What makes your business special? What are some of the ways you can differentiate yourself from your competitors? How can you best promote your business without being too salesy?
As the Senior Director of Sales Support and Marketing at RevLocal, one area that I’ve found to check off all these boxes is event marketing.
However, before you start planning your event, there are some things you'll want to think about. In this blog, I'll be giving you tips to host a successful event for your business!
Let's get started.
Formula for Event Marketing Success
At RevLocal, we host over 20 live events annually throughout the U.S.
We also host webinars, have a monthly podcast and create resources that offer not only convenience but also the ability to engage with a national audience without the jet lag.
Here are some tips I’ve picked up over the years through my experience with event marketing:
1. The Who, Why and What
Who is the event intended for? Why should they come to your event? What will they get?
Remember, this is a great opportunity for your company to stand out if done correctly.
As a digital marketing agency, we’ve found that a free marketing workshop that teaches business owners the latest in online marketing strategies resonates with our target audience: Local business owners.
We offer them the opportunity to network with other local business owners before and after our event as well as provide them a complimentary continental breakfast.
Feedback from attendees has been very positive. They learned some things they can use, they made some new connections and they didn’t go hungry.
For your event, keep in mind that even the smallest details can have a positive or negative impact (never run out of coffee!).
2. Plan Ahead
Depending on the expected size of the audience, make sure you plan accordingly.
Give yourself plenty of time so you can find a venue (if a live event) or any technology needs within your ideal budget. I suggest eight to ten weeks for most live events.
When picking out a venue, make sure it’s convenient for your guests. The heart of downtown during morning rush hour will turn people away, and most likely people will be showing up late after the event has already started or not at all.
3. Promoting Your Event
You have lots of options here.
Hopefully, you already have generated a good size email list of contacts and customers that you can send multiple invitations leading up to the event.
We normally send weekly email invites four weeks out and two more within seven days of the event. We always ask them to invite business owners they know.
This is another good way to increase your email list that will come in handy for your next event.
But remember, do NOT buy email lists! Spamming people about your event doesn’t work and kills any kind of goodwill around your brand.
Depending on your budget, Facebook ads, retargeting ads and YouTube ads have proven to be effective ways to generate buzz around your event.
4. Registration for Your Event
Registration is very important, so pay attention! It’s pretty simple to keep track of registrants now with apps like Eventbrite and Facebook.
It also allows you to follow up with your attendees for some post-event emails or special offers!
Registration also allows you to get a rough estimate for how many people are attending your event and helps you to plan ahead (refer back to number two!).
5. Event Day Sign-In
Make sure the sign-in process is as streamlined as possible. No one likes to wait in a long line or have to jump through hurdles to enter into the event.
I suggest having an extra person available to assist with tech support or at the sign-in area as necessary (this can really speed up the process).
Having a designated person assist as a guide to your event adds a professional touch. Even if everything is streamlined, that additional person adds another face to your company so your attendees can get to know your business.
6. Reap the Rewards
If you’ve followed these suggestions, you should have accomplished your goal of hosting a successful event that generated interest and made your business stand out.
Depending on the content, I would expect even some sales were generated, too! It's always important to review what improvements need to be made (there always are) and get ready to start planning your next one.
If you missed the previous blog in our Leadership Series, you can check it out here.