Event marketing is one of the best ways to promote your product, build brand awareness, and create personal relationships with your customers. But even the most exciting events will not sell themselves. If you want to maximize event attendance, you will need an event marketing plan.
The right event marketing plan will help you increase attendance and create a more memorable event for your guests. The right plan will help you determine who will be interested in your event and how you can spread the word.
How to Create the Best Event Marketing Plan
Of course, even the best-laid plans can go awry. You will need to constantly re-evaluate yours based on your budget, timeline, and target market.
That being said, there are certain steps you can take to increase your chances for success. Here are seven steps to creating the best event marketing plan.
1. Determine the goals for your event
Your event marketing plan is based on your goals, so it is important to determine what they are early on. Are your goals for the event tangible or intangible? Are they measurable and attainable? Break down the “why” behind the event.
A few helpful questions to ask are:
- Why is this event important for my company?
- Who do I hope will attend?
- What value will this event bring the attendees?
- How will I know if the event is a success?
- How will it improve the lives of the attendees?
- How will I ensure that we keep in contact with attendees after the event?
Start with a clear understanding of your goals and how you will attain them. Create your marketing plan from there.
2. Set your budget and timeline
The budget is not an exciting topic for most people. But it is important to set your budget before you move forward with any plan.
Your budget will play a big role in your marketing efforts, both at the event and after. Once you know the location, format, and the date of your event, you need to settle on how you will spend the money you have allocated. Having a budget in place will show you how you can best use your resources so you don’t waste time or money.
3. Gather your team
Your team is your number one resource in developing your event marketing plan. Take stock of the team you already have in place and identify what other roles need to be filled.
What tools or resources could help your team communicate more effectively? Are there other subject matter experts you could bring on board to help out? And what digital assets will your team need? Keep these questions in mind for your internal team as well as your event team of brand ambassadors in the field.
Continue to ask yourself these questions leading up to the event. Regularly reevaluate how your team is operating and make adjustments when needed.
4. Create a content marketing plan
You know who your target audience is, so now you need to explore the best ways to reach them. Your content marketing plan will fall into two different categories: informative and promotional.
Informative content will give your attendees the basic information they need to know about the event. This could be things like the date and time of the event and registration deadlines.
Promotional content is how you build excitement around your event. It will help you increase the word-of-mouth buzz. In your promotional content, you can share information about speakers, activities, giveaways, contests, and other exciting details your attendees will want to know.
5. Segment your marketing efforts
Regardless of your event, you need to segment the way you market to different groups. Analyzing your data from previous events can help you get an idea of your target audience.
Segmenting your messaging towards different types of people helps them see the value in your event as it relates to them personally. For segmentation, consider focusing on demographics like:
- Job title
Consider going beyond demographics and explore other key characteristics in our audience, such as preferred activities or hobbies. Test a variety of different messages on a small scale before implementing to the larger group. This will help you determine which messages your audience will respond most positively to.
6. Build excitement
The home stretch before the event is the time to zero in on attracting last-minute attendees. Continue to build the excitement for those who have already committed to going.
Your event marketing plan should include a strategy for last-minute promotional tactics. This could include creating FOMO (fear of missing out) by announcing limited remaining spots, or announcing a recent addition to the event. Consider using influencer marketing to boost FOMO via social media.
7. Decide how you will evaluate your performance metrics
Every company has different metrics to determine the success of their events. Figure out what metrics you will use to measure your event’s performance. This could be things like social media engagement, downloads, event coupons redeemed, and more. Keep in mind that there should always be a measurable outcome to show event ROI.
Obtaining this data manually can be time-consuming, which is another reason event management software is useful. Use performance data to improve both the attendance and outcomes of future brand events.
If you are looking to increase brand awareness and attract new customers to your business, there is no better way to do it than with event marketing. In fact, 79 percent of marketers generate sales using event marketing.
Putting together the best event marketing plan is important to the success of your event. Fortunately, there are numerous event marketing tools that can streamline your workflow and help you stay organized.
After completing these seven steps, you will have a framework in place that will help you execute at a high level and reach your goals.