When event planning, every task becomes an important part of making the entire event come together. Arriving on the day, all your work comes together…. Now you can only hope people show up in support. Use the following tips to assure your attendance grows without having to stress about your budget or earning endorsements.
Event Page 101
Before you do anything else, you need a page or site to promote this event. Whatever you chose as your host site for this event, be sure to include each of the following:
- Event Image
Whatever you use (a logo, pictures of people, or emojis) know that this image appears anytime the page is shared via social media.
- Pre-event compilation of content
Before and during the event you must provide content for attendees to take with them. It could be something simple like videos or photos if you are budget-conscious. If you can afford, take it up a step to t-shirts, coffee mugs, or the like. Make sure that whatever it is, it adds buzz to the event, helps pull new audiences, and keeps the event fresh in your attendees’ minds
- Intriguing Description
Be sure you include the topic, place, time, and who needs to attend. Let your attendees know what benefits are specific for them. Keep it brief and scan worthy. If you have quotes to use, this would be the time to include them.
- Videos related to event
Find speakers willing to be interviewed and post them. Or ask them to make a video for you. Whatever it is, have it based on the event.
- Pics and Bios of Speakers
If you have a great speaker, you will draw crowds. Make a speaker page that includes faces and credentials.
- Obvious “Register Now” button
If you want action, make this button call to your audience in a visible place.
When you have the list, email marketing works best. No list? Ask partners, speakers, or even friends to mention this event in emails. Whatever you do, follow these guidelines:
- Weekend Mailings
Few companies do this, so people tend to click more. Possible attendees could see it when they are less stressed and be willing to commit time to it. Plus, if they are feeling social, they’ll invite a friend.
Your subject lines must create a stir. If people are emotional into it, they will likely open. Emotional content not as high? Not as likely to be opened.
Had events in the past? Use quotes from those. Have solid speakers? Ask them for quotes to use as promo.
Attach one of your event-related videos to the email. This increases clickthrough rates.
- Send and Repeat
Be sure to send this several times. If it is a larger event, email months before announcing your speakers and any early-bird deals. Keep emailing, especially right before the deal ends then closer to the event. Send reminders of various promotions or what attendees should keep an eye out for at the event.
Social Activities Beforehand
Since events are social places, you need to use social media. It’s easy to promote with the following:
- Bios with Links
Whatever site you use: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and so on, you should already have links for your website. However, if you need to promote a large event, consider adding a link or changing it so visitors move directly to the events pages.
- Search in Twitter
Using the Advanced Search feature in Twitter, find people who live near you and seem interested in your topic. Try tweeting them with an invite or mentioning them when discussing the event.
Create a hashtag for the event that is short and unique. Use it in EVERY SINGLE post. Share it with those who register to encourage usage.
- Post in Facebook and LinkedIn
Use that same image for your event page and mention your speakers. Ask them to share the event within their networks. Post videos and reminders of deadlines in a variety of posts.
- Tweet and Tweet and Tweet
Many tweets become lost in the flow as your audience follows their stream. Tweet early and frequently. Use this list as reasons to tweet:
- Opening of registration
- Right before early-bird registration ends
- Reminders of date, time, location
- Thanking sponsors – tag them
- Mention your speakers – tag them in these
- Countdown for your event (can be done multiple times)
- Mention specific registrants
- Thank those who share
- Pull testimonial quotes on speakers
- Quotes from speaker interviews
- Thank those who register
If you have multiple tweets to schedule, use a tool like Buffer to assist with scheduling.
- Follow and follow and follow
Find people who look at your tweets. If you follow them, they could notice your event. Be sure you have a great promo tweet at the top when you follow.
- Cross Paths
If you notice more people gravitate to one social network, move the conversation. If a person shares on Facebook, thank on Twitter. If they do so on Twitter? Give them a mention on LinkedIn.
- Registration Thank You
On their last page of registration, ask them to share on their social media. You can set it up for them including the hashtag and link for the registration page.
- Auto-response emails
When people register, send an email. Ask them to mention you on Twitter. Furthermore, if people submit a contact form, you can set an auto-email with a link for the event.
Blog Posts Beforehand
- Write pre-event
One week before the event include a blog post. It could be anything: speaker interviews, Q and A’s, and educational posts.
- Invite Speakers
Speakers know they benefit from guest blogging. Encourage them to share within their own networks.
Working with partners
- Partner with Photographers or Videographers
No budget for the pros? Make a deal. Offer free admission or event space to any pro photographer or videographer who offers services. Check that you will have the results timely and promise to give them exposure.
- A Night Out
Ask sponsors, speakers, press members, and other influential people to dinner and/or drinks prior to your event. Take this as an opportunity to bond and enjoy the company of those around you. What will likely happen is that people will reference your night at your event. Making these strong connections lead to more solidity for your event day.
