Inbound for Events
After spending good time and money putting together an engaging event, nothing is worse than to have the response to the event be underwhelming. What could you have done differently? Better marketing? Better planning? If the response to your event was less than desired, it was probably a marketing problem. Here are 25 tips on how to market your event in order to get the response you desire and spark an interest in your company.
1. Have a website for the event.
You must have a website and it must contain the pertinent details of the event (locations, times, costs, etc).
2. Make the website easy to navigate.
Nothing is more frustrating for a customer or potential customer than to try searching for pertinent information about the site and not being able to find it. If they can't locate what they want, they may not bother to try to reach out to get more information. Keep it simple.
3. Create a catchy name for the event.
You already know that catchy names for books, movies, blog articles are important to draw interest. The same is for your event. Make it sound interesting and exciting and people will check it out.
"If your event name is “blah”, your audience will assume that your content is “blah” too." - Daphne Bousquet @BousquetCMP
4. Have your guest speakers listed on the website.
Not only will attendees will come because they want to see a specific speaker, but they will want to check out the other speakers. Make sure to include pictures and information about the speakers (education, accreditations, why they are there).
"Great speakers draw crowds like a magnet" - Andy Crestodina @orbiteers
5. Enable live streaming.
One way to generate interest in your event is to show the people that aren't there yet about all the fun they are missing. You can also offer a full live streaming feed to paying subscribers that can't make the event but still want to "attend."
"Not all Events need to be in-person activities." - Vivian Wagner @OPENForum
6. Enable podcasts of the guest speakers.
This can be something useful for a number of reasons. The people that were there can reference the event, the people that weren’t can see what they missed, and you can the transcripts from the podcast for future marketing of new events or other things relating to your business.
7. Keep the conversation going after the event.
Invite attendees to join your email newsletter or have regular discussions about the topics from the event or the Eeent itself. This may not be a marketing tool for this event but will give you a ready-made audience for your next event and continued traffic to your business.
"Share the success stories of each event with your target audience so they look out for future events and are eager to come back." - By Louis Foong
8. Utilize your existing social media platforms.
You already use social media to promote your blog posts and generate new traffic to your site. Why not do the same for your event?
"Mention speakers, encouraging them to share it with their networks. Post again with videos and to remind people of registration deadlines." - Andy Crestodina @orbiteers
9. Enable your event to be shareable.
Social media traffic is made by sharing. Enable your blog posts, Facebook posts, Google+, Tweets, etc to be shareable by your readers and customers. As your attendees and guests get excited about your event, they will share it with their friends, talk about it, and help spread awareness of the event.
10. Create a hashtag for your event.
With a handy hashtag for your event, as your attendees and guests talk about the event, it can draw more attention. It will also allow your followers and readers to network with other followers and readers that they may not have met before.
"Pick an event hashtag that’s short, and ideally, unique to your event." - Andy Crestodina @orbiteers
11. Enable guest visibility.
Just as guest speakers can draw attention and attendees to an event, so do the actual attendees. People at your event will use this opportunity to network with other like-minded people if they know they will be there. You may even draw in some addition attendees just from the current attendee list.
12. Stimulate conversations before the event.
Utilizing the hashtag and comments on your blog or other social media platforms, stimulate conversations about your event. These conversations can be about topics that will be discussed, people that will be there. The more that people are talking, the more interested they will be, which will in turn draw more interest and more attendees.
"Get feedback from attendees about what type of presentations they want to see and after the event, ask what presentations they liked the best." - Sacha Cohen @grassfedmedia
13. Continue the conversations during the event.
This can be worked in with the live streaming with a chat room feature or through social media platforms. People can discuss what is going on with people that are there or others that couldn't make it.
14. Keep them going after the event.
Just because the event is over doesn't mean the conversation should stop. The more your attendees talk, the more interest your company will have. You will see a return not only on traffic but in the attendance of your next event.
"An event -- be it a networking gathering, open house, fundraiser, or class -- is by nature a social affair. People attend events to connect, interact, and share with their peers. Similarly, people join social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to connect, interact, and share with their peers." - Seth Russell
15. Have a space near the entrance designated for photo ops.
Everyone loves a photo op. They will have fun and be able to post the pictures to their social media accounts to share. The pictures can also be shared on your event's website to show who came and how enjoyable the event was.
16. Use the local media talent to drive up interest.
Talk about extending your reach. Invite members of the radio, newspaper, and television media to attend the event.
17. Make the event about the attendees.
Promote not only who is going to be speaking or what activities are planned, but how those speakers and activities benefit the attendees.
"Good Event planners know a successful event isn’t so much about the person at the center of the party–but about the attendee!" - Daphne Bousquet @BousquetCMP
18. Keep marketing until the event starts, and then keep it going.
Many attendees don't register until last minute. Especially if your event is more than one day, keep the marketing going to fill in those last minute spots.
"You never know when that last minute attendee will turn into your best client!" - Daphne Bousquet @BousquetCMP
19. Personal Invitations to Special Invitees.
If you want go bring particular demographic, send personal invitations either through mail or email. Many of whom would be in that demographic already subscribe to your newsletter.
"Those who are subscribed to your newsletter are highly targeted and segmented audience with specific interest in your offerings, and hence your event." - Monkey Productions
20. There is no such thing as marketing too early for your event.
The earlier you start, the sooner your prospective attendees can begin talking about it.
"The best time to start marketing your workshop was at your last event." - Daphne Bousquet @BousquetCMP
21. Create incentives for early registration.
Since so many attendees will register at the last minute, add an incentive for those that register early. Perhaps they could receive free materials, gift cards, first dibs on seating preferences, or a special engagement with a guest speaker only for early registrants.
22. Send marketing event emails multiple times.
People often don't act on the first, second or even third email sent out regarding an event. Continue to send them leading up to the Event.
"Send an email a few days before with reminders of time, place for registrants and a final pitch for new registration." - Andy Crestodina @orbiteers
23. Cross the social platform streams.
Drum up interest across social media by crossing your responses. If someone mentions something on Google+, thank them on Facebook or Twitter, and vice versa.
24. Encourage your guest speakers to blog on your company's leading up to the event.
This will allow the attendees to get to know the guest speakers, and bring interest from potential attendees.
25. Have incentives or gifts for attendees.
Have gifts or promotions available with exclusives just for attendees. Everyone likes free gifts and it will provide something you can include on the website as an incentive for people to register to come to your event.
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