The right marketing can ensure you get the largest and most relevant audience for your event. But your marketing efforts shouldn’t stop there — you want to build a buzz around your event and get your registrants engaged and talking before, during and after the event.
Here’s how event planners can achieve just that, regardless of budget or experience:
Start with a great event website
Your event website is your biggest promotional tool — it will be the first place your audience looks for information, and where they’ll spend the most time interacting with your brand in advance of the event. Make sure you impress your audience with a sleek, professional-looking website that’s easy to use and navigate. Every detail counts: is the most important information front and center? Do all the links and buttons work? Does it take too many clicks to get to a certain page? Are the fonts scaled correctly and easily readable regardless of web-browser? Remember, your website needs to be usable even to the least computer-savvy members of your audience. An unintuitive web experience can cost you valuable registrations.
Keep branding consistent
It’s important to maintain consistency across your event promotions and marketing to build brand awareness throughout the event journey and maintain a professional look and feel. Make sure your emails, website, mobile app and other event materials and communications all look like they’re from the same family — they should share the same fonts, headers, footers, colors and logos. Attendees should be able to recognize at a glance items pertaining to your event.
Use email marketing to engage before, during and after your event
Before you launch your email campaign, consider how you can get the most out of your marketing list — segmenting your invitees into categories allows you to personalize your messages to maximize their resonance and response rates.
But don’t just deploy your emails as soon as they’re written; you want to make sure your emails look appealing and professional no matter what browser or device they’re viewed on before you hit ‘send’.
And good email marketing is professional in appearance and deployment. Be careful not to spam your lists or your contacts are likely to unsubscribe. For legal reasons, you should always include the option to unsubscribe at the bottom of all your marketing emails.
Test, measure and optimize for maximum success
It’s hard to be sure what works best without experimenting a little. Not sure which subject line will grab the most responses? Suspect that different wording might boost your conversion rate? Test it out on a smaller batch of contacts from your list. Measure open, click-through and response rates, see what works best, and send your final marketing materials to your full list with confidence that you’ll get the best results possible.
Social media is a fun and easy way to extend your marketing reach and help build a buzz around your event at little to no cost. And just like event technology, new platforms and innovations surrounding social are surfacing, it seems, every day. Be sure to post your event to Facebook, and promote it on Twitter and LinkedIn. But social media is a two-way street — post topics for your audience to discuss, create contests with prizes and incentives, and encourage as much participation and sharing as possible. This not only spreads the word about your event, but builds the general excitement as well, and starts the audience engagement early.