Marketing Your Next Event
As the world continues to get back to ‘normal,’ we are all navigating event planning. Whether in-person or virtual, a good event has one thing in comment: Attendees! In the midst of securing the refreshments, finalizing a guest list, event space, and all those fun things – organizations and businesses often forget create a marketing and outreach plan. And if no one knows you are having an event, no one can plan to come – so in the midst of all your other preparations, setting aside time to work on marketing is critical for success. How you market your event will determine its Return on Investment (ROI in marketing terms). In simple terms, your event’s ROI would allow you to determine it was successful enough to offset the work and budget it took to create and host. This could look like several new client leads, media exposure, product sales or more – depending on your business or organization. Events are a unique opportunity to strengthen your brand and build relationships with your customers, donors, and clients. They are also a great way to share your mission, meet new people and allow people in your networks to meet each other. If you are in the event-planning stages, here are some easy-to-follow tips on planning and marketing.
The basics: Who, what, where, when and why
Establish a solid outline of your basics before you take any next steps. This way, when you’re ready to market, you have all of the basics ready to share with potential guests. This also helps you reach out to media and make flyers, social media posts and a press release.
Some questions to ask yourself – and determine the answers of – when you are in the beginning stages include:
- Will the event be happening soon, or do you have an extended period of time to plan?
- Will the event be a destination, local, or virtual?
- And finally, why are you planning this event, and what is your ultimate goal?
Once these questions are answered, you have the foundation to start strategizing a marketing plan that will set your event above the rest. Whether the event is for charity, a branding party, or a public event to hear a guest speaker, you want to be comfortable with what you’re doing and why you are doing it before you start to market.
Strategize Your Plan
A well-thought-out marketing plan makes all the difference when it comes to events. The second step of every event should be creating this plan. Whether you have a small or large team, getting together for a brainstorming session is a great idea that ensures a multitude of perspectives and ideas that can help immensely with your strategy.
A marketing plan for any event should consist of these things:
- Determine your target audience.
- An online event page for people to find the essential information.
- Reach out to potential sponsors.
- Create a press release.
- Consider influencer outreach.
- Create at least one form of consistent communication; whether through email, text, phone, social media, etc.
Execute Your Strategy
Once you establish the strategic plan, it’s time to finish executing the event planning and preparation. Be sure every team member has a specific duty they are responsible for with specific deadlines. Delegating tasks will make execution run more smoothly and ensure every item is getting done.
Another great tip for putting your strategy into motion is to take notes and make a copy of your full event and marketing plan. This will come in handy when you’re planning your next event and can serve as a template. Having notes and contact information from sponsors, influencers, and vendors help you kick-off your next event. You can also keep track of successes and challenges in these notes to review next time around.
Spread The Word
If you’re hosting a public event, a fundraiser or a nonprofit gathering, you want everyone to know about it. With your marketing plan in place, your goal should always be to reach the target audience needed to engage with your event and learn more about your brand. Whether or not they can attend, learning about your event will offer people a glimpse into your brand. This is your time to share!
Here are a few tips for sharing your event with potential guests:
- Have incentives for your team to invite guests
- Reach out to board members, volunteers and past donors to ask them to share the event
- Share and promote your online event
- Invite media to attend and ask them to share their attendance
Whether it’s preparing your marketing strategy, or helping with publicity and online promotion, our team can work in tandem with your team to help teams navigate event planning. If you’re thinking about your next event, now is the time to reach out to Walker Publicity!