Your Event Marketing Plan, by Katniss Everdeen
Have you seen our event marketing plan infographic, in which we detail the many ways registrants tend to convert? Well today, we’ll show you how to make an event marketing plan of your own.
Your audience will find you in different ways. They’ll respond to a variety of approaches. The most successful event marketing plan starts early and utilizes multiple channels. So how will you stay organized and measure everything?
Gather your cornucopia of marketing channels
Your mixed-up event marketing plan may include email campaigns, traditional call-downs, digital ads, public relations, social media, partner promotions, referrals, direct mail, print media and more.
The best channels are the ones that you audience is using, and that give you:
- a clear conversion path (with email and digital ads, the recipient can click right to the registration page)
- an unexpected angle (a cool mailer or a phone call)
- the ability to amplify (shareable mediums like social media, or a referral program)
It’s OK if you’re using fewer marketing channels, as long as you are giving your audience multiple touchpoints and hitting them from a few angles. For example, if your typical audience member is miles away from using Twitter, don’t stress about including it. Your energy is best spent on an event marketing plan that focuses on channels that are relevant.
Figure out your assets: the value that will make people register
Take all your marketing channels back to your hiding spot and figure out how you can use them along with your natural assets–the value and originality you have to offer.
What are the specific elements that will be the most appealing to a potential registrant?
Compile your assets:
- Do you have footage or testimonials from last time? These have the benefit of making veteran and new registrants feel excited.
- An early bird deal. This is an age-old event marketing plan element that rewards those who are quick on the uptake AND gets you close to your registration goals early.
- An amazing keynote speaker, feature guest or partner.
- Tech-forward elements like your mobile event app.
- The agenda is killer. When someone sees it, they know they have to be a part of it! It should be a focal point of your event marketing plan as soon as it’s close to being ready.
- Cool details like great food and drinks, free parties, networking and giveaways.
- Registration cap/ticket scarcity.
Formulate your event marketing plan
With channels and assets in hand, you’re ready to create your event marketing plan. Start with the event date and work backwards to find the dates that work best for revealing each asset.
Tip: Most events begin soliciting registrations 4-12 weeks in advance, and you can share a ‘save the date’ as soon as you’ve confirmed a venue.
When your dates are in place, layer in your marketing channels.
Here’s a sample event marketing plan.
6 months out: Save-the-date
Email blast, tweet about the date and the venue. Early on in your event marketing plan is a great place to share rich media, testimonials, or statistics from your last event. Your goal is simply to be on the radar, so when you begin asking your audience to register they won’t be surprised (they’ll be excited!).
10 weeks out: Early bird sale
Email blast, tweet and post on your event’s Facebook page. The closer you can get to your final ticket sale goal, the better! Don’t forget to track each channel with a unique URL referrer (or another method), as data from your early bird sale can help you learn which messages are resonating.
8 weeks out: Keynote speaker announced
Tweet, press release, blog post by/about the speaker. A compelling, well-matched keynote speaker can set the tone for your event, generate press and social buzz, and brand you as a must-attend, so center your early-stage event marketing plan around this announcement. Here’s an article on booking the perfect keynote speaker.
8 weeks out: Agenda posted
Link to your mobile event app’s agenda. Those who haven’t registered yet can see the sessions and map, picturing themselves at your event. Registrants can begin building personal to-do lists and taking notes.
6 weeks out: Main ticket sale
Email blast, personal phone call-downs, direct mailer. Referral offer on the registration thank-you page. Pull out the heavy artillery on this one. It’s likely that many people in your audience have seen your marketing and intend to sign up, but they need an extra push, an unexpected message, or a personal touch.
4 weeks out: Extracurricular activities announced
Share videos on Vine, images on Facebook and Twitter, and contributor articles on your blog from sponsors and speakers.
3 weeks out: Last-chance sale
Tweet the actual number of tickets remaining. Email your remaining audience and let them know time is up!!! And if registrations are too low, we published a free 70-page guide to planning professional events, which has a whole section on emergency procedures for boosting registrations.
We know that it’s easier said than done to stick to an event marketing plan like this one. What if you’re doing everything you can, but registrations aren’t what you expected? Try our Emergency Event Registration Plan!
Looking to learn more about creating your own mobile app for your event? Click below for a live demo of how Guidebook can take your event to the next level!