• Helen Pritchett

Event Promotion: How to Create a Fuss For Your Next Event

Event Promotion: How to Create a Fuss For Your Next Event

Events are vital for promoting new products or services. They provide exposure and an engaged target audience. Not only this but they also provide an agreeable environment for establishing business relationships.

It’s evident that events are a valuable asset in your marketing strategy, but they are also a huge investment. With all the effort put into planning, booking a venue, deciding upon catering and booking guest speakers, you need to ensure that your event is marketed effectively and to the right audience.

But how do you create the type of fuss that will have attendee flocking to register?

We live in a digital environment in which end user engagement habits change constantly. Whilst traditional direct marketing activities should still form an integral part of your strategy, activities to reach your target audience must now be more innovative. We must adapt to succeed. It’s now imperative to use various channels including digital, social, telemarketing and eMarketing. Interact with your audience where they prefer to hang out.

So what next? You’ve got a budget and a reason to hold an event. If you have an in-house marketing and events team, you’re all set to go – brief them and let the rest happen. But, if you don’t have the wherewithal in-house you might need to look further afield for an event partner that can offer the support and expertise you need.

Look for a company that has an excellent understanding of how to position and promote IT events to an end user audience. Ensure they have the contacts, the background and the ideas you will need to make your event fly and capture people’s imagination (and their registration money).

Don’t forget about your data – ensure you have access to the very best IT industry end user database. Work hard with your chosen agency to guarantee that each campaign is complemented with use of intelligence rich target data.

Use a combination of outreach channels (from digital to social and telemarketing), to raise awareness and drive attendance. Consider how best to identify potential delegates, companies and individuals, promote your event to your target market to support audience acquisition and nurture registrations until the day of the event.

Tips for a Successful Campaign: Pre-event

1. Define your target audience and clarify how many delegates your venue can facilitate. It is recommended that you target an audience within 50 miles of your event venue

2. Start promoting your event at least 6 weeks before the event date. Ensure your event logistics are all in place to be communicated with your prospects e.g.:

a. Venue, date & time

b. Focus of the day including speakers and agenda

3. Create an informative and interactive web page to promote the event and offer online registration. The easier it is for people to sign up, the more likely they are to do so

4. Don't solely rely on email invitations, spread the word via social media, digital marketing and also the more traditional, yet effective, human to human telemarketing

5. Ensure that registrations do not stagnate after the initial registration conversation. Prepare yourself with an array of communications to nurture registrations once a week, until the event date, e.g.:

a. Thank you for registering

b. Update on guest speakers

c. Request for dietary requirements

d. Reminder of the agenda

e. Directions to the venue

We also recommend that registered contacts receive a complementary telephone call 7 days prior to the event to confirm attendance and 24 hours before the event, to gauge final attendee figures.

Tips for a Successful Campaign: Post-event

It is important not to let the ball drop, once the event is done and dusted.

Post-event follow up is just as crucial, for turning attendees into opportunities. This is a critical phase of the promotion process as it closes out the event and establishes the groundwork for the next one.

1. Utilise social media to send out thank you posts and photos

2. Email all attendees a thank you email; ideally containing a feedback or survey form to find out how they found the event

3. Diarise time to call each of the attendees, ideally 3-5 days after the event, to further thank them for their attendance and to identify / qualify opportunities with that account

Successful event promotion takes time, attention to detail, the right data, nurturing and accurate communications. Work on a number of channels to attract a wide range of delegates. Provide them with the information they need and to make the decision to attend easy. Continue to communicate with delegates after registration and post-event to develop an ongoing relationship.