Today’s audience is deafened by thousands of advertisements that they encounter daily. To stand out in such a noisy market, you need something more powerful to capture the attention of your target audience — you need to build a connection!
Event marketing lets you build genuine relationships and cut through the noise. These days, brands leverage both digital marketing and event marketing campaigns to rope in the maximum number of leads for their business.
But how do you do event marketing the right way? Well, keep reading to see a few event marketing tips and tricks.
Event marketing channels to consider
In-person event marketing has been a go-to choice of event marketers from the very start. In-person events allow companies to forge relationships and go beyond lead generation.
However, in-person events are at the whim of external circumstances (e.g. a global pandemic). Moreover, some people might be hesitant to travel to your event. In-person events won’t be disappearing altogether, but as you're planning your next event there are other options to consider.
Around 67% of businesses hosted virtual events along with in-person events in 2021 as a part of their event marketing strategy. Moreover, virtual events are increasing in popularity as they are easy to scale, attract a higher attendance, and are relatively cheap compared to physical events of the same scale.
Modern virtual event platforms offer stunning virtual environments, stages, and networking areas that can elevate your event. Platforms like Airmeet provide features like Fluid Space — a virtual space where you can move freely to mix & mingle with like minded people during an event — and network lounges that give you more one-on-one facetime and multiple touchpoints with your prospects.
While hosting a large-scale event, virtual event platforms also offer booths to showcase multiple brands or products.
What’s more? Virtual events also make lead management easy as they allow you to track prospect data centrally, making it easier to retarget prospects and rope in year-long engagement.
Participants stop by a virtual booth to grab information, meet the staff, ask questions, and potentially pick up a brochure or other marketing collateral.
Certain events aren’t formatted for an entirely virtual replacement. Organizations may have an annual dinner or a night of live entertainment. It’s not exactly possible to replicate these online.
However, adding a virtual component to the same in-person events allows marketers to increase their reach and offer flexibility to attendees at minimal costs.
Hybrid events perfectly blend into an organization’s existing event marketing strategy, allow marketers to cater to different stages of the buyer's journey, and meet the varying needs of participants.
Pre-event marketing plan
You host events, in part, to market your products. But your events need to be marketed too. Investing in solid event marketing strategies can be a game-changer for your organization. Marketing your event can drastically improve attendance, which in turn may lead to more prospects.
But how do you market your events?
We live in a socially-driven world. So, to market your events, social media platforms like Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook are good places to start.
Actively market your event on these platforms and encourage more people to join. Effective pre-event marketing requires a proper planning strategy with consistent social media activity.
How to rope in leads at your event
Set up event analytics and catch the right leads for your business
To identify the right leads to reach out to during and after your event, it’s important to keep track of how your attendees participated at the event.
If a prospect engages with your marketing collateral or sales representatives at multiple touchpoints, they are definitely worth following up with.
Setting up event analytics helps you gauge the level of interest individuals expressed at your event. You can then use these insights to set up custom email campaigns, offers, and more to push these attendees further along the buyer's journey.
Get booth engagement analytics and data from registration forms, polls, Q&As, and network lounges to build your list of warm leads.
Set up multiple touchpoints at your virtual event
Quick question, what do you think drives conversions the most? Ready for the answer? It’s trust. If you trust someone, you will be more likely to do business with them. In the same way, if you can build trust and rapport with your attendees, they’ll be more interested in doing business with you.
But how do you build trust? You provide attendees with personal attention. One-on-one conversations establish trust and goodwill among prospects. So it’s crucial for you to find opportunities to connect individually with your attendees.
Set up booths, invite attendees to virtual tables, or meet your prospects in dedicated virtual network lounges to begin to build these personal connections. With event platforms like Fluid Space, you can walk around virtual environments that make it easy to approach prospects in a relaxed and fun setting.
Quick reminder — set up registration forms to gather data
Don’t forget to set up registration forms at booths and other venues during your virtual or in-person event to gather information like names, email addresses, phone numbers, and more. You should use this data to create personalized follow-up emails and retargeting campaigns.
