual events. Make a list of the goals and outcomes for your event.
You and your sales team need to be on the same page about the goals and objectives to ensure the best possible results.
Ensure that your goals are realistic and something that you can work on actively. Differentiate between tangible and intangible goals. For instance, working on having 700 potential attendees is a tangible goal, while strengthening and building relationships is an intangible goal.
Step Two: Communicate Your Plan
Communication is the key people!
Get Buy-In From Co-Workers
To create and host a successful event – whether small or large – you need the support of your whole company. Ensure that your team is on the same page. Once you have a tentative blueprint and event details, share it with your co-workers.
Encourage Input From the Team
You can’t – and shouldn’t – do everything on your own. Gather your team members and discuss the social media marketing plan with them. Make sure that you communicate the goals and objectives clearly as this will help in delegating the responsibilities.
If your team members have any feedback, allow them to share it with you without any hesitation and make the changes in your B2B event marketing strategy accordingly.
Step Three: Create and Prepare Your Content for Your Event Marketing
Once you identify your goals, it is time to start working on them!
What’s Your Message?
It is time to prepare the main marketing message and content of your event. Identify the message you want to get across to the audience. Highlight the key points and then create your social media content pieces around those points.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Focus on the basic yet very important details such as the event theme, name, color scheme, tagline, etc. Make a tentative event schedule, list down the names of speakers you want for your event, etc.
Don’t forget the main message while carving out the details for everything.
Create an Event Website/App
We live in a digital world where everyone is connected through the internet. Your event website or event app will be the primary touchpoint between you and your audience. It will make or break their opinion about your event.
A well-designed website will leave a positive impression on the audience and will help convince them to register for your event. Moreover, it will drive engagement and will also spread the word about the event.
Design Promo Products
Who doesn’t like free stuff, especially if it is useful, practical, and of high quality? Personalized promotional products will ensure that your audience remembers you and your business long after the event is over.
At Inspire, we handle this in a simple, yet efficient way. Simply choose your product, add your logo and message, and we will take it from there!
Step Four: Promote Your Event & Build Up Interest
Promote, promote, and promote some more!
It’s All About the Audience With Event Marketing
When it comes to any event, it is all about the audience. You have to know everything there is about your target market if you want your event to be a success. Identify demographics like industry, age group, gender, etc.
Consider psychographics as well such as interest, use of technology, motivation to attend your event, etc. Once you know who your target audience is and have tentative customer profiles, you will be able to make marketing strategies that will help you convert them into loyal customers.
For instance, if your target audience is preschoolers, you need promo items that kids will find alluring and enticing.
Blow Up Social Media & Inboxes
Once you have got all the basic details together, it is time to get the word out. From social posts to email marketing campaigns, it is time to knock on all doors! Get email addresses and boost attendee engagement by planning a major email blast.
Create momentum for your event promotion by getting on social channels and building a community. Make sure you have a catchy event hashtag and social media graphics for the social media posts that you can use on all the social media channels.
No matter what kind of event you are hosting, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook will always remain relevant. However, don’t forget to use other social platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc. as well.
Early Bird Rates & Discounts
Want to catch the attention of people? Offer them early bird discounts! Offer them early bird pricing and discounts – the earlier they register, the cheaper it will be. You don’t have to offer them discounts in the form of money – it can be anything from better experience to promo items and store credit.
As the event date gets closer, the price of the event registrations should go up. Focus your marketing activities on building up interest and qualified leads in the run-up of the expiry of the discount offers.
Use Platforms & Apps To Advertise
Apart from promoting the event on your website and social media platforms, you should list your event on third-party websites such as 10times to increase your event’s reach. You can use Google Analytics and Google Adwords as well.
However, if you want tools that will show you real-time analytics without having a lot of technical acumen, you can use Whova. These metrics will give you insights into web traffic, which speakers seem to be most popular, etc.
This will help you adjust your marketing plan accordingly and prepare for your event in a better way.
Step Five: Develop Effective Tactics & Strategies
Hone your marketing tactics and strategies!
Personalize Your Tactics
Event marketing efforts are all about engaging with the target audience, learning their needs, and delivering in the best possible way. Combine your email marketing strategy with direct mail marketing and effectively boost the results.
Tailor your messages in a way that will attract the needs of people. Instead of sending out generic messages and event emails, add a personal touch – a handwritten note, etc. – to the direct mailers and your potential collaborators will connect with you in a better way.
Use the Community Board Feature
You can use event management software such as Whova and use the community boards to improve the event success. The participants can plan meet-ups, ask questions, share photos, etc. on the community boards.
This will drive up the level of engagement and will build hype around your event.
Step Six: Take Action
It is time to take action!
Identified or Unidentified?
When it comes to prospects, you can divide them into two categories – identified and unidentified. Identified prospects are those clients with whom you have either previously engaged or are actively targeting.
At your actual event, the goal is to convert the identified prospects into your customers. Unidentified prospects are those who haven’t been specifically targeted, but still, stop by your booth and are interested.
Make sure that you cater to the needs of both identified and unidentified prospects.
Hand Out Your Personalized Promo Products to Build Your Event Marketing Strategy
Hand out personalized promo items at your booth, after speaker sessions, at the event entrance, etc. From branded apparel to personalized goodie bags, there are a multitude of options for promotional items that we at Inspire will help you choose!
Encourage Social Action
Whatever is happening at your event, don’t hesitate to tweet, post, and share it!
It can bring in last-minute people to your show. Use your event hashtag, create a live photo wall for a dedicated event post, etc. – do whatever you think will bolster event attendance!
Bring Your Best Attitude
A smile is your best friend. No one likes grumpy, sullen, boring people. Happy people equal a happy atmosphere. When people associate positive emotions with your business, brand, and products, they not only use your services themselves but also encourage other people to do so as well.
Step Seven: Review & Learn
Learn from your mistakes!
Compare Reality With Your Goals
Once your event is over, you can take a break – only after reviewing what happened at the event. Did you achieve all your event goals? Did you make any mistakes?
Thank Everyone For Coming
Reach out to the prospects after the event is over to keep the dialogue going. Create an email list of the event attendees and send them thank you emails, share the pictures and videos of the B2B events with them, etc.
Learn From Your Mistakes With Event Marketing
Nothing in life is perfect. If you made any mistakes while hosting the event, note them down post-event so that you can learn from the mistakes and not repeat them in future events.
Closing With Building an Event Marketing Plan
We all know how much effort it takes to organize an event. However, this doesn’t guarantee that people will show up. To encourage people to actually show up, you need to have a solid event promotion plan.
While event promotion is a long and complex process, you don’t have to get overwhelmed. Simply follow the steps that we have discussed in the step-by-step guide as it will help you increase event participants’ satisfaction and event attendance.
You will be on your way to hosting a stellar event that people will talk about for months!