Marketing an event comes with a specific set of challenges, but ensuring that you have a strategy in place for the before, during and after is important to make sure that you capitalise upon the opportunity to spread the message about your brand. Here are a 3 insights you can use at each stage of marketing your event:
Although it may sound obvious to market your event ahead of time to ensure that it reaches its full potential, using this time in the most efficient manner possible is an important skill to learn.
In a recent Inc.com article, contributor Molly Reynolds and founder of New York-based The Unicorn in the Room, suggested that allowing enough lead time was important to generate interest around the event – ‘make sure you have time to generate enough buzz. You'll need to start at least six months in advance,’ she writes. Reynolds suggests that this not only allows event attendees to deal with practicalities like booking travel arrangements but can also contribute to shareability of your event and ensure you boost your earned content reach. Inc’s top tips to make the most of this run-up period include running targeted Facebook ad campaigns, building a community that spreads your message through word of mouth, and partnering up on social media to provide incentivisation and generate buzz.
A recent ebook by event management software agency cvent (distributed by Marketing Week) argued that ‘with the right social media strategy in place, marketers and planners not only get more people to register for the event, they see sharp spikes in social media engagement during the event.’
It is suggested that ‘social media tactics that served you well during the pre-event cycle don’t necessarily carry over once the event goes live’, and as such marketers should approach the two as distinct phases of the campaign, rather than over-relying on successes from earlier marketing.
Cvent provides a handy checklist for anyone looking to create engagement through social media during their event, which includes a number of useful, applicable insights such as:
- Focus on quality not quantity should be key, and so choose your best three to five moments throughout the event will create the best impact.
- Be aware that positive and negative feedback from the event will find its way onto social media in real time, and you need to have a strategy to respond to this.
- If you have a mobile app, using it as a social media amplifier to attract attention across multiple platforms can work wonders, so make sure it’s up and running ahead of the event.
Although taking some time to recognise the success of completing your event and giving yourself a well-earned break, marketing your event doesn’t end when the curtain comes down. Post-event marketing is just as important as pre-event marketing, and it is important to remember the importance of follow-up opportunities.
For Brand Watch, ‘it’s important to take all of your promotional efforts and close out the event in a way that can be used for future events. ’It is suggested that taking stock of the wealth of visual content you will have generated over the course of the event, as well as positive feedback in the form of testimonials or even social media discussion surrounding the event, can ensure that all this owned content does not go to waste when such material will likely prove valuable for future campaigns and promotions.
By taking a holistic approach to your event marketing and ensuring that you have a before, during and after strategy in place to maximise potential, you can reap the rewards of high engagement levels and lasting impact on attendees.