Whether it’s taking place in-person or online, there’s so much more to event marketing than just a simple ‘Register now’ email.
By keeping your audience excited & active through multiple touchpoints in the lead-up to an event, you can ensure high attendee numbers, create a buzz around the event, and even help others engage with your brand on social media in the weeks prior.
Let’s take a look at four ways to make the most of your event communications – through the use of email, SMS, survey forms and of course, automations – to tie it all together.
1. Build Hype
Email is a great way to promote an event to a targeted list of people – and a series of pre-event emails can work well to build hype and showcase each guest speaker individually and even get people submitting their questions well in advance.
However, by branching out onto social media as well, you’ll get your event in front of those who may not have heard of your event or organisation before.
By creating, and getting your attendees to use, an event-specific hashtag (such as the hashtags used by EMSA; the largest, premier email marketing summit in the southern hemisphere – #emsa & #emsa2020), you’ll be able to easily share updates, photos and videos during the day from, and for, attendees and followers in general.
One great implementation I’ve seen of this was a “Best of social” award given out at the end of a convention to the person who got the most likes on an event photo that used the event’s designated hashtag. This had everyone posing and posting content for the event on social media – drumming up hype and publicity which simply couldn’t have been purchased! One lucky delegate got to walk away with free flights and tickets to the next event.
2. Grow Your Audience
While email works well, the attention of those we’re trying to reach is often divided across multiple screens, devices and platforms. Although SMS may work well as a promotional tool for some types of events and audiences, it’s generally recommended to use it sparingly when it comes to promotional purposes.
So why not link your email marketing software (such as Vision6), with Google Ads or Facebook Ads to target your contacts on another platform. Coupled with a splash of segmentation, you can even automatically hide ads from those who have already registered for your event – saving you a bit of cash.
Once contacts start to register for your event, you can even use Facebook’s own profiling tools to find users with similar traits & interests, and serve ads to these ‘lookalike’ audiences as well.
3. Engage Attendees
Through a series of SMS messages and emails, you can keep your event front-of-mind and help attendees make the most of your content.
A pre-event dietary requirements form (for in-person events) ensures you’ve covered all of your catering bases, while a “one day out” email can assist attendees with those all-important webinar links, phone numbers for audio connectivity – or parking discounts, venue maps and train timetables if they’re attending in-person.
There’s nothing worse than getting a lengthy, all-encompassing event survey a week after the fact – and then trying to remember everything about every session you attended. So why not let your audience leave feedback for guest speakers right after their session with a well-timed SMS containing a link to that speaker’s survey form? Setup a few quick automations and let your email & SMS marketing software do the rest!
You could also use this survey to let attendees opt-in to your guest speaker’s own mailing lists – for further content sharing and education.
4. Create Ongoing Networking Opportunities
Just because an event is over, doesn’t mean you can’t continue your marketing efforts. A post-event email ensures learnings aren’t forgotten once the excitement dies down – and lets your audience engage with guest speakers they found interesting.
Include a highlights video to build excitement for the next event, pop in some photos or audio vox-pops, link to speaker slide decks and you’ve got yourself a goldmine of easily-digestible information for attendees (and let’s not forget those who couldn’t make it!) to implement in their own businesses moving forward.
By tracking which users view videos or download a particular speakers’ presentations, you can build ongoing, meaningful relationships with your audience through additional content automations – highly personalised and relevant to what they clicked on. Use data gathered today, to shape the personalised conversions of the future.
Through the use of data, personalisation and segmentation, you – as an event coordinator or marketer – also offer continued value to your guest speakers by allowing them to build their own networks long after their sessions have concluded.
Bonus: Event Marketing Made Easy
My company (Big Budda Boom) uses and recommends Vision6 – Australia’s most trusted SMS and email marketing software.
With Vision6, you can create event workflows and automations to send out personalised registration emails, SMS reminders & collect SMS replies, link to catering forms and speaker surveys, integrate with Eventbrite, send post-event video wrap-ups, track engagement, target various (eg. unconverted) segments of your audience around the web with Facebook ads and much more.