Event planning is a unique industry in that it requires a broader knowledge of various markets than many others do. A planner must be able to adapt to whichever industry they are hired to put on an event for and must have a solid understanding of the landscape of that sector in order to be able to effectively promote it.
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Companies responsible for putting on events list reaching new attendees as one of their biggest challenges – only matched in importance by finding sponsors for the event and a bigger challenge than landing speakers to present. Marketing and promotion also make up 43 percent of event budgets, compared to 32 percent for speakers and talent, 29 percent for producing printed materials, and 18 percent for hiring venues.
This places dual pressures on event planners, as they must not only meet the challenge of attracting guests to their shows, but must also make sure they are using budgets wisely and not wasting time and money focussing on channels which are ineffective for their industry.
What, then, are some of the best ways to make sure your next event is a roaring success and ensure your clients look to your business to plan the next one?
This may seem obvious, but, if you’re going to throw an event for a particular industry, you need to immerse yourself in it and get to know the most important movers and shakers on the scene. 63 percent of event creators use influencer marketing as part of their marketing strategy. These people will not only be excellent candidates for speaking at the event but will also have the audience and influence to connect you to the people most likely to attend as guests.
Follow them on social media and interact with them. This doesn’t mean bombard them with marketing materials, but rather get involved with the conversations happening on their posts. This will help get your brand noticed by the influencers and their audience and give you opportunities to drop in the fact you’re throwing an event in their industry that they may be interested in attending.
If you can acquire these influences as speakers – or even special VIP guests – even better. If they’re attending your event, they’ll usually be more than happy to promote it to their audience themselves. After all, if they can draw big crowds to their presentations and talks it will help boost their profile even more – meaning there’s a quid pro quo benefit to getting them on board.
Being 2019, social media will naturally form part of any event-based marketing strategy. The various platforms available provide a fantastic – and often free – method for connecting to a wide audience. 25% of traffic to ticketing and registration pages comes from social media.
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When it comes to professional events and conferences, Linkedin is a great choice. Using the platform’s search function, you can easily find groups populated entirely by people working or interested in the industry your event serves. Be careful not to just join groups and immediately start spamming them with advertising though, as it can have the admins reaching for the ban-hammer. It often pays to send the admins a quick message asking what their policy is on advertising to make sure you operate within the rules of the group.
Spend some time engaging on other posts in the groups as well, as this will help establish you as a serious member who is there to network – rather than someone who is simply banging his/her promotional drum. If people see you are a knowledgeable and engaged member of the group, they will be more likely to responded positively to your marketing efforts.
Create appropriate hashtags for your event and use Twitter and Instagram to discuss it. Sharing photos of the speakers and work in progress shots will help you build hype for the event, while the hashtags ensure the right audience is seeing them.
96% of events marketers use social media contests and consider them to be an effective method of expanding the reach of posts. Like/comment/share-type contests – with free tickets or VIP upgrades as the prize – will help you organically boost your social media engagement and make sure your posts are seen by as many potentially interested parties as possible.
In today’s digital age, it’s all too easy to forget about the humble flyer or poster, but even in 2019, physical marketing materials can be a powerful tool to have in your kit.
They can be left (with permission, of course) at conference centres, hotels, and other places businesspeople are likely to frequent. Find out where events on a similar theme are being held and make sure your marketing materials are there. This goes back to the old adage of meeting your audience where they are, as people who are attending events similar to your own will be more likely to be susceptible to coming to yours.
The other advantage of printed marketing materials is people can take them away with them. A social media post is easily forgotten once scrolled past, but when people are emptying their pockets or briefcase after a long day, coming across your flyer will provide an elegant reminder and potentially increase the chances of them signing up.
Conference and events provide a fantastic opportunity to offer some amazing written content to your audience and use it to raise your marketing profile into the stratosphere.
You more than likely already have a list of people booked to speak at your event, so create articles “bigging-up” their brands and talking about the amazing innovations they’re putting out in their industry. General industry articles are a great idea, too, as they will illustrate that you have a deep understanding of the main drivers in that arena, the challenges being faced, and some ideas on how to solve them.
All this will establish your conference as one which is a must-attend for anyone who is serious about succeeding in their industry. The people speaking at the event will also be highly likely to share any articles which promote them and their brand – offering further organic advertising to your show.
54% of event planners state that they intend to host more events this year, meaning the schedule is set to get even more crowded than ever before. This means event marketers are going to have a tougher time getting their own endeavours noticed.
If you want top quality written content and proven social media strategies to boost the visibility of your event, then look no further than markITwrite. We have a ton of experience writing for event planning businesses and we’d love to bring our knowledge and expertise to your next show.
Please get in touch today for more information.