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  • Helen Pritchett

Events? It's all about bums on seats.

Events, webinars, and virtual events provide a beneficial environment for establishing business relationships and to promote new products and services and can be a highly valuable part of your overall marketing strategy. As well as being beneficial for those hosting and participating, events also enrich the lives of the delegates. Events provide a unique stage to stimulate, educate, intrigue, amuse, and bring people together with a common goal.

Live events are gaining in popularity now we have settled into our new normal post-COVID world. We are getting increasing numbers of requests for support with event promotion, ranging from contact data requirements through to pre-event telemarketing and ongoing registrant nurturing.

If you’ve been involved in running events, you will be well aware they don’t sell themselves, and to get bums on seats at your next event - whether face to face or online - you need a comprehensive event marketing strategy that will positively promote your event to your target audience.

If you are diving back into event participation, have you given detailed consideration as to how you are going to promote your event activity and to whom? Do you have a strategy for event promotion, event marketing and delegate communications pre- and post-event?

Event marketing covers the various elements of planning, coordinating, and implementing an event for the purpose of promoting a brand, product, or service. It can be a bit of a minefield but there are clear routes to event marketing success; follow these and you will give yourself the best chance of success and return on investment.

Top tips for taking your event to market:

  1. Identify your target market segment and key buying personas

  2. Don’t delay audience acquisition efforts (CPB recommends commencing such efforts at least 8 weeks prior to the event)

  3. Promote the event to your target market in a multi-centric way

  4. Keep registered contacts upbeat and excited for the event with weekly nurturing comms

  5. Keep in regular contact with your registrations to pre-verify likely attendance ratios

  6. Don’t dishearten if registrations choose to drop out; aim to book 1-2-1 meetings with these contacts instead, there must have been a reason behind them wishing to attend

  7. Plan and execute onsite event support and comms

  8. Ensure to have a robust post-event follow-up strategy to identify next engagement steps

  9. Continue to nurture all attendees with regular follow up and communications

Audience identification and acquisition

Firstly, you need to ensure you define the right audience acquisition process, which starts with identifying your target market buyer personas and obtaining the right contact data from your own database or via a third party.

Enhance your strategy:

  • Specify target audience based on specific criteria such as buyer personas, geography, demographics or intent data

  • Create a marketing strategy

  • Create an event hashtag for use on social platforms

Event promotion and delegate nurturing

Once you have your audience data list, 6-8 weeks out we recommend you begin compelling, targeted promotional activity to engage with these individuals. Start with a ‘save the date’ communication and build up to more detailed information sharing. In so doing, you’ll begin the process of building relationships with your target audience in a ‘digital awareness funnel’, which will allow you to continue communicating with them from the first engagement right through their pre-event journey, nurturing each registration from the beginning to the end of their voyage.

Enhance your strategy:

  • Personalise eMarketing communications to pique initial interest

  • Employ an expert telemarketing agency to approach your target audience data; telemarketers will qualify and register target attendees via the telephone with contact details being entered into registration landing page.

  • Say thank you – send an automatic ‘thank you for registering’ email to each contact which also provides additional, relevant, helpful event information

  • Send weekly communications to each registered contact in your email nurture funnel, keeping them updated on the event agenda, guest speakers, logistics, etc

  • Use mass, broadcast marketing activity along with adverts on social media platforms to raise awareness

  • Have telemarketers make reminder courtesy calls and send reminder email or SMS alerts

  • Contact all registered delegates at least 48 hours prior to the event to verify the estimated turnout for the day.

Onsite comms

During the event itself you should provide adequate digital support communications to make sure the delegates know what is happening and when. Think social media and push technology apps which will provide them with up-to-date information on the agenda, speakers, and sponsor programme. The onsite communications you have with delegates will give insight into those attending, allowing you to verify attendance figures to help understand ROI.

Enhance your strategy:

  • Plan and execute clever and compelling onsite and post-event activity to include lead generation reports, event feedback and surveys.

  • Make clever use of social to update delegates about what is happening during the day

Post-event evaluation

It's not over when the event is over. A final, important task is ongoing nurture of attendees, and we don’t just mean a post-event questionnaire. It's vital to keep the relationship going, staying in touch, building trust, and getting to know your audience, thereby ensuring that your next event will be similarly well supported and successful.

Enhance your strategy:

  • Keep in touch, stay connected and build loyalty for future events and sales

Elevate event marketing for long term relationship building success

To be confident of event promotion success you need to throw a lot into the marketing mix. Given the right ingredients there is a complex yet straightforward recipe for success.

To ensure success, imply focus on brand awareness, event advertising and event promotion via marketing approaches such as:

  • Obtaining the right contact data

  • Broadcast eMarketing to a mass audience

  • Follow up telemarketing

  • Ongoing digital marketing via email and digital activity

  • Post-event surveys and market research

  • Use a multi-touch marketing approach to ensure your message hits as many of your target audience as possible. Even doing all of this cannot guarantee bums on seats but it will give you the best chance.

If you’re at all unsure, talk to an agency such as CPB UK Ltd. Experts in the business and focused on the IT industry, CPB will use its demand generation capabilities to help drive event attendance (and pipeline). Events, even virtual ones, are an investment; you need to ensure your corporate participation at any event is marketed effectively and to the right audience. Not only that, but activities to reach your target audience must be innovative; CPB knows all about how to position and promote IT events to an engaged end-user audience and its telemarketing agents have an excellent understanding of the industry. With exclusive access to ProspectaBase, the UK’s leading IT Industry end user database, each campaign is complemented with use of intelligence rich target data. Using a combination of outreach channels from digital to social and telemarketing, CPB markets your event to raise awareness and drive attendance.

Find out more about event promotion marketing services here or get in touch with one of our Account Managers for more information on kick starting your 2023 event strategy.


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