Looking to up your event marketing game? With 81% of marketers planning to host live events in 2022, now might be the perfect time to get into the events scene.

What is event marketing?

Event marketing is a promotion strategy that involves face-to-face contact between brands and customers. The promotion of this event engages the target audience and encourages them to attend. A key way to do this would be to create excitement around the event so that your customers can’t wait to attend.

Why should people attend your event?

When promoting your event you should empathize with your audience and understand the reasons why people should attend your event. What makes your event different from others?

Attendee perspective

Your customers will wonder how your event brings them value. They don’t really care how many speakers you have at your event - they want to know why they should care about those talks. Instead of listing the speakers and discussion topics, try expanding and sharing the benefits of hearing from these speakers.

For example, you will gain a greater understanding of this topic which will boost your employability. In this case, the boost in employability is the reason that your customer wants to attend your event.

Bear in mind that your customers may have a public reason or a more private reason for attending your event. You should ensure that you make the benefits of your event clear and that these appeal to any motivations a customer may have for attending your event.

Stakeholder perspective

When talking to sponsors, event partners, and exhibitors it’s still important to empathize with them. Don’t make this process all about you and how great your event is - focus on them. How can your event help them to meet their goals?

State the benefits of partnering with you clearly and focus on what they want to achieve. Do they want to be seen by X many people? You have XX many attendees. They are looking for a specific audience? Explain the overlap between that audience and your target customers.

Attendee journey

Being aware of your audience’s journey from awareness to attendees will help to target them with the information they need to move down the funnel. You will likely need to inform your audience about the event multiple times before they convert.

Think about all the touchpoints (major and minor) that a customer may come in contact with before attending your event. You should ensure that each of these touchpoints, from social media to the event's website, will help to inform and excite your audience.

The aim should be to move customers closer to their tipping point. This is the point where they make a decision. Was it testimonials, ticket prices, or perhaps a comparison to a competitor that pushed your attendee to act? Understanding why they did (or didn’t) purchase at this stage is crucial to improving your strategy for future customers.

Event marketing strategies

To better promote your event, you can make use of these event marketing strategies to target your audience, gain their attention, and create excitement.

Remarketing

As we said, your audience will need to come into contact with multiple touchpoints before deciding on attending your event. This is where a remarketing campaign will come in. These sorts of campaigns target potential customers who have already made contact with your brand.

This could be that they visited your website so now they get targeted ads on search engines, or that they abandoned their purchase at checkout and received a retargeting email. Either way, reminding your audience about your event after they’ve shown some interest can help you stay top of mind. And encourage them to attend your event.

Growth hacking

Growth hacking is a method of experimentation that favors small-scale testing in order to prove which marketing tactics will work best for a specific campaign. Using this approach for event marketing can help you to prioritize your marketing budget towards strategies that have been proven by data.

Influencer marketing

Partnering with influencers or speakers to share your event can help you to reach a wider audience and entice people who may not have heard of your brand to attend the event. People's words can be shared far and wide on social media so don’t underestimate this marketing option.

Encouraging your speakers to share that they are speaking at the event could gain the interest of their contacts and lead them to attend your event. This is especially true if your speakers have a large following!

Email marketing

Email campaigns are still a well-used way to promote your events - but remember to be unique. Use a catchy subject line to draw in your audience then highlight the benefits of the event in the copy. Remember to get your attendees excited about your event after they purchase their ticket so that they remember to attend!

Spark FOMO

The fear of missing out is a simple but powerful concept in event marketing. Convince your audience that they do not want to miss your event. Sometimes you need to change your tactics and instead of explaining all the great benefits of attending, tell your audience what they will miss out on by not attending.

Webinars and live-streams

Utilizing webinars and live streams of events can entice your audience and lead to them becoming interested in your next event. Think of these as a sort of teaser to show how amazing your last event was and how the next one will be even better.

How to measure success

If you don’t measure the success of your event it can be hard to tell what you did well and what can be improved for next time. Setting goals and metrics for success can help you to understand what success looks like for your events.

Here are some key KPIs to choose from, you can track these to ensure your events marketing success:

Attendees

  • Registrations
  • Sales or registrations by ticket type
  • Actual attendance or event check-ins
  • Number of new vs returning event attendees (if it’s a repeat event)
  • Number of leads acquired
  • Attendee geography

Conversions

  • Website conversion rate
  • Email conversion rate
  • Sales or registrations by marketing source

Revenue

  • Sponsorship dollars attracted
  • Total revenue generated
  • Revenue and cost-to-revenue ratio

Engagement

  • Content engagement
  • Social media engagement
  • Speaker engagement
  • Session engagement and/or attendance

Satisfaction

  • Net promoter score (found by sending a survey that asks how likely the attendee would be to recommend your event to a friend)
  • Attendee satisfaction

Final thoughts

Empathizing with your audience is the best way to understand and target your event marketing campaign to excite your customers. By using some of the marketing techniques mentioned such as remarketing and influencer marketing you can increase your touchpoints with customers and stay top of mind.

By creating FOMO around your event you can encourage your audience to attend so that they don’t miss out on your great offering. But don’t forget to measure your success by using relevant KPIs.