Event marketing is a powerful tool that can help businesses build brand awareness, connect with their target audience, and even drive sales. However, it is essential to understand that event marketing is not just about promoting your brand; it is about creating a lasting impression that stays with people long after they leave your event. A successful event should appeal to everyone’s senses and get people excited about your brand. Here are some tips that will make your company’s next event a success.
Tip #1: Timing is Everything
When planning an event, timing is crucial. It is best to avoid the first quarter of the year when people are recovering from holiday spending sprees. Events held during this period can underperform or even fail. Additionally, the first quarter is notorious for weather challenges. If you decide to go ahead with a winter event, remember that simple things like giveaway hand warmers and heaters go a long way with staff and guests.
Tip #2: Know Your Target Customer
For event marketing to be successful, it has to be targeted. When planning your event, identify who you are trying to engage, how you can best grab their attention, and where you will find them. Every dollar you spend should be geared toward the right audience. Understanding the demographics and psychographics of your target audience is essential. Psychographics are the attitudes and beliefs that define your target audience and can help you pinpoint events and conferences that your target audience is likely to attend.
Tip #3: Two Heads are Better than One
Aligning with strategic partners is one of the best ways to generate more traction for your event. Partnerships can help you reach new audiences, squeeze more value out of your event, and save money on marketing costs. Partnering with other organizations brings in new attendees and creates opportunities for cross-promotion between brands. When aligning your brand with strategic partners and events, do your research. Steer clear of first-year events unless the event’s promoter or organizer has a strong track record. Location is also essential when it comes to events and retail. Higher-traffic areas like entrances or end caps typically deliver the best ROI. Conversely, the loudest areas, such as those near live music, can make it extremely hard to connect during conversations.
Tip #4: Know Your End Game
Successful event marketing is based on clear objectives. Before you can measure the success of your event, you need to know what that success will look like by determining the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used to evaluate your event’s performance. KPIs are specific metrics that help you measure and determine how well an activity or initiative is performing relative to a goal or standard. ROI is an important metric for measuring the success of your event marketing efforts, but it is not the only one. Though it is difficult to calculate the value of things like new connections, word of mouth, online engagement, and buzz, they are often worth more than a sale in the long run.
Tip #5: Success Requires Planning
Every experiential marketing event needs a well-defined standard operating procedure document. These written instructions should lay out a detailed routine for your event. Carefully investing your time in the initial planning of your event will reward you with massive dividends in the end. Be sure to map out the details of the entire event from start to finish and give your team the tools they need to be successful.
Tip #6: Plan and Prepare for Set Up
When organizing an event, it is important to have a detailed event set-up manual for your staff and volunteers. This manual should include a list of items needed for your booth, as well as what your staff and volunteers should wear and bring to the event.
Typically, events require a six-foot table, sandbags or weighted buckets to secure the tent, a branded table skirt, marketing materials, and either a branded 10×10 tent or a smaller cocktail table depending on the space available. Additionally, it’s a good idea to come prepared with zip ties, duct tape, a sharpie, extension cords, and industrial scissors to address any unexpected emergencies.
Tip #7: Offer Giveaways to Potential Customers
Everyone loves free stuff, so be sure to include some giveaway items at your event. Offering multiple kinds of takeaways can cater to different tastes and preferences.
When attendees leave with inexpensive merch or swag, they bring your brand outside of the event. A memorable souvenir reminds people about their experience with your brand and may even encourage them to share their experience with others.
Tip #8: Make the Event Shareable on Social Media
Creating shareable social content allows your experience to live on long after the event has ended. During the event, provide favors with the event’s hashtag and incentivize guests to take pictures and share them on social media.
Assign staff to document the event through pictures and videos. After the event, publish those photos and clips on your social media channels. Sharing pictures, videos, and stories, as well as engaging with comments, keeps the experience alive long after it has ended.
The more creative and engaging your experience is, the easier it is to collect interesting content and encourage followers to share. Activities or games that promote participant interaction make the event more memorable for everyone involved.
Tip #9: Evaluate the Process
After the event, it is important to evaluate the process. Create a record of what worked well and what needs improvement. This information can be used to rinse and repeat the process or scale it up in the future.
It is crucial to evaluate how your target audience responds. Before the event, plan out the customer journey for this event. How will you draw leads from the event into your funnel, and what will you do to engage with those leads? After the event, assess whether your plan was effective.
This “post-mortem” evaluation is essential to identify what worked and what didn’t work. Use this information to improve future events or campaigns.
Tip #10: Thank All Participants Involved in the Event
Event marketing is a team effort, so be sure to thank your team for their hard work. During the event, offer healthy snacks, energy bars, cold water, and soft drinks to keep your staff and volunteers energized.
Afterward, show your appreciation by distributing inexpensive gift cards or vouchers applicable for events at retail locations. Remember, your event’s staff, workers, volunteers, management, and organizers are all potential customers, so it’s important to thank and engage everyone involved.
Ultimately, the key to successful event marketing is creating a lasting impression through memorable interactions and experiences. The most important thing is to have fun! If you enjoy what you’re doing, your audience will enjoy it too.