The Event Marketing Starter Guide

Sponsoring events or hosting your own are great ways to market to existing customers and untouched demographics. After all, who doesn’t love a fun-filled event with free swag, cool tech, or good food? How you frame your event, what’s on the schedule, and who comes will depend on what industry you’re in and what you’re trying to accomplish. Even companies focused on a single industry host or sponsor different events based on what their goal is. It could be to associate their brand with a certain life aesthetic or to showcase their most recent product development achievements.

A lot of organizations are surprised to find just how eager people are to attend events. People love getting together whether it’s to try out new products or listen to some music. In 2020, even virtual events have seen a great deal of success. Event marketing is a terrific way to mix up your marketing channels with something new. Here are some things you need to know about event marketing and how you can make it work for your company.

Creating Community Around Your Brand

If you’re able to pull off a successful event, attendees may not remember exactly what happened or what they did, but they’ll always associate the feelings they had there with your brand or organization. Indeed, event marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness and curate your image. Your most loyal customers will show, and it’s the perfect venue for them to bring friends, family, or colleagues, who all will be incredible referrals later on. Events also allow people to give instant feedback to companies, an opportunity you should welcome with open arms. It’s face to face communication with your customers who matter most.

Planning Your Event Marketing Strategy

Any event team around the world that has hosted or planned for events will tell you that months and even years go into pulling off a good event. Marketing events of this scale are not something to be toyed with. Everything has to be in place and all contingencies are planned for. Give yourself enough lead time to reduce any chance of something going poorly. The appropriate lead time will also help you:

  • Create sufficient buzz around the event
  • Send out enough invites to guarantee proper attendance
  • Promote the event on other marketing channels
  • Gather customer/attendee information for retargeting

Integrating Multiple-Channel Marketing into Your Event

If you’re hosting an event yourself, you’ll want to capitalize on all the time and effort you’ve put into the event. Attending an event in person or sponsoring someone else’s event is also an opportunity for multi-channel marketing. Before the event, you should be targeting leads with keywords, promoting the event on social media, and creating published content around what’s going to be happening there. Just the fact that you have the event to talk about can create increased buzz around your brand.

Using Your Event for Lead Generation

No matter how large or small, your event should be about lead generation says Ross Kernez from Marble. Small VIP events, for instance, are a great chance to target high-end customers or influencers who can market your products organically. By offering them an exclusive peek at a new product, you can reap the rewards of their posts and reviews on social media.

The simple act of handing out branded t-shirts and hats at a larger event can multiply your efforts. Now you’ve got hundreds or thousands of people walking around as your billboards. When your event is in the planning stages, you should constantly be asking yourself the question about what whatever it is you’re doing will accomplish when it comes to putting more opportunities into your sales pipeline.

Tracking the Impact of an Event

Effective marketers are always looking at the effects of their campaigns. Set the parameters early on that will define what success will look like.

That could be things like:

  • Increased web traffic after the event
  • Social media subscriber numbers
  • People who have signed up for demos or sales calls
  • Actual sales figures

There are so many different KPIs you can use to measure the success of an event and build an event framework that you can improve on in the future. Doing this can make event marketing a continual process of improvement and refinement that delivers a unique experience for your audience by bringing them together.

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