If you have the task to organize, plan or help develop a business marketing event, then you need this guide to help make sure you are covering all your bases. Your event should be designed to inspire, educate, and captivate because it will make attendees excited to be there. But ultimately, it’s about generating leads and winning new business. This is the most important aspect of Event Marketing. Learn the importance of event marketing, event marketing strategies including types of event marketing, and what successful event marketers know.
Types of Event Marketing
There’s no “one size fits all” category for event marketing. Heck, these days you don’t even need to show up in person to participate. If you have been mulling over planning an event, here are some of the most popular marketing events you can choose from. And given the fact that it’s a $512 billion dollar industry this year and growing, there is definitely something to it. A whopping eighty percent of marketers attribute their company’s success to the power of live events. It’s time to join in on this burgeoning industry.
Types of Event Marketing
Any event marketer’s success in planning their event is the type of event that best serves their business model and target audience.
The Typical Conference
It looks like this…one major company hosting a bunch of smaller brands, companies, and products. The attendees usually have access to full days of lectures, workshops, and many networking opportunities.
Very similar to the Conference, the Expo has the bonus feature of an exhibition hall. Between lectures and workshops, attendees can stroll through a hall full of products and companies geared directly at their needs (or wants). Lots of demonstrations, freebies, and contests take place here. It is a chance for companies to get great qualified leads or even try a little business to business marketing and sales.
The focus of any seminar will be on education. You will attract attendees by telling them about all the knowledge they will gain. This can include, among other things, workshops, lectures, roundtable discussions, and similar group activities. These can also take place online, so your attendees can come from a far larger geographic area.
The Pop-Up Shop
Imagine a business within a business for a moment. We’re talking about an event marketing plan that entails a temporary space for a business to set up shop in a controlled environment. This is a perfect way for an e-commerce business to come alive because customers can directly interact with their products. A great example is those Halloween stores that pop up in September and shut down after Halloween.
The fundamentals of an Event Marketing Plan
Of course, you need to build a strategy to implement your next big event. It must be solid, have goals and a way to measure your success. Many event planners use the SMART goals format to begin planning their next big hit. SMART stands for:
- Relevant / Realistic
Being specific with your goals will help avoid vagueness in your plan thereby fine-tuning it. Once you brainstorm through each of these SMART goals, you will start to actually visualize your event. It will not only help you plan but will help you measure your success (and see where you need to improve for next time).
What is an example of a SMART goal in Event Marketing?
Your specific SMART goal could be: increase qualified lead generation by 50 new leads by the end of the event.
- Specific: You are specifically looking to gain new qualified leads (i.e. decision makers)
- Measurable: 50 new leads
- Attainable: Assuming there are more than 50 attendees at your event
- Relevant: Your type of event should be relevant to this goal
- Timely: You have until the end of the event to reach this number
You can also have a separate list of goals to describe your overall effort for your marketing event. You can choose goals such as “build brand awareness” or “strengthen relationships with vendors.”
What About the Marketing Event Itself?
Now you have to get down to the nitty-gritty. Of utmost importance in event marketing, is that the event should have a theme, a brand, and a schedule. This is the time to choose a date, a location and work to fill an event schedule. You will need speakers to be available and a reasonable agenda.
To consider your event marketing efforts to gain attendees, consider the following:
- What will they gain?
- Why should they attend?
- What are hot trends in your industry that need to be addressed?
- Who is your audience?
- What will they enjoy from sponsors?
- What speakers are popular and intriguing right now?
How to promote your event to your target audience?
Once you have decided on the type of marketing event that best suits your business model and needs, lined up a good portion of your speakers (if required), determined the date (or dates), secured the venue, reached out to business partners to co-sponsor the event (as necessary), it’s now time to move into promotion mode.
First, you need to promote far in advance to start getting the word out. This will mean a few months in advance. The larger the event, the more time will be required to properly promote it. It could be anywhere from ninety to one hundred eighty days. Work hard to reach the masses by using a variety of advertising mediums such as email, social media, direct mail, phone calls, print ads, and paid ads. You must also get the word out locally, as you will likely get far more people to attend if they are nearby.
Next, your promotion doesn’t need to stop once the event begins. There’s much to be said about promoting while your event is in session. You can go live on Facebook, live Tweet or show some amazing photos on Instagram to get those last few people interested enough to show up on the spot.
How to entice people to attend a marketing event
Lastly, learn what successful event marketers know that you need to know to promote your company successfully. Essential to this success is to consider some extra special ways to entice people to attend your event. An added bonus, these are great social media marketing tools. Here are some fun options:
- Food! Who doesn’t want to attend an event with free food? A divine and huge crowd pleaser is popcorn! It is so versatile and fun! It can be packaged in individual servings or can be set up as a popcorn bar. Food always draws people to a booth. At My Popcorn Kitchen, we offer a flavor and price point for every taste and budget which means it can be budget-friendly.
- Contest: Your company or another large sponsor can offer a large giveaway for one lucky attendee. If possible, it could be something huge like a new car or vacation. But for most event marketing, gift cards to restaurants or tickets to a concert or game are always welcome.
- VIP Package: Something perhaps easier to offer is a VIP package that could include special meals, an intimate tour, meet the CEO or meet and greet with the guest speakers.
- Swag Bag: Offer a nice bag full of great goodies (which can all be donated by your sponsors or exhibitors).
Event Marketing is essential to your company’s growth. The importance of event marketing is creating the proper event marketing strategies. Essential to this process is learning what successful event marketers know. The importance of event marketing includes the type of event, location, and promotion of the event which will up your chances of success. There’s a lot to consider to make sure your event goes smoothly, but it can be done. This should be a great guide to help you get started. My Popcorn Kitchen is ready to help. You can receive a complimentary quote on popcorn for your event. Contact us today.