Planning & Promotion

How to Plan and Market an Event Online

Eventually Learning Team

Events are an important part of business growth. They allow an opportunity for business-to-business companies to collaborate. Planning events on a large scale can be a feather in your cap. With a willing and enthusiastic team and clear guidance on event promotion, your event will be successful and talked about.

When it comes to marketing an event, there are different ways to go about it. Through the use of traditional marketing methods, data analytics and new media technology, event marketing is easier to implement across multiple platforms simultaneously and on a larger scale.

Event marketing means promoting a brand, product or service by participating in or attending events. It helps in building relationships between partners and educates them about your product. Event marketing can also help in acquiring customers, partners, leads, etc.

Event marketing also establishes an online presence for the company that raises business awareness and higher outreach. An integrated marketing strategy is vital to increasing attendance and building the right buzz.

Event marketing plan

Marketing for an event is a costly affair. That’s why it is important to strategize for it. Identify your budget, goals, and a promotion plan for the event. Events can add to the sales pipeline, help boost morale, promote a product, introduce a service, and assist in achieving any goal. By emphasizing a goal, you can plan your promotional activities around it.

The marketing plan for an event depends on three main things—understanding the event basics, knowing the event, and promoting the event:

Understanding the event basics

  • Event name
  • Purpose
  • Type (in-person, virtual)
  • Theme
  • Tagline

Knowing the event

Understanding your event thoroughly is the most important step. Once you have that locked, you can then pay attention to the theme, tagline, etc.

Promotions

Event planning and event marketing go hand-in-hand. As soon as the event details have been hashed out , your marketing should begin . Without a brilliant promotion strategy, people won’t know about your event.

Types of event marketing

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what comes under event marketing. It is a broad term. For some people, it is a promotion for the event; while others consider it a strategic use of events to market a product or service. To make an event successful, you need airtight planning in place. Before it goes live, you have to get the word out about it. It needs to be packaged well, create a buzz, and reach the right audience in order to get them to sign up.

You should make use of every avenue possible to get the best results. Use a combination of content marketing, social media, and email marketing to spread the word about the event online and to establish a presence. Start the marketing several months before the event, continue during the event, and also persist in marketing, still, after the event.

In this article, we have highlighted all the important elements to consider when marketing an event. Marketing and promotion for the event can be broken down into a more manageable plan with the following considered:

  • Website construction
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Ads and paid promotions
  • Cross promotions

Website construction

In the digital and social media age, not having an event website is unheard of. Create a website that corresponds to the event’s theme. Your event website will be the first place your attendees turn to for more information. The website will have critical information that will lead potential attendees to register for the event. Setting up a stand-alone website for your website will help you in branding the event. All the descriptions and the content on it should be SEO-friendly, so it will rank better. Come up with a domain name and build a design around your theme.

There are two types of event websites you can build:

  • Registration Website

If your event is for a day, the registration website is the one you’ll want to create. They are perfect for short events, one-day events, virtually-held events, and more. They require less information and include a call-to-action for signing up for the event.

  • Marketing website

For more complex events, a marketing website is perfect. These events last longer than one day, are expected to have more attendees, are hybrid and need multiple pages for more extensive information. Multiple pages are necessary to give your attendees a lot of much-needed information.

Curate this website with different types of content like blogs, videos and photos. Adding your speaker’s bios and photos will draw people to your event like a magnet.

Email marketing

Email marketing is the next important step in your event promotion plan. Construct the plan in such a way that it won’t turn your attendees off. Use an email-marketing tool to send your emails, as they make your emails easy to design, and they are automated. The right plan will help you gain the largest audience to market to. Build a buzz around the event before the registrations even start by sending pre-event emails. Once you achieve the desired outcome, start sending registration emails, but be careful not to spam your audience.

Keep your subject line crisp and attractive to get people to open the emails. Make sure the body of the email is not too long, has all the necessary information and is well-designed.

Software tools will help you to decide the best time to send out emails. Mostly, send out emails during lunchtime and on weekends when readers have the largest amount of down-time. They will be more relaxed during the weekend and are more likely to engage with you.

Once your users register for the event, have an automated confirmation/thank you email ready.

Social media marketing

Social media is the best tool for promoting and establishing your presence online. It is the best tool for free promotion. Do a quick survey to understand more about where your audience comes from--whether from Facebook, Instagram, or another platform. You can decide on your strategy, based upon demographics.

