If you're hosting an event, large or small, you'll need an event marketing plan.
Event marketing lets people know that you're hosting the event in the first place, conveys the event's value, and connects guests with resources that can answer their questions. It also helps you sell tickets, engage people while the event is going on, and capture their attention for the future.
Whether you're hosting a conference, product launch, or networking gathering, it's clear that marketing is a vital part of your planning. Read on to learn how to create a marketing strategy that will help ensure your next event goes smoothly.
Before the Event
A good event marketing strategy begins long before the event is scheduled. The months and weeks leading up to your event are the perfect time to increase brand awareness, build excitement, and inspire action.
1. Identify Your Why
Before you create any promotional materials, you should have a clear understanding of why you're hosting the event and what your business is hoping to get out of it. Are you promoting the launch of a new product, increasing the size of your local network, or meeting a specific educational need in your industry?
2. Outline Your Goals and Budget
Next, create a list of objectives that you would like your event to accomplish. Aim high but keep them realistic and measurable. Keep these in mind as you create marketing materials and plan how much to spend on event promotion.
3. Create Content & Reach Out
Now that you have a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish, it's time to start creating your marketing materials.
One of the best places to start is with an online event page. This can either be a landing page added to your pre-existing website or a dedicated profile on a social media platform. As soon as your page launches, release an announcement on social media or through your email subscriber list.
After the initial announcement, continue to put out promotional content like blogs, guest posts, email newsletters, and press releases. Keep your followers updated on exciting updates to the schedule, keynote speakers, and any promotions you're running. If you're hosting a local event, you may also want to send postcards by mail or post flyers around town.
During the Event
Marketing doesn't stop once your event begins! You can continue to build brand awareness as the day goes on by posting photos, video clips of speakers, and schedule updates on social media.
This is also a great opportunity to have your attendees participate in the marketing process. Invite them to post photos of themselves at the event on social media with a custom hashtag and feature them on your page, or have them tweet their favorite things about the event throughout the day.
After the Event
Once your event has wound down, make sure to keep in contact with your attendees! Follow up on any new leads in a timely fashion and send out surveys to find out what guests enjoyed (and what they didn't).
Finally, make sure to thank your attendees on social media and post a photo gallery or video of event highlights. Use these materials and your guests' feedback to plan for and promote your next event!
Creating Your Own Winning Event Marketing Plan
Successfully promoting any type of event is a huge undertaking, but if you follow these steps, you'll be well on your way to creating a winning event marketing plan.
If you'd like a chance to learn about event planning from the experts, check out the 2019 Event Planner Expo. Get your tickets today to hear from keynote speakers Gary Vaynerchuk and Jason Feifer and build valuable connections with industry influencers.