In the world of event planning, there is always something new to discover. As organizers, we grow and learn with every conference, concert, or festival that we run. Whether this is your first rodeo, or you’re a seasoned event planner, we’ve created a two-part series of points that every marketing team should remember.
Part I – Setting Up A Successful Event Marketing Campaign
Establish an identifiable look, tone, and message for your brand. Your event is special and is much more than just physical attendance; it’s all about creating an experience for your guests. Your branding needs to convey that experience and value to your potential customers. Establish the associations that you would like your audience to instantly connect with your brand. Whenever people see certain imagery, colors, hashtags, slogans, and verbiage, good branding will evoke the feelings that you want them to associate with your event. Get your branding straight right from the beginning.
If your event features well-known artists, experts, or guests, leverage their notoriety as much as possible by using their photographs and likeness on your advertising. Create branded visual images, art, and infographics that can be used for your website, social media, your newsletter, print media, etc. Maps, transportation guides, testimonials, and schedules can all be made into attractive, branded visuals.
Video is a powerful tool that gives you the chance to convey the excitement of a live event. You can use video in a number of ways:
- Create a highlight reel from past events.
- Share video clips of artists, performers, or speakers in action.
- Interviews with artists, performers, or speakers.
- Visual content to promote your unique location.
- Video testimonial from participants.
Keep in mind who your target audience is and be consistent with your branding when creating the videos. The video should convey your message, and the value and benefits of attending the event. Post the video(s) on both YouTube and Vimeo and share them on social media, in your newsletters, and on your website.
Use testimonials from past participants as well as from presenters and performers. These provide trustworthy and credible sources of information for your consumers.
- Competitive Pricing
In addition to offering early bird pricing, have different pricing tiers so that there is an option to fit into everyone’s budget. Create both affordable and more elite options; VIP tickets with special incentives could appeal to a higher ticket bracket while less expensive, general admission tickets are appealing to the more general public. You might also offer student and senior discounts.
You can also create different types of passes for people who are not able to attend your entire event. Passes might include full passes for an entire weekend, or a la carte tickets for individual sessions, or single day passes.
Discount group tickets can also be great idea. One of the best ways to do so is to contact the sponsors for your event and offer group passes for their companies.
- Create Urgency
Create a sense of urgency so that people buy tickets now, not later. People’s calendars fill up and you need to claim your place in their calendars immediately. Creating early bird tickets, promotional codes, and other early incentives helps to get the ticket-sale ball rolling early.
- Loyalty Rewards
If your event is annual, consider rewarding last year’s attendees by offering them an incentive. This could come in the form of a discount, an upgrade, or first access. People who have attended before could be your biggest supporters and it’s worth investing in their continued participation by sweetening their participation with promotional codes and perks.
- Get Traditional
Don’t forget about traditional promotional channels like print advertising, or even radio and television. In this digital and social media age, it’s easy to neglect the value of paper promotions. However, posts, flyers, sending invitations by snail mail, creating event postcards, and rack cards are still a very valuable part of your marketing campaign. Depending on the size and scope of your event, you might also like to take out advertising space in targeted newspapers or magazines, or place airtime on radio or television.
- Include Your Event Sponsors in the Marketing Process
Tag your sponsors and give them proper shout outs whenever possible, and get them on board to help create excitement about the event. Stay communicative with them so that they feel invested in the event not only from the perspective of continued sponsorship in future years, but also so that they feel invested in the marketing success of the event.
Get in touch with industry organizations to help promote your event. Consider offering free tickets to strategic guests and ask them to blog or get social about the event.
All of these set-up steps are vital to event marketing. However, there is a glaringly obvious section missing from today’s blog post and that is cyber marketing. Social media and online promotions are such a vital part of event marketing that we’re devoting an entire second blog post to the topic. Check back next week for Part II of our How to Market your Event and Sell More Tickets – Cyber Marketing.