Event planning is not an “If you build it, they will come” scenario. Just because you planned the perfect event, does not mean you will host the perfect event. What if no one shows up? Impactful marketing strategies are just as important as any event planning tool. If you skip this step, no one will be there to witness your brilliance!
So, how can you promote your event effectively? Here are five mistakes to avoid when planning your event marketing strategy.
1. Disregarding the Competition
Your attendees are busy people with limited time and budgets. Some may only have the capacity to attend one event per year. Why should attendees come to your event instead of another one?
It’s critical to stand out from the crowd with a clear competitive advantage. This advantage becomes the basis for your event marketing strategy. Find some event element that your competitors are not using. For example, if no one is using augmented or virtual reality, incorporate it into your event plan and promote it in your event marketing. By planning some never-before-seen components into your event, you can more easily attract attention in a competitive market.
2. Failing to Craft a Benefit Based Messaging Strategy
On a related note, you never want a prospect to ask themselves, “Why should I attend this event?” Tell them why. You’ve planned an innovative event that will provide value to your attendees. What will each attendee learn or receive at your event? Are these benefits unique to your event? Tell them how in every experiential marketing effort planned. An impactful benefits based messaging strategy attracts attention and persuades prospects to register.
3. Not Understanding Who Your Audience Is
Know your target market. Who would benefit from attending the event? Are they colleagues, competitors or potential sales leads? Are they members of a business community or a trade organization? Is it the general public? When you understand who your audience is, you can then use your benefit messaging to shape a targeted marketing implementation strategy that is personalized and focused.
4. Ignoring Relevant Marketing Channels
Remember when direct mail and print advertising were the customary tactics for marketing events? How times have changed! The channels for event promotion have greatly expanded. Planners need to expand their experiential marketing strategies in order to remain competitive. It’s just not enough to promote your event in one or two traditional channels that have worked in the past. Prospective attendees are targeted on many digital platforms, including social media, SMS/text messaging, industry podcasts, e-newsletters, and apps. Choose the channels where your prospects are spending time. Using a good event marketing and automation software like Eventzilla will help make that easier.
5. Overlooking Feedback
Regular and consistent feedback is vital. Attendee experience both before and after the event is just as impactful as their experience during the event. Setting up regular feedback loops are key to knowing just what your attendees are feeling about your work. If it’s good, you can reinforce that feeling. If it’s bad, you have the opportunity to change their perspective. These efforts are crucial to building a long term relationship with attendees so that they come back to your event time after time.
A successful event marketing strategy brings attendees to your events by promoting your event’s Unique Selling Proposition as a benefit. Don’t fail on this critical tool in your event planning toolbox. It’s too important.
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