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6 Musts for a Memorable Marketing Event

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If you’ve spent any time learning anything about marketing, you know that in today’s world engagement, relationship building, and value are key factors to successful marketing campaigns across all mediums.

A question that pops up often is what if you’re making all the right moves with your marketing and killing it across the board... but so are your competitors? You’re in a competitive crowd with quality players.

One way to add that extra cherry on top and stand out in customers’ minds is through offering unique experiences.

The Fix: Event Marketing

Event marketing is used to promote a brand by strategizing, organizing, and executing an event. Events inspire, teach, entertain, and connect people to a brand unlike any other marketing effort.

Popular types of marketing events:

  • Conferences
  • Trade shows
  • Seminars
  • Roundtables
  • Pop-ups (temporary retail spaces)
  • Launch parties
  • Celebrations (milestones, announcements, customer appreciation, etc.)
  • Workshops
  • VIP experiences (ex. Fan box at a sports event)
  • Charity fundraisers

What makes event marketing different is that it builds memories in the attendee’s mind. You’re quite likely to almost instantly forget about an ad you scroll past on Instagram, but that launch party you attended is committed to memory. 

If you’re on the fence thinking, “Why should I pour my budget into this,” here are the proven benefits events bring to your business:

Generate leads and sales

Through attendee registrations, contest entries, or even just conversations at the event, you can qualify potential customers that are interested in your business or industry. Attendees are also more likely to make a purchase (or book a service) if you have products available then and there.

Engage customers 

Meeting customers and prospects in person and establishing personal interaction humanizes a brand. If the experiences at an event are positive and unique for a customer, they will build up their affinity towards your brand resulting in stronger brand loyalty.

Increase brand awareness

Especially important for online-only brands, event marketing allows customers and potential customers to connect a physical identity to the brand. Seeing it on screen is one thing, but touching, feeling, tasting, etc. brings a whole new level of identity to a product. Additionally, events are talked about! After experiencing or just even being a bystander to an event, people will talk about it and share it on social media.

 

Case Study

GiftBox is an online shop specializing in holiday gift baskets. Ahead of the holiday season, they decided to create a pop-up shop to showcase their products, offer samples, and take orders in an area of town popular with working professionals (their target audience).

Leading up to the event they used social media and email to hype up the pop-up. One of their goals for the event was to increase sales by 100 orders by December 31. They, of course, tracked the sales made day-of but also handed out discount coupons with a code specific to the event to track orders made down the line. This helped GiftBox calculate the ROI of the event because of the trackable sales sources. 

In addition to increased sales, GiftBox also enjoyed some intangible benefits, such as establishing an offline brand identity and increasing brand awareness among its target audience.

How to Create an Event Marketing Strategy

Determine SMART goals 

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. These types of goals will give you a sense of direction while planning your event, but also guide you in measuring if your event was a success. 

For example, “bring in more leads” is not a SMART goal. Reframing to “gather 50 new leads interested in X service by the end of the event” checks off all the aspects of a SMART goal. 

Your SMART goals are your guidance when making strategic decisions, but that doesn’t mean you should not have intangible goals as well. Goals such as engaging customers and strengthening relationships add depth and a human touch. 

Define your target audience

The target audience for your event mimics the ideal customers for your products or services. This will also dictate the marketing channels used.  

Decide on the theme and purpose

Brainstorming and determining names, themes, and branding for your event are a given, but also think about the purpose. Ask yourself why people should attend and what they will gain if they do? Having a strong purpose allows you to create a powerful marketing message.

Set the groundwork

Determine when and where the event will take place. Create an agenda and event flow schedule listing out everything from start to finish of the event. Based on your specific needs make all necessary bookings and accommodations.

Create a promotion timeline

To increase audience excitement leading up to the event, it’s important to have a consistent promotion schedule encompassing various marketing mediums, whether you’re promoting months, weeks, or days before. Strategically decide when to release what promotions to continuously pique your attendees interest. For example, you might reveal there’s a special guest speaker two weeks before the event but not reveal who it is until two days prior. 

Measure success

Like with every marketing endeavor, it’s important to measure the success of your event. In addition to SMART goals, identify key performance indicators (KPIs) to track. 

Some common KPIs are:

  • Cost-to-revenue ratio: How much you spent on the event vs. how much revenue it generated
  • Attendee satisfaction: Create a survey to gauge sentiment
  • Social media mentions: Encompasses content attendees post about your event. Consider creating an event-specific hashtag to easily keep track of posts
  • Customer conversions: Track how many qualified leads the event generated and how many of those became customers. This metric helps determine the direct ROI of an event.
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