An event is only as great as its audience — specifically, the turnout.
While online and virtual events have a wide audience, they also have heavy competition. It's easy for your event to become lost in the digital landscape and lack the impact you'd hoped for. When your business event can attract more attendees, there will be more meaningful conversations between your brand and your customers and buzz about your event. Since your business has invested a lot of time and resources into planning your online events, you should direct an equal amount of effort to marketing the event.
Event marketing is what determines an event's success. A creative and effective event marketing plan will promote your event to the right audience, encouraging them to learn more and get excited about your event while increasing registration rates. Learn how to get your attendees interested and signed up for your event.
What Is Event Marketing?
Event marketing is a promotional strategy that brings brands and their customers face to face. It involves advertising in-person or virtual events and encouraging people to attend. You can establish this personal connection at events like conferences, sales kickoffs and trade shows.
Promotion can occur offline and online through various channels. Since every event and audience are different, each needs unique marketing to reach its goals. When you advertise your event to the right audience in the right way, you will entice people to join in.
Why Do You Need an Event Marketing Strategy?
An event promotion plan brings attention to your company while encouraging people to attend and participate in your event. This plan should consider all facets of marketing, including your:
- Available resources.
- Target audience.
- Marketing tactics.
Creative event promotion is also essential for fostering personal connections. Brands can meet their customers in person and have meaningful conversations at events. While these meetings and discussions can happen in other ways, events are one of the most impactful techniques for both companies and attendees.
Events create an opportunity for companies to connect with their customers and establish their brand. They also help attendees better understand and form a positive opinion of the company's products and services. These benefits only happen when you use a creative event marketing plan from the moment you decide to host the event to the day it happens.
How to Create an Effective Event Marketing Plan
An event promotion plan will help you use the right marketing strategies and the best technology to improve your event attendance and attendee satisfaction. Here are some things to consider when thinking of event marketing ideas:
- What is the goal of your event: The first step of event planning is establishing the event's purpose. What will draw people to your event? What takeaways will they leave with after the event? The answers to these questions will define your event's communication and marketing strategy.
- What is your budget: You need to know what part of the budget you can use for marketing your meeting. Use your budget strategically to ensure the crucial aspects of your marketing plan have the necessary funding.
- Who is your audience: Identifying and reaching out to your target audience are essential parts of an event's success. Once you know the goal of your event, find an audience that fits that goal. Create one or more personas of an ideal attendee and format your event marketing around it, stressing how attending your event will be valuable for them. If your audience cannot understand the benefit for them, they will not attend.
- What will the format of your event be: Events can be in-person, virtual or hybrid — a combination of in-person and virtual attendance.
- What is your timeline: Virtual events can be planned more quickly than in-person events, and the best marketing techniques and timelines are different for each format.
- What should your attendees do before, during and after the event: Get your attendees excited before, engaged during and eager to act after the event.
You should have answers for each of these items before you start marketing the event.
1. Use Email Marketing to Segment Audiences
Email marketing campaigns reach out to your audience through email blasts. This strategy is common for event promotion and is effective at encouraging attendance. Your email list will contain people who have signed up to hear more about your business offerings, so keep them in the loop through email newsletters with upcoming event announcements, updates and post-event takeaways.
Your email messages should appeal directly to your audience personas. Identify which email recipients fit which persona by segmenting your audience based on their interests, occupation, age, gender and other factors.
Dividing your audience will help you personalize your communications with them by identifying your desired outcome and why the audience should care about that outcome too.
2. Make Fun and Engaging Video Content
Videos are a popular way to get your message out to your audience, and an entertaining yet informative video will encourage them to register for your event. Some ways you can use your hybrid event marketing ideas in video format are:
- Highlight reels: A highlight reel is a video showcasing the best moments from past versions of your event. They will help people see the value of your event and make them want to sign up.
- Teasers: While a highlight reel showcases past moments, teasers direct your audience's attention toward the future. Teasers hint at what will happen at your event with clips of activities, keynote speakers and more. These will get people excited about attending your event and eager to register to experience your event for themselves.
- Sponsors: Sponsors are people or businesses that financially support your event. Encourage them to promote the event to their audience to expand your marketing reach.
3. Try Influencer Marketing to Promote Events
Social media has billions of users worldwide, and influencers have the sway to tap into this market through promotions and partnerships. Influencers impact people's buying decisions, especially among younger generations, making influencer marketing a crucial avenue to reaching your audience. Influencer marketing also benefits your company's bottom line — 60% of marketers believe influencer marketing results in a higher return on investment (ROI) than traditional advertising methods.
Use social media to connect with influencers who work in your industry or identify with your brand and have a significant following across social media networks. The influencer can talk about your event and explain why people should attend. A partnership with an influencer connects your company to their large, loyal audience to spread awareness of your brand. As a result, your registration rate will increase.
