Event Marketing

Event marketing can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but one thing is for certain: it is as fiercely competitive as any other type of marketing! Therefore, a strong work ethic and excellent organizational skills are essential.

It is particularly important to know your market audience in order to reach it. Today's online market moves at such speed that it makes a New York minute seem like a week of productivity. If you haven't identified your target market, online or offline, you must do so first and foremost.

Whether your target market is vendors and suppliers or event goers, start networking both on and offline to reach them. This marketing is something that is done not only beforehand, but during and after your event as well.

Technology has provided innovative ways of gathering critical information to help you reach your objective.

One example is RFID, which stands for Radio Frequency Identification Device. This captures data from 15 feet away and is used to track and identify attendees. There are hand held devices which you can rent for $30-$40 which will tell you who is standing within a five foot radius of you. For those attendees who uploaded photos to their devices, they will appear alongside their information for enhanced networking capabilities.

If your budget permits, taking advantage of this type of technology can boost your marketing efforts, and those of your attendees, as never before.

Marketing Software

Marketing Software should be highly automated. It should connect sales and finance, manage campaigns and track results.

Marketing software should deliver concise data of best performance indicators, and in turn, provide intel for accurate forecasting. Your software should be able to organize your attendees, perform profiling and analytics, and serve as a single source for inbound/outbound communications, to give you the control you need before, during and after your event.

Event marketing deals with every segment of industry. It necessitates the ability to compile the various data into useful reports which will allow you to be more effective in your marketing efforts. This will result in a better experience for your participants, and allow you to follow up with them after the event and market to them in the future.

Event Invitations

When you have figured out exactly who you're trying to reach, then you can get creative about what invitation would best communicate the nature of your event and why it would benefit your prospective attendee. Whatever you produce physically should be communicated electronically as well. Be sure to include it on your website, your email campaign and/or podcast.

Today, you can send voice messages in mp3 format directly to cell phones via email. You can include a text link which, when clicked, will stream the mp3 formatted voice message to your device's speaker, whether it be a cell phone or a computer.

Be sure that your invitation, whether online or offline, is completely flawless before releasing it. It is difficult, time consuming, and expensive (not to mention embarrassing) to backtrack and correct or resend invitations.

Marketing Tools

Any and all means of disseminating your event information are marketing tools. Networking with personal contacts, and exchanging business cards and flyers can all be effective marketing methods.

A press release is a good way to get free advertising, since newspapers and trade publications like to provide up to date information. When they have space available, they will include your information. Since this often happens close to publication deadlines, it is a good time to check with them for availability.

Trade Ezines and magazines which provide their publications online are also targeted approaches to attract quality prospects to your event.

Direct Marketing

Examples of direct marketing are door hangers, gift cards, postcards, email, and banner ads. Online or offline, direct marketing still needs to strongly convey a strategic message.

For instance, if customers prefer convenience, then focus on language that will best convey convenience, with phrases like "hassle-free" or "user-friendly".

Direct Mail Marketing

The key to direct mail marketing is to clearly define your participant profile. When that is established, you can approach "lead" companies who provide lists in the form of adhesive lables in various sizes.

They also provide CDs containing not only postal information, but phone, email and website information as well. Then, all you have to do is send a well developed card or brochure that includes a response form.

This way, you can track the performance of your direct mail campaign.

Event Sponsorship

Event Sponsorship can come in many forms. It can be a donation of money, goods, services or even ticket purchases to send more attendees.

There are many creative arrangements that can benefit both your sponsor and your event. One example would be co-producing marketing materials or commercial ads that carry both event and sponsor logos.

Promotional Marketing

Give people a reason to talk about your event to their friends. Your promotion can be set up to invite registrants to tell others about the fun. When you invite people online to interact with your site, you'll not only know they visited, but how long they visited, and the demographics of the people interested in your event.

Give people a reason to go online with a chance to win awards. Watch how long they spend with your offer and the kinds of people your site attracts. Contests offer an attractive marketing vehicle for small businesses to acquire new clients and create product awareness.

Promotional items with your event and/or company logo should be part of your marketing efforts, but for distribution before, during and after the event.

Another strategy is to collect names as leads, or discount an item as a loss leader to gain a larger customer base. Determine the reason for the promotion. Be careful how you lay out the rules. The Federal Trade Commission states "when a free offer is tied to the purchase of another product, the price of the purchased product should not be increased from its regular price."

According to research, 76 percent of show attendees come with an agenda. You need to create a program that will get people to remember you. How you spend your budgeting dollars will determine how you accomplish this. The people you would want to walk into your office and do business with are the people you need to reach.

Social Marketing

As the internet becomes more and more popular among people for personal and business use, more and more blogs, virtual communities, photo sharing sites, etc. are available.

These are becoming the very tools to not only generate traffic, but to convert that traffic to sales or other desired calls to action. In other words, social marketing as a whole has become the tool for conversion optimization.

Supplying people with the information they are looking for, and providing a link to where they may purchase what has caught their interest, raises highly qualified traffic and in turn, conversion rates.

Some techniques to improve your conversion rate are the stickiness of your blogpage or site, a good return policy, and multiple payment options. Solicit and welcome feedback, offer special discounts, etc.

Blog Marketing

Some point at Six Steps to Effective Blog Marketing Measurement:

  1. Define your objective(s)
  2. Define your audience(s)
  3. Define the metrics you will use
  4. Benchmark this against yourself or your competition
  5. Pick your measurement tool
  6. Analyze the results.

In Conclusion...

The easiest way to help customers become more involved in a positive, passionate way about your business is to talk to them and treat them as equal partners.

At the end of the day, every company lives and dies by how well it serves, supports, and interacts with its customers. Every customer experience is put on the global scale of success and failure.

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Comments 3 comments

Marc-Portugal profile image

Marc-Portugal 7 years ago from Chicago

Awesome article. Spot on information! Very helpful!

tyron 7 years ago

Your article really helps especially im new to this profession i hope you could add more articles about event management for us newbies!!! thanks!!

Linda Eze 7 years ago

This article is well loaded, it touches every aspect of event planning in a very elaborate and comprehensive way. I am impressed, please keep up the great work.

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