#1 Track and tweak before the event
To avoid misplacing resources and having your plan go awry, you must keep a close eye on the goings-on of your pre-event promotion campaign.
Use tracking tools (Google Analytics, for example) to constantly measure performance and tweak messaging based on real data in order to deliver a more focused, cross-platform value to both your existing customers and future prospects.
You should focus your monitoring efforts on:
- The people buying tickets to your event
- The ways they are finding out about your event
- The ads they are clicking on
- The pages site visitors are staying on for the longest
- The moment people are buying tickets (or leaving your site without doing so)
With the necessary data, you will know where to utilize your resources most effectively and what ads and promotions to put out for targeting and remarketing purposes.
#2 Charge for tickets strategically
Price is an integral part of your event planning process and is a big pull factor to increase attendance. Charging for tickets requires attendees to make a financial commitment that will dramatically cut the number of no-shows.
But, here comes the big question: “How much should I charge for the tickets?” You don’t want to set your ticket price so high that no one will come. Conversely, slashing prices for the sake of attendance will get you nowhere, because you might end up discouraging the potential pools of customers that could bring value to your event, or attracting the wrong crowd that just comes for food.
These are the things you can do to help you set the right price:
- Compare the pricing of your previous events or similar local events and think about what is special about those events that justified the price of the tickets. Do the same for your event.
- Provide discounted prices and bonuses on different terms. For example, the first two hundred registrants will be entitled to a 15% off discount. This creates urgency and attracts more visitors.
- Offer varied ticketing options. You can issue different passes as special perks for certain sections of visitors, such as a student pass, an elderly pass, or a group pass. You can also reward last year’s attendees with discounts.
#3 Create an event website that converts
Your event website is where people learn of the event in details and decide to buy tickets to your event, so it is extremely important to work your efforts toward creating a conversion-friendly event page.
There are three essentials you should put in your event page:
- Choose a great name for your event. This will help your event stand out in search results and also capture more attention on social media.
- Make sure you include all the necessary information for your event, such as a detailed agenda, purpose, the story behind its inception, location, date, speakers, transport information, and a contact page.
- Sprinkle call-to-actions throughout your website. Using strategic call-to-actions (CTAs) can take your site visitors to a desired course of action. See examples.
#4 Keep it social
Make sure you utilize social media platforms effectively before, during, and after the event to maximise your event exposure. You should:
- Set a dedicated hashtag for use across all social channels. Do not forget to mention the hashtag and your event in the Bio section on all your social accounts, too, so people can just click the link directly once they feel interested.
- Harness the power of visuals, videos, and animations to attract and hold people’s attention. You can, for example, post behind-the-scenes pictures and videos on social media to invoke an emotional connection as an insider to the event with a privileged peek behind the curtains. Keep it authentic by sharing all the ups and downs throughout the event production.
- Keep your event live, whether it is through live tweeting, live blogging or even live streaming. It is better to have a manager dedicated to this task so other team members can focus on other aspects of the campaign.
If you have more budget to spend, you can consider promoted tweets and paid ads to extend your reach and impression footprint on social media.
#5 Extend the reach of existing marketing activities and resources
Leverage the spaces you already own. If you have an email list, send each of them an email about your event. If you have a blog, write a blog post about it. If you do not have any of the above, don’t worry. You can still spread your event around your contacts by utilizing the email signature. Think up a catchy headline and a great cover photo for your event, along with a link directing to your event website.
Additionally, you can ask early registrants to write a blog post about the event and what made them come to the event. Invite your speakers to write about their sessions on their own personal blogs.
To step up the promotional work, you should capitalize on the testimonials from past attendees. If you have an annual event or have hosted events in the past, you might well have captured statements of excitement about some sessions, speakers, or your event in general from the exit surveys you did after previous events. Take stock of the things and people around you and what you have acquired from previous events. Add them all to your promotional arsenal.
#6 Don’t forget about post-event activities
Your event promotion does not stop when your event ends, especially if you are planning on holding more events in the near future. Capitalize on the still-exciting atmosphere and collect feedback and testimonials from the attendees via email or social media groups (if you have one). Keep stock of the photos and videos from the event for future marketing purposes. Each of these is a valuable element of a promotional tool for your next event.
Also, if you have created a group or a community before the event starts, you should keep the dialogue going and encourage members to share their opinions and ideas about the event—what they liked best, what areas can be improved, etc. Their input could be the themes for your next event!
If you have not created a community, it is not too late to do so after the event! Make sure you create one when the memory is still fresh.
Interested in hosting an event? Contact us today to learn how Eaton House can help make it a huge success!