Event Marketing: How To Do It

Event marketing is tough.

And that’s because the event industry is becoming increasingly more competitive every year. How do we distinguish ourselves? How do we sell tickets, secure sponsorship and create an event that not only achieves it’s goals, but achieves a profit and satisfies delegates to the point where they want to come back next year?

And… how do we scale up next time?

Our Chairman, George Taylor is an expert when it comes to launching and growing successful new event ventures from scratch.

He’s launched multiple successful events from nothing and turned them into a profit since 2013. And he’s built reputable event brands; some of which have gone on to become market leaders in their respected fields for years to come with consistent growth and repeat business…

Here are his top tips for the best ways to market your event(s):

Media Partnerships

A media partnership (otherwise referred to as ‘growth hacking,’ or a ‘contra deal’), is where two businesses team up for mutually beneficial reasons. From an event organiser’s perspective, they benefit from tapping into their media partner’s database and gaining additional exposure in their target market without having to pay up front for advertising.

It’s like ‘try before you buy.’

The partner benefits either through data share, sponsorship, a commission-per-sale, additional exposure through other partner or PR networks, or public speaking. There is no rule to how many partners you should have (I’ve had up to 20 just for one event), or what you should offer them. The added media weight will give your event some ‘oompth.’

You can also gain social media buzz and enhanced SEO through backlinks on partner social media channels and websites.

Social Media

Social media is best used in conjunction with media partners, because you’ll quickly gain followers and likes, and if your media partners are prepared to retweet your event, then your tweets will go further. Also, booking celebrities to speak at your event can work wonders if you get them to join in on the action. Again, it’ll supercharge your activity.

Often, you’ll get people who’ll follow you who won’t buy a ticket at first, so posting event photos out on social media after the event will warm them up for next year, but in the meantime, you can use content marketing and data capture strategies to build an email list ready to offer a discount to those subscribers, which is a great way to sell tickets.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a powerful way to not only warm your current social media followers up, but it’ll help you to lure your target audience in either through shares or organic search results and build a mailing list that you can use to convert to sales at a later date. The best way to utilise content marketing is to write relevant value-adding content.

This could include white papers, top tips or industry news. As long as you add a ‘sign-up’ form to your content, when you post it out on social media, your efforts will pay off when people start to sign up and then buy tickets. I’ve had customers buy tickets for my events through articles I’ve written on The Huffington Post, so guest posting is a good idea, too.

Email Marketing

Eventually, once you’ve got a mailing list, the key is to ensure that your email marketing is powerful enough to convert to sales, and the way I do this is simple: less is more. I’m not into newsletters or frequent email marketing because it loses effect after a while. I save email marketing for those special moments, and as a result, my open-rate is always high.

PR

If you target media based sites or professional networks as potential media partners, you won’t need a PR consultant, because your partners will most likely have a well-read news channel, and you may even gain additional partners through doing this. I attracted the PRS For Music and Global Radio because they read articles on our partners’ news channels.

And those new partners went on to become some of the best advertisers and supporters we had, so don’t undermine the power of PR. It’ll draw more influence towards you, help you sell more tickets, grow your brand and open new doors which you hadn’t even considered.

Need a hand with your event marketing, or event marketing strategy? Want to increase your chances of success? Get in touch, and see for yourself what we’re capable of.