4. Utilize an Event Registration Website (and Make It Good!)
An event registration website is a hub for all the information about your event, including registration and payments. Since users will be using your website to learn more about the event and decide if they want to register, it should have useful content and an eye-catching design.
Use your website to encourage event registration through:
- Pop-up ads: Have a pop-up ad for your event displayed on your website. Users will notice this ad and click on it to learn more.
- Landing page: The pop-up ad and any other links to the event should direct users to a landing page with essential event details like the schedule, time and date. Compel the user to register for your event through striking graphics, intriguing photos, speaker bios, video clips and other relevant content.
You can also use keywords and search engine optimization (SEO) to help your website get noticed on search engines. Keyword research will help you identify which keywords people are using the most often — use these keywords in your website content to promote your event.
5. Employ the Power of FOMO
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful motivator. When people feel like they're going to lose out on a valuable opportunity if they don't do something, they feel more compelled to take action.
Use FOMO to your advantage for event promotion ideas. Show people why they need to attend your event by posting pictures and videos of your event and captioning the content with a phrase like "you don't want to miss this event."
Here are some ways you can make your content FOMO-inducing:
- Give a short preview of your event to get people excited and ready to register.
- Share brief interview segments of your keynote speakers to pique the audience's interest in what they have to say.
- Post highlights of what to expect so people can get a sense of what attending your event will be like.
6. Offer Early Bird Discounts for Early Registration
Saving money is a priority for many people. Use this desire to your advantage by offering a discount for attendees who sign up for your event early. Create a discount code for people to use and share it in your videos, social media posts, email blasts and other advertisements to attract attention to your event.
Create a sense of urgency by setting an expiration date or ticket limit on the offer. Scarcity marketing will encourage your attendees to take action now to not miss out on the savings. Use robust event registration software to stay in contact with these attendees from registration to the event day.
7. Use Social Media to Attract the Right Attendee Group
Social media platforms are key places to connect with people in your local area or industry. With over 3.6 billion social media users worldwide, your business has a wide potential audience on these platforms. You can attract the right attendee group and keep them in the loop about your event through strategic social media posts.
With social media, you can promote your event in numerous ways:
- Create hashtags: Create a unique hashtag for your event. Use the hashtag on all of your posts about the event and encourage others to use it as well. Identify ways to get your hashtag trending, like creating a competition among users or starting a contest with a prize for the winner.
- Have updates: Post regular updates about your event itinerary and venue to keep your audience engaged and excited.
- Go live: Livestreams are a wonderful way to interact directly with your audience. You can use livestreams to invite your audience into your event by showing them what's to come. When they see what makes the event special, they won't want to miss it.
Use these methods on all of your company's social media accounts. Some types of posts work better on different platforms, so keep your audience in mind when crafting social media posts.
8. Slowly Release the Event Lineup Leading up to the Event
Tell your attendees what to expect at your event over days, weeks or months — whichever time frame fits your circumstance best. Share these updates on social media so attendees can see and share them with others. Teasing your event lineup:
- Builds excitement about your event.
- Informs attendees about what you've planned.
- Keeps your audience interested.
- Sets up an opportunity for other meaningful engagement later on.
9. Promote Branded Merchandise
Many people like getting free items, and branded merchandise targets this desire. T-shirts, hats, pop sockets, tote bags, pens and more that advertise your event or business will encourage people to sign up because they'll want the goodies. When the attendees wear and use these items, they'll promote your brand to others. These products will also help attendees remember your event long after it's over.
10. Use the Right Virtual and Hybrid Event Management Platform
Once you have planned all the event details, get people talking about it using creative event promotion ideas. The right strategies help you build up to the event, make your event successful and position your business to reap the rewards afterward.
MeetingPlay's event management platform helps businesses create and execute in-person, virtual and hybrid events through comprehensive account management and tech support. We will help you market your next event by:
- Managing the attendee experience across all platforms.
- Giving your sponsors exposure to drive quality leads.
- Creating educational and entertaining content to share across all platforms.
Book a Free Demo of Our Event Registration Software Today
Creative event marketing captures the right audience and encourages them to attend your event by appealing to their motivations. Through event promotion ideas like video content, FOMO, social media posts and more, you can show attendees the value of attending and encourage their registration.
MeetingPlay + Aventri offers full-service event technology for events of all sizes. Through the combination of best-in-class service and custom solutions, we bring peace of mind to meeting planners by ensuring impactful connections between attendees, content, and overall meeting goals. We are a dynamic team who understands the user experience and our proactive approach allows us to offer innovative solutions for unique problems, ensuring your attendees get the most out of your event tech.
Support your event marketing plan with MeetingPlay + Aventri today. Book a free demo of our event registration software online.