Create immersive experiences
Now that you’re hosting your events in a digital format, you’ll need to make sure that your audiences are glued to their screens and not tempted by any distractions.
To do so, you will need to plan out an immersive experience for your audience. The key to this is embedding certain core features into your event.
Interactions: Allow your audience to interact with fellow attendees, speakers, and hosts. Every time a question is answered, or an introduction is made at your event, a relationship is formed. Moreover, creative activities that boost interpersonal interactions can put your brand in the spotlight.
Use stunning visuals: You can brand your virtual stage booths, or virtual networking areas with a brand logo, marketing collateral, or stunning creatives that go well with your brand’s vision.
Connections and relationships: Encourage participants to build connections that go well beyond the event itself. Encourage them to engage in discussions with speakers and fellow attendees or to participate in group activities. This way, participants can build a meaningful association with your brand or event.
While all of this is essential during your event, don’t forget to launch a follow-up marketing campaign post-event too.
Post-event techniques to get more leads with event marketing
First things first, congratulations! You successfully executed an event, and now you’re looking for some ideas to create post-event buzz.
Arguably, this is the most important part of your event marketing strategy. You get to nurture leads and really connect with your event attendees to push them further down the funnel.
What’s more? You’ll get a chance to identify the hottest leads to prioritize for your next campaign or event.
Send a thank-you email
Send your guest an email appreciating that they made an effort to attend your event. Make your guests feel special. A simple thank-you email can be a great excuse to connect with them again.
Sending follow-up emails after your event helps you maximize the ROI of your events and rope in some post-event engagement.
Got no-shows? No worries. Send a message to them too!
Send a “We missed you” email to your no-shows. Why limit your follow-up email campaigns to only the people that showed up? Boost your ROI by engaging with the no-shows as well.
Let them know their presence was missed, and then proceed to show them what they missed out on at the event. This way, you will be able to instill some FOMO (fear of missing out) for your next event. Create a post-event landing page and other relevant marketing collateral to include in these messages.
Build a post-event landing page
Offer people a chance to relive or experience the event for the first time with a post-event landing page. Attendees can’t be two places at once, so now they can experience the content they couldn't see the first time.
Make sure to showcase speaker sessions, entertainment sessions, group activities, leaderboards, Q&As, and everything in between.
Here are some ideas of what to include on the post-event page:
- Photos from the event.
- A gallery of social shares, hashtags, and tweets.
- Presentations or slides with event content.
- Fun statistics about the event.
So what are your takeaways?
Virtual and hybrid events have become the norm, and most marketers include event marketing in their overall strategy. Going digital allows marketers to increase their reach exponentially and globally. The tools embedded in virtual event platforms like Airmeet let you measure the engagement and collect data in real-time to gain actionable marketing insights.
It’s easy to integrate an event platform like Airmeet with an existing marketing stack to run retargeting campaigns and manage long-term engagement via CRMs.
Getting a virtual event platform with features like live-event analytics, virtual networking spaces, interaction environments, and gamification-driven integrations is an essential piece of your event marketing strategy.
Building a stellar event landing page will allow you to rope in more registrations and data for your marketing campaigns.
Once you’ve hosted your event, you can execute post-event strategies to get year-long engagement or even establish communication with the no-shows.
Use techniques like sending a thank-you or missed-you email to the attendees and the no-shows to boost brand recall.
You could also analyze the event insights generated by your virtual event platform and run data-driven retargeting campaigns to maximize your ROI.
We hope these tips help you with your event marketing efforts. Event-marketing campaigns always work best when complemented with a great digital marketing strategy. Great news, Feathr can help you with that.
Thousands of nonprofits use Feathr’s digital marketing tools to increase awareness, boost online donations, promote events, recruit volunteers, and ultimately do more good. Feathr simplifies promotions by providing a central place to manage digital advertising, email marketing, and peer-to-peer campaigns, as well as build ads, landing pages, and more.
This guest blog post was contributed by Airmeet.
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