Promoting your event successfully is no cakewalk. Between initial awareness and final confirmation is a long path for your prospective registrants to walk, and it’s riddled with obstacles. Helping your prospects complete this journey is a big challenge, but one that – done successfully – can take your events to the next level.
To help you make this year’s events your best ever, take a look at a few important principles Member365 has put together to help you make a big impact with your event promotions:
1. Make Registration Easy
Event promotion is all about registrations. The ultimate KPI at this stage of event planning, success and failure are measured in terms of the impact you make on this number.
That’s why it’s so critical to ensure that your registration flow is as streamlined and intuitive as possible. Your campaigns might bring thousands upon of prospects to your registration page, but if your registration flow is difficult or confusing, only a small fraction will actually sign up.
Because it is at the core of all your promotional efforts, wise event planners know that optimizing your registration flow is a great first step for getting the most out of any promotional campaign.
2. Go to Your Audience
“If you make it, they will come” is a common saying that anyone with event planning experience knows to be false.
Event planners know that getting people to attend their events takes a whole lot more. Registrants will never come to you. You’ve got to go to them.
So where, exactly, do you go?
Figuring that out requires you to think like a member of your audience. Where do they spend their time, online and off, and how might you deliver a message to them?
Professional events might find their prospects on Linkedin or Twitter. Lifestyle events might consider reaching out to social media influencers, or target posts to Facebook and Instagram. Planning a boat show? Think about getting in touch with local marina’s, boatyards, and sailing clubs!
Whatever your audience, put yourself in their shoes, and think about where you might reach them with promotional messaging for your event. Document a few ideas and consider how you might measure their effectiveness. Experiment with things you’ve never tried, and evaluate impact through measurement to see if it’s worth trying again next year!
3. Think Email
Since the dawn of the internet, e-mail has been one of the top channels for delivering marketing messages to audiences online. New channels have come and gone over the decades, but e-mail still remains one of the most reliable means for marketing online.
For event promotion, it’s hard to think of a reason why one wouldn’t take advantage of email marketing. Last year’s event registrations captured who knows how many email addresses, and each one represents a high-value prospect. These individuals have engaged with your events before, and (so long as their experience was a good one) they’re likely to do so again.
Targeting last-years registrants are sure to create an impact but don’t stop there. Your CRM is full of email addresses, and each one might be a potential registrant. Segment your lists into groups based on shared criteria, develop email messaging for each, and watch as registrations pour in!
4. Build a Remarketing Campaign
Registering for an event takes a surprising amount of thought and intention. Your prospects have to spend a lot of time mulling over their decision, and during that time it’s easy to lose them. People have a lot to think about. Remarketing is a great technique to ensure they keep thinking about your event.
Online, remarketing works by identifying prospects that engage with your event marketing. If a person hits your registration page, engages with your content, opens an email, or otherwise indicates they’re interested in your event – but doesn’t register – they’ll be flagged as a prospect. Your remarketing service will then expose them to your marketing materials as they browse the web, check their social feeds, and consume content online.
This not only ensures that your event stays top-of-mind for your prospects, but offers plenty of opportunities for these prospects to make their way back to your registration page and convert to registrants!
Don’t know how to set up a remarketing campaign? Don’t worry, services like Google Ads make set up a breeze, and offer plenty of assistance to get up and running in no time.
5. Get Visual
A picture speaks a thousand words, which is why it’s important that – throughout your event promotions – you ensure you’ve got plenty of good ones.
It’s easy to think that people evaluate your event in terms of logic and facts, but presentation is half the battle and is often neglected. Neuroscience shows us that though we think our decisions are rational, our emotions are largely in charge of our choices. Because photos have such a powerful impact on how a prospect feels about your event, they’re a powerful opportunity to drive the impact of your promotions.
Prospective attendants want to be confident they’re going to have a good time at your event. Leverage that understanding by providing plenty of photos and videos of exciting experiences from previous events. Think about the feelings that prospects want to feel, and show them how your event will provide them with strategic visuals!
Prime Your Event Promotions
Whatever you do to promote your event, it’s critical that you measure the impact of your work. Doing so effectively gives you the means to understand what works, what doesn’t, what’s worth investing in, and what’s worth dropping.
Take a look back to last year’s metrics (if you have them), and consider what efforts are worth repeating, refining, or forgetting. If you don’t have access to this information, set yourself up for success this year and into the future by ensuring that you collect the data you need to understand the impact of your work!