Event Marketing-More than “just showing up”

Events, launches, showcases, roadshows, conventions, workshops, social mixers, Oh My!…

There are so many facets of planning and managing successful events. I have learned this over 10 years of event management experience. When I’m not working as Business Development Manager and Marketer for Litehouse, I’m actively involved with an all-women’s event series called girlPowerhour, where I have been an Event Director and Emcee for almost four years with my Sister Darnell Sue.  I hear it all the time… “you make it look so easy”, “women just show up”, “how do I start throwing events?”   Let me tell you…I WISH it was that easy!   Here are a few key pointers to follow the next time you’re throwing an event…

Create an event plan with clear goals:

Setting event goals and  managing expectations are probably the most important factors when creating a successful event.  I wish it was as easy as just “getting people to show up”.  But if you don’t know the goals and desired outcomes, it could end up being a waste of time and money. When creating your event goals, ask yourself questions like:

1)      What is my event attendance goal? Registration goal?

2)      What type of people do I want to attend this event?

3)      What do I want them to do at the event?  Prior to the event?  After the event?

4)      What are the 1 or 2 things that I’d like them to remember when they leave the event?

Next, create a solid marketing plan:

Event Marketing is another intricate part of a successful event. Putting together a marketing plan that covers all aspects of the awareness, conversational, traditional, digital and social marketing of an event is key!  You’ll see better results when you have a multi-faceted approach to driving event registrations.  And knowing your target audience will help out a lot, since they may want to be marketed to in a different way than you’d expect.

Create the best registration process possible:

Creating an online destination where your attendees and potential attendees can easily get the information they need about the event, register for the event, and even interact with other attendees is key. This can be done by creating a microsite or webpage hooked to your main website, or by utilizing a 3rd party site such as Event Bright site, LinkedIn, Evite, or Facebook. .  Make sure that the registration process is simple, fast, but gives you all the necessary information about your guests that you’ll need during the event and to re-market to them after the event.

Lastly, increase the likelihood that they’ll show up:

As most event marketers know, most in-person events have approximately a 50% drop-off rate from registrations.  There are certain things that you can do to get more people to show up at your event.  Things such as email reminders, call-downs, and give-aways or incentives for being there are just a few examples.  Think about doing things like automatic tweets or ad banners in your work signature before the event to drive more awareness and registrations. Asking social influencers and media to write stories about your event, send out press releases, and utilize Web Ad banners. These communication methods can all be helpful with your event marketing strategy.

These are just a few quick tips to help you make your next event the best yet!


Corrie Westmoreland

Marketing and Business Development Litehouse

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