- Standard Presentations
Make a common template in Powerpoint or Slides and share with speakers. It only needs to have a title slide and interior slide, but you can set up the font and colors to match your event’s theme. It will become even more important when the slides are shared post-event.
- Tweets Beforehand
If you want your speakers, sponsors, or other partners to promote for you, do some work for them. Create a list of intriguing tweets and send in an email. Be sure to include your hashtag and relevant links; otherwise, they might miss that.
- Affiliate partners
Make a promotion code unique to every partner and speaker. This code allows them to promote the event, offer discounts, and make them more effective at promoting your event. If they are effective at promoting, you can include a referral fee specific to those registrants. This will keep the incentive going for them to market the event and it is far less work for you.
Use Industry and Media Websites
- Industry Associations
If your event seems useful or relevant to their audience, see if they would allow you to post or promote your event despite being an outside organization. Industry and trade associations might say yes. Chamber of commerce generally seem pleased to promote events that relate to their members, especially if the organizers are members.
- Local Media
Most sites, especially local media news sites, allow you to post events. Search for “event calendars” plus your city.
Journalists are assigned to various local events. Search events like yours on news site to see who they are. Send them an official invite with a press badge (if plausible) or relevant article information (think speaker interviews or blog posts). If this is successful, you will get some press.
SEO Friendly is a Must
If someone is searching for your event, use these instructions to best optimize your event webpage or registration page.
- Tags and Headers
Include your target keywords within your title tag and header. It’s best to add the event name last so your keywords go first. Google can find better relevance this way.
- Descriptions Made for Searches
Within your event page, your description should include multiple keywords repeatedly. Break longer texts into shorter forms. Be sure to check your formatting with lots of headers, sub headers, bullets, other links, etc.
- Keyword Targets
Select a relevant keyword. Be sure it combines event topic, “event”, plus your city. Be sure to research keywords that could be helpful for you.
Make certain links to your event page are available on other pages within your site including any older posts. Visitors find their way to the even page easier plus, as a bonus, it assists search engines in knowing this page is relevant.
During the event
If you can do anything during an event, you must live tweet. It automatically lets people see what is happening and needs to generate interest.
Include pictures of everything – the speakers, attendees, active happenings, etc. and share them on Twitter. Be sure to mention specific people and use your hashtag.
Mention the person who talks and use your hashtag. These can be quotes from presentations or snippets of conversations.
- Contests or Drawings
It can be anything – a book or sponsor gifts – but ask people for their emails and share pictures of winners with their gifts. Post on all social networks.
Remember though, when an event ends, your marketing does not. Include follow up activities so your next event is a success.
After the Event Postings
When your event is done and over, take time to post about it. These posts take little time and can be exciting. Be sure to post on your event site, any guest posts on willing local or industrial sites. Be sure you include any relevant content.
- Summarize Presentations
Write a summary of the presentations with any positive feedback. Include photos, your speakers’ presentations, and other relevant points. Ask your audience to complete a follow up survey.
- List the best tweets
Use the hashtag to find them and pick the best ones to share.
- Compile a List
With List.ly, make lists and embed onto any website. Create lists of sponsors, speakers, and attendees. Remind them that this assists them in finding each other for future benefit as well.
- Event Photos Gallery
Embed photos onto the event site or in a blog post. Be sure to categorize the galleries into specific groups and use a tool that will keep guests on your site.
Email after Event
Using a follow-up email you can thank registrants, share more important links, and keep buzz going around your company and event.
- Links for Post-Blogs
Send the email after you have gathered your best content and posted and include those links in emails.
- Survey Links
Ask registrants to complete a survey. Not only will you gather great feedback, but you can use testimonials for later events.
- Social Media Followers
Promote your social media accounts with your registrants. Some may not have followed you yet.
- Future Events
In case some registrants are not subscribers, invent them to sign up for your list. It helps with future promotion.
Social Activity Post-Event
On your social media, share stories, stay connected, or say thanks.
- Post photos
Take some of your best photos and include on Facebook, Google+, and other relevant sites. Tag and mention people.
- Thank You Tweets
Express gratitude afterwards by thanking your attendees, speakers, and sponsors in any follow up tweets or posts. Plus, this will enhance your networking.
- Continue to Share
Following the event, watch for tweets, mentions, or blog posts from others connected to your event. Your hashtag should make this easier for you. When you find these mentions, share them!
Hopefully this list gives you some newer marketing ideas you’ve never tried. While this list is long and overwhelming, do not worry. Remember, you don’t have to do all of them at once. The more you try, the better it gets.