Somebody asked me recently what they should do to make their upcoming event a huge success. This is not an easy question to answer because there are so many moving parts when it comes to event planning but as we started getting into the details I noticed a huge gap – they hadn’t considered their event’s digital marketing strategy.
From attracting attendees and vendors to the event, to leveraging onsite and offsite attendee engagement during the event, to continued efforts to delight both attendees and vendors after the event – a well-planned and executed digital strategy is an absolutely essential part of making your next event a success.
Attracting potential attendees and vendors to an event is one of the most important parts of planning an event. Inbound marketing helps attract your target audience and build excitement and anticipation for your event.
Spreading word to your mailing list is a great way to spread the word. If you’ve built out your email lists properly, they should be full of people who have already expressed a genuine interest in what you’ve got to offer.
Engaging these subscribers is a great way to inform, remind, and drive people to register for your event and build value for both attendees and vendors
Identify the two specific channels where your target attendees are the most active, such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Then, develop a strategic plan to engage them and drive them into the sales funnel you’ve developed for your event.
Social media efforts can include creating event pages, an event based hashtag, engaging with potential attendees, pay per click social campaigns, and more.
During the Event
Your digital marketing efforts shouldn’t stop at pre-event attraction and engagement. During the event, there are many opportunities to build your event brand’s awareness.
Engaginr your audience in real-time – whether with onsite attendees, or offsite followers – is a great way to keep your event top-of-mind and build brand awareness.
Content marketing efforts can include writing blog posts during the event, providing session overviews, or publishing the latest news announcement that was released at your conference.
Your online marketing efforts should not end simply because the event has. Continuing to engage and delight your audience event after the final curtain call will improve the overall experience for attendees while building the value for next year’s event.
Email Marketing (Again!)
Emailing your attendees as well as your vendors after your event with a post-event survey is a great way to generate event feedback.
Consider using a service like Survey Monkey to uncover what went well with this year’s event and what can be improved as you plan your next event.
Continue to connect with event attendees and the event hashtag after your event. Send out a ‘thank you’ tweet with your event hashtag – or offer up an exclusive discount to social media followers for next year’s event.
By continuing the conversation, event professionals can leverage and utilize the event excitement and engagement for announcing future events and opportunities.
Digital marketing is a great way to attract attendees, increase event sponsorship, and generate a higher ROI. At MeetingPlay, we consistently encourage our event planners to invest in digital marketing as just one way to ensure each event they produce is a success.
Whether an event’s focus is purely on engagement or it is a larger event looking to attract vendors and exhibitors – the opportunities that digital marketing can help create are limitless.
Here’s to your next successful event!