Platforms to promote on:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

Understand the basics of social media marketing. If possible, designate a designer and a dedicated copywriter for social media event promotion. A well-designed, social media page can increase your chances of reaching new audience member, thereby, increasing their attendance.

There is a variety of content you can post on your account. These include simple text posts, interaction posts, videos, and more. Talk about your sponsors, speakers or partners on your account. You can also encourage your speakers to talk to your audience directly to create buzz and excitement about your event. By using social media analytics tools, you can track the activity of your event with ease.

To create more awareness about your event and to promote it, use the following tactics:

Hashtags

Once you have finalized your event’s name, create a social media hashtag to use with posts. Every time you upload a post, make sure you use the hashtag and get your audience, partners and co-planners to use it as well. When you are coming up with a hashtag, keep it short and relevant to the event. Having a catchy hashtag is like having a catchy ad jingle. There are also nifty social media tools available to help you track how many times this hashtag has been used.

Frequency of posting

This point is simple--Want more followers? Then, post consistently. Decide on a frequency of posting on your handles, so your followers will see and interact with them. Social media algorithms favor those accounts whose followers have constant interaction with them. Facebook events are a great way to generate registrations. You can upload all the information on the page and post all your updates on the same page. In case any attendees are looking to find all the relevant information, they can go directly to your events page and get all their answers. Twitter is also a great way of updating people in just a few hundred characters. Stay on top of your social media, and sail through it easily.

Interaction

Interaction and engagement are key to growing your presence on social media. Find relevant people on the platforms and get them to interact with you. LinkedIn and Twitter are great platforms to connect for a B2B event. Connect directly with the desired audience without any middle steps. Tag your speakers and ask them to share your platform interactions among their connections. This way, your page will get more views and engagement.

Once you use your hashtag and notice more people using it, follow it. This way, if people are expressing their concern, raising questions or sending praise, you will know it instantly. Respond to their comments. Use social media to solve problems immediately. If someone is having difficulty registering for the event, they might leave a comment or tweet for you. By taking advantage of the conveniences given by social media platforms, you can solve their issues in a timely manner.

There are many additional techniques that can assist you in harnessing enthusiasm for your event. You can upload small snippets of your speakers and get your audience to interact with them. Using videos and photos from the previous events will help to give your followers an idea about your organization and its scale. You can also tag your sponsors and event partners in the posts to cross-promote your event. The possibilities for building excitement around your event are endless.

Ads and paid promotion

Hire a great digital marketing team for online paid promotions. Free promotions are great but paid promotions are where you can reach a much wider audience. It is a highly effective way to grab eyeballs online. All you need is an allocated budget for paid promotions. Once that is finalized, you can design ads and copies to promote to people. They remind potential attendees about any upcoming events and copy like “limited time” and “limited seats” can create a sense of urgency for them.

Other marketing avenues

Industry influencers have a huge following, especially on LinkedIn and Facebook. As an additional avenue for marketing, you might ask them to talk about your event with their respective followers.

Market your sponsors well along with your event. After all, they will be the ones to cover the costs and to help your event gain more interest. Create a workable sponsorship package with them.

FAQs

How do you market an event online?

Create a website to give people all the necessary information about the event. Use keywords for SEO purposes and better ranking. Make the most of email marketing by sending out necessary emails to your audience list.
Get them to sign up for the event through the emails. Leverage all social platforms to their fullest potential.
Create engaging, innovative and informational posts for your followers.
Get speakers, partners and sponsors to promote your event on their websites and social media.

How far in advance should I advertise an event?

Start early. Start promoting your event 3 months in advance to give potential participants and attendees time to confirm their schedules. One important thing to do is build your advertising and event marketing campaign from the time of announcement.

What are the 4 types of promotion?

The four basic types of promotion are:

  • Advertising
  • Sales Promotion
  • Personal Selling
  • Publicity

What is the purpose of event marketing?

Events give marketers an opportunity to build relationships and trust with prospective leads and customers by offering personal touch. It is also an opportunity for the consumers to interact with the companies directly for other businesses that they have an interest in. They can use the event as an opportunity to collaborate with others and to cross-promote themselves.

Conclusion

As an organizer, you must understand that events are not a one-time interaction, so continue to market your event after it ends . Send post-event surveys and thank-you emails to all your attendees. Get their feedback, so they know you mean to establish a relationship with them. This will help you in building long-term relationships with your attendees, and they will be sure to return whenever you host your next event. Using every single means of marketing is the best way you can go about promoting your event and making it successful.

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