Do you remember all those birthday parties you had as a kid? Friends, neighbors, classmates, family, uncles and aunts, grandparents… the guest list was always full.
You would spend weeks planning what you’ll wear, imagining the gifts you’d receive, chalking out the menu and getting excited about the games you’d play.
But what would happen if you forgot to send the invites?
No, no, let’s not even imagine the catastrophe!
The simple point I’m trying to make (while also realizing how old I’ve become!), is that an event, no matter what it is, is only as successful as the turnout of invitees.
While, here’s hoping that your personal party guests are polite and excited to turn up, as a business or nonprofit, you can’t rely on hope alone.
Event Marketing lies at the very core of the success of an event. Unless you really put some thought behind your event marketing strategy, chances are the footfall will be meager, if at all. This holds true for both online and offline events.
What is event marketing?
Simply put, event marketing is all about letting people know that you are hosting an event and how much it would mean to you if they joined in. It’s the strategy to promote an online or offline event through various channels.
Be it a Donation Camp, Volunteer Appreciation Day, Meet n’ Greet, an Expert Speak Conference, a Facebook Live Seminar, Workshop, or any other event, marketing it, and doing that well, will create a buzz and entice people to join in.
Why you should consider event marketing strategies
The answer to the why is pretty simple: a successful event marketing campaign gets you the attention and footfall you need to get attendees to your events. Marketing budgets are important. Understanding what resources are available and your budget will help drive your strategy.
However, there are many other reasons why event marketing strategies work, like reaching the right target audience in an effective way, knowing the best way to make an impression and most importantly, creating awareness around your event.
It all starts with a solid event marketing plan. From the moment the idea to host an event is conceived to the point that the event actually takes place, the right event marketing strategies are required throughout the entire journey.
So who are these attendees, and who is your target audience?
As I mentioned earlier, one of the key elements of making an event a success is knowing and reaching out to your target audience.
To know who your target audience is, you first need to know the goal of your event and then find the people who fit in with that goal.
For example, if you are hosting a Donation Camp to raise funds for your nonprofit, everyone who supports your cause is a part of your target audience.
Event marketing strategies to try for your next event
Now that you know who you want to reach, it’s time to think of the best ways to promote your event to these people.
So how do you make your event marketing persuasive and not pushy? Well, you can try some of these event marketing ideas and strategies to start with:
1. Share your event with the media
A press release is a great way to get the attention of the people who can help you further your event goals. With a formal press release, you invite local media to be a part of your event. You can also spark the attention of influencers, new supporters, and brand ambassadors. This is especially great when the goal of your event is to spread awareness and invite influential people.
With social media being one of the top places to connect with local influencers and people with a strong presence, this tactic can help you get the right attention. Look for influencers who work within your industry and have a great following on various social networks. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing!
A survey conducted by Collective Bias shows that a whopping 70% of today’s generation depends on influencer or peer recommendations to make buying decisions. For example, if you are hosting an event to recruit more volunteers, the influencers could talk about how this event is going to be amazing, why one should volunteer, or just why they would personally attend the event.
3. Go live to promote your event
Yes, it’s going social again! Facebook is a huge space and a great platform to get the word out about your event. A Live Stream is a new trend in event marketing where you have direct interaction with your target audience and invite them in. Use this opportunity to give your audience a peek into what lies ahead and make a compelling pitch about why attending the actual event is something they don’t want to miss. Bizzabo studied that almost 30% of marketing professionals believe that broadcasting live events impact an event the most.
4. Dedicate pop-ups
Create a pop-up form on your event website or landing page for visitors to sign up to get more information. Pop-ups may be annoying, but one cannot overlook their effectiveness. And the content you use will be a key factor that will determine if people will get pulled in.
5. Market your event to your audience using email
Email Marketing campaigns continue to be the most effective means to reach out to your consumers and invite them to an event. At 70%, event email marketing is known to be the most popular event marketing strategy among people who regularly host events.
6. Spark FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
Create the “Fear Of Missing Out” among your audience. Use content like video or imagery to show them how they will be at a loss if they don’t attend. Contrary to popular belief, people are more interested in an event when they feel they will lose out on something valuable if they don’t attend. “You don’t want to miss this event” is a simple but effective email marketing subject line, social media campaign or blog post to generate curiosity about your event.
7. Promise a good time (and deliver!)
Use multiple mediums and channels to show people what a great time they’ll have at your event. A promotional video, images, user-generated content, and other details that will immediately spark interest are all great resources to excite your audience. It’s like any movie; when the trailer comes out, people start talking about it and can’t wait to go see the full movie. A sneak peek–visual or text–will show them that you have taken all the efforts to make this a memorable, fun and rewarding event for all your attendees- it’s an incentive you offer in exchange of their attendance.
Each of these event marketing ideas is tried, tested and highly recommended to use as part of your event marketing campaign when promoting your next event.
Bonus video: How to run great virtual events
Virtual events soared in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic, while people were distanced from each other and quarantined at home. Even as vaccines become increasingly available in many countries and certain types of in-person events are becoming a possibility in some areas, virtual events remain a popular option. When you go virtual, you increase the size of your potential audience to anyone with access to internet, rather than being restricted locally to those who can physically attend your event.
Check out our on-demand webinar below to learn how you can run great virtual events!
Ready to create a buzz with these event marketing strategies?
You know your event is going to be exceptional. You have planned amazing things for your attendees- it’s time to create a buzz about it.
Event marketing strategies allow you to make an impact building up to the event, and continue the momentum for your business or nonprofit even after.
Use this opportunity to show people that their needs and priorities are at the top of your mind and you will ensure no stone is left unturned in giving them what you offer. Start planning your next event and use these event promotion strategies to make it highly successful.
Gear up to be the talk-of-the-town event that everyone wants to be a part of. And if you still need inspiration, check out these event marketing examples or learn the basis of how to market your small business.