In this industry, we know how important events are for continuing education, professional development and networking. And we also know how important event revenue is.
But many organizations struggle with how to best promote their events.
In January, Event Manager conducted one of the largest research projects ever completed on event marketing. More than 1,000 industry professionals responded to the survey.
The research found 73 percent of event professionals think social media is the best way to promote an event, with Facebook being the No. 1 platform. LinkedIn was the second most popular medium. Coming in second: email marketing.
Most respondents said their marketing budgets would stay the same, with 21 percent expecting budgets to rise. And good news: Respondents report growth. Forty-four percent said they have more clients than a year ago.
As for promotion, the early bird discount continues to be the most effective tool to attract eventgoers.
Other takeaways from the study:
- Confidence in experiential marketing is gaining and demand is increasing.
- Social engagement is key.
- Only one-fourth of respondents said they plan to use influencer marketing.
- More event planners are using video as part of their marketing strategy.
In addition to the research, Event Manager published the 5W’s of event marketing. They are: why, where, when, what and weigh. It also provides a marketing plan.
Without a strategy, event marketing is moot. The why should define the strategy. The where: Use a map to increase event registrations. When: How often should organizations send event marketing messages? What: event marketing campaign. Weigh: Measuring results is crucial to event marketing.
The three why questions to ask:
- Why is this event important?
- Why should people attend this event?
- How will it bring value to the customer?
Event Manager says three reasons people attend events are to learn, network and be entertained. So, marketing messages should focus on those three areas.
“Listen closely and think carefully about the benefits of attending your event from the attendee perspective,” it says. “How will it bring value to the customer? Simply listing speaker names and features for your event (100 exhibitors, 20 keynote speakers....) is not effectively communicating a reason to attend. Make the benefits clear and simple.”
Throughout the next few months, I’ll be pulling other tips and research from this post, so stay tuned.