Every professional must have attended at least one event in their lives. Think of all the events that you’ve recently heard about in your own niche. Quite a few, aren’t they?
Be it a conference, meet-up, seminar or a major exhibition, event organizers perceive events as the perfect marketing tool. Marketers across the globe are in consensus that events are one of the most effective marketing tools. Events, however, are no cheap affair.
According to the Events Industry Council, the spending on business events in 2018 amounts to a whopping $1.07 trillion.
With the investment an organizer makes in the event, they sure do expect an equal return. One of the ways to maximize Event ROI is to create a goal-oriented event marketing plan.
From getting the word out to bring in relevant leads and revenue, event marketing is one of the sharpest tools in the shed to help you get there.
Creating a Definitive Marketing Plan
But first, any marketing campaign must have a clear and precise end goal that the marketer wishes to achieve. You must ask yourself, what is it that you wish to gain through your overall event marketing plan?
Layout SMART i.e. specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals for your event marketing plan. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself in order to gain some clarity:
· Do you wish to maximize event registrations through the event promotion campaign?
· Are you looking to target certain customers through your efforts?
· Is your goal to engage attendees through your marketing efforts?
· What is your ballpark on the number of leads you could generate from the event and how?
The answer to these questions will steer you in the direction in terms of how you build your marketing plan.
In addition to defining your objectives would be to define your target audience. The basis of this division can be designation, demographics, vocation, etc. This will also help you narrow down the medium that you need to focus your marketing efforts on.
Divide your KPIs into pre-event, during the event and post-event and sort out campaigns for each stage accordingly. Define a set marketing budget along with your logistical requirements and cost.
Once you’re set on what you wish to achieve through your vent marketing efforts, the next question is how?
Here are a few event marketing strategies that you can implement to create a fool-proof event marketing plan to boost event ROI:
1. Leverage the power of Social Media
Social media is a great event marketing tool in every phase.
According to a report, 74% of event planners listed social media as the most effective tool for event marketing.
You can create elaborate event promotion campaigns to gain more registrations before the event as well as engage in paid promotions across relevant channels.
During the event, encourage attendees to post about your event on Social Media. Interact and engage with attendees on social media.
Nearly 98% of consumers create social media content at events and experiences.
Use this to your advantage. User-generated content can be a great way to promote your event, gain valuable feedback.
Filtering through what’s being talked about your event on social media can also help you generate more leads by singling out attendees who seem genuinely interested in the brand and are at a position to buy.
Leverage the entire power of social media channels that are relevant to your target audience at every stage of the event.
2. Tap into the power of event technology
A lot of individual event organizers as well as event management companies are now investing in event technology. There is a lot of great event marketing software available in the market that can help you automate trivial tasks such as sending out event marketing emails.
Scheduling social media posts and tracks the overall success of your marketing campaign through detailed metrics.
There is all-in-one event management software available as well that lets you do much more. You can create SEO optimized event websites and landing pages through automation tools.
Event app software can let you build an interactive event app in a few easy steps. The time and cost saved from investing in such an event technology tool can be utilized for other important tasks in your marketing campaign.
3. Try the multi-media marketing approach
Apart from social media, there are various other channels that you can utilize to approach your target audience. This includes content marketing, video marketing, event website, event app, etc.
You can create informative blogs, promotional videos, attractive graphics and PR articles surrounding your event for pre-event promotion. These blogs can then be promoted across channels including your event website. You can also invest in Google display ads if budget permits.
Leverage your event app to engage attendees during the event. Market your event app across channels and encourage registered attendees to sign up.
Run elaborate contests, post collaborative sponsor content as well as information about the organizer on the app to catch their attention. All of this can be easily automated through your event app software, a major time-saver.
4. Get industry influencers on board
If budget allows, narrow down a list of influencers in your industry that can help you get the word out. Some event management companies already have collaborations with certain influencers with whom event organizers can collaborate for their event based on the theme of the event.
Involving influencers in the pre-event promotion can help you gain more registrations for your event.
You can also approach them and collaborate with them for a special speaking session for your attendees during the event. This collaboration can then be promoted heavily across platforms.
Influencer marketing, if done right can help you reel in more attendees and increase ticket sales, in turn maximizing the ROI of your event.
5. Generate leads during the event through networking
Event marketers often neglect the power of networking face-to-face. Run interference during the event and network with your attendees on the ground.
Other ways to generate leads during the event is to have your attendees fill a well-constructed questionnaire. You can have them do it either at the registration desk or have a separate desk operating throughout the day.
Network your way through the event and gain as many relevant contacts as you can.
However, leads generated throughout the event are of no use without proper follow up. Follow up with your attendee’s post-event through email or social media, gain feedback in order to know what worked and what didn’t.
You can also schedule a generic feedback email using your event marketing software to save time. Pass on relevant warm leads to your event sales team and have them follow up on the same to generate more ROI for your event in terms of revenue.
Keep measuring the success of your marketing plan in terms of goals achieved. These metrics could be based on the number of registrations received, tickets sold, impressions on your ad campaign or engagement on your event promotion posts which ultimately translated to a number of registrations received or the number of tickets sold.
A systematic, well-outlined plan can help you work wonders in terms of generating maximum ROI for your event.