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Your Guide To

Event Marketing

This event marketing guide will discuss some of the key components of an effective event marketing campaign.

Event marketing is vital to generate awareness and ticket sales. It is also there to inform. Combining all three into a single strategy ensures those who don’t know about your event get to hear about it and those who do know can be convinced to attend and know what to expect when they arrive.

What is event marketing?

In this context, we are talking about marketing an event, not holding an event for marketing. You will come across both in your career and they are both very different!

Marketing is a strategy that includes a range of disciplines and will run for the entire timeline of your event preparation and the event itself. It will include advertising, promotion, data analysis, audience research and a continuous refinement of the strategy so it always delivers maximum impact.

The purpose of your marketing depends on the event. If it’s a ticketed event, the primary aim of any marketing would be to drive ticket sales and get media coverage of the event. For other types of events, marketing can garner interest, promote your ability to hold such an event or draw attention to the charity, stakeholder or venue.

Why is event marketing important?

The primary goal of event marketing is to let people know what’s happening. It’s the what, when, where and why. What is the event? When is it happening? Where is it happening? Why should they buy a ticket? Answer all of those questions and your marketing campaign will be a success.

Event marketing is vital even if you’re not trying to sell tickets. Positive PR (Public Relations) can help your events company by showcasing your ideas and ability to pull off an amazing event. It will also showcase a charity and boost awareness of the event as a whole.

If people don’t know your event is happening, they won’t come. Even corporate events or charity fundraisers will need marketing to ensure everyone knows what is happening, when and where.

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How to successfully market your event

An event marketing plan will operate alongside your other preparations. It will include all areas of the business, require a range of disciplines and be spread across as many mediums as possible. Marketing is quite the undertaking and requires a lot of resources to get right. Given how complex it is, this is the briefest of overviews of how event marketing could work.

Knowledge gathering

Knowledge gathering is essential for marketing as well as for the event brief. You need to know the target demographic, the aim of the event, sales targets, the style of the event, the metrics you’re going to use to measure the success of your marketing and the process by which you will refine your marketing strategy as you gather data.

Setting up

For marketing to be successful, it has to be measurable. That’s why metrics and goals are important. Once you know what you have to achieve, you need to set up the means to monitor and measure that. Social media dashboards, spreadsheets for responses and offline advertising, click-through-rate measurement tools for email marketing and other tools can help.

Create a strategy

An event marketing strategy should follow the timeline from concept to the event itself and include a selection of marketing materials that follow the same journey. It should include the main channels your target demographic are likely to use as well as those that could benefit the stakeholders, charity or your events company. That last one is a minor consideration but should be borne in mind anyway.

Audience analysis will tell you who your target guests are, their age, demographic and so on. Analyse the social media channels they are most likely to use, the mediums that stand the best chance of reaching them and create a strategy that utilises all of those throughout the timeline.

Create the marketing content

Every event will need its own website or landing page. You will need to create event branding, logos, advertising media, social media posts, videos, marketing emails, direct mails, newspaper ads and the content for the mediums you identified in your strategy.

Create as much of it as you can in advance and schedule it for release. This should give you bandwidth to respond to ad-hoc requests or opportunities that arise during the preparation of the event.

Begin the marketing

Ideally, you should perform these steps as quickly as possible after being presented with the brief. Your marketing campaign should begin early with general awareness and gradually build up in volume and coverage as you get closer to the event itself. Include as many channels as you can and spread your marketing message across all of them.

Adapt and overcome

Monitor your dashboards and spreadsheets and refine your strategy depending on what you find. A strategy is just that, a coherent event marketing plan that is adjusted as it goes depending on the situation at the time. Adjustment and refinement is an essential element. If you find something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change it up.

This may be difficult for some event planners as we are used to setting a schedule and doing everything we can to stick to it. Marketing is different. It is more flexible and takes into account fluid situations and a changing landscape of feedback and interaction.

As long as you monitor, measure and take appropriate action depending on those findings, your marketing should be a success!

Top tips for event marketing

Event marketing is a huge subject and the strategy won’t be the same for any two events. Nevertheless, there are some key things you can bear in mind for any event marketing plan.

Event marketing ideas

Event marketing can be challenging but also fascinating. It is one of the most creative elements of any event and provides massive scope for creativity and imagination. Here are a few ideas for marketing an event you may like to use for inspiration.

Key takeaways

Event marketing is an all-encompassing strategy that begins immediately and doesn’t stop until after the dust has settled. It requires huge effort but can generate huge interest. It’s a marathon not a sprint and pacing is vital in terms of effort, content release and monitoring.

Done well, marketing ensures everyone who needs to know about your event knows. If you’re selling tickets, you sell out and if you’re promoting a charity, stakeholder or keynote speaker, that they get the recognition they require. As long as your marketing strategy has clear goals, is measurable and you refine as you go, it should be a success!

Want to find out more? Download our FREE Event Management Guide
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