101 event marketing tips to make your next event a success

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101 event marketing tips to make your next event a success

  1. 1. 101 event marketing tips and tools email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 1
  2. 2. #1 Identify your event objectives and the ‘why’ behind your event. I.e. why are you holding this event and what is the ultimate goal? For example: to connect your customers, inspire your staff, launch a product or increase sales? email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 2
  3. 3. #2 Once your objectives are identified you need to determine how they will be measured. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 3
  4. 4. Research Internally – has your company held an event like this in the past? What worked / what didn’t. Externally – what are your competitors doing? #3 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 4
  5. 5. #4 Develop a detailed project plan that clearly identifies key milestones, the steps required to achieve those milestones and an allocated time frame. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 5
  6. 6. For more complex events with multiple stakeholders, use a project management software. #5 Forum Group Events uses TeamworkPM but there are countless options that will keep you organised, aware of deadlines, and keep your project on track. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 6
  7. 7. Learn to delegate #6 Get some help-there is no I in team for a reason! Events are never the result of one person’s effort’s alone. Ensure you have a great support team to assist you and your event will be better off for it. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 7
  8. 8. #7 Have regular WIP (Work In Progress) meetings with all participating parties including clients, suppliers and your events team. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 8
  9. 9. #8 Create a budget and be sure to include a 10% contingency. Unexpected costs are guaranteed to arise! email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 9
  10. 10. Be realistic about your capabilities. It’s better to under promise and over deliver. #9 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 10
  11. 11. #10 Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Before a conversation with a vendor or supplier, make a list of everything you need from them, determine your budget and then give them a number that is 5 – 10% lower. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 11
  12. 12. Develop a sponsorship prospectus and recruit sponsors who can add value to your event either through cash or in-kind sponsorship. #11 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 12
  13. 13. #12 Utilise your existing resources. What can be managed in house? email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 13
  14. 14. #13 Call in the professionals where needed. Use trusted suppliers for key areas of the event that you know will do the job right. Even if they are more expensive – you are paying for quality. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 14
  15. 15. #14 Always be one step ahead in your planning. What are the things your client, suppliers, or delegates are going to be thinking / asking you when you tell them X? Have an answer or solution prepared...think of all possible outcomes. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 15
  16. 16. When looking at your venue location, always consider parking / transport – how will your guests get to the event? This is an important factor. If it’s too hard, people won’t attend. #15 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 16
  17. 17. #16 Wherever possible, complete a site inspection. It’s important that you see a space for yourself to ensure it is suitable and meets your requirements. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 17
  18. 18. #17 Create 3D artist impressions or renders. This is the best way to visualise your event and will become a useful resource for briefing others involved in the event. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 18
  19. 19. #18 When contracting minimum numbers with venues, always give a lower number so you’re not stuck paying for extra seats should you not reach your target attendance number. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 19
  20. 20. #19 Choosing an appropriate date. These may be fixed beyond your control but if you do have a choice it will help obtain the best attendance/response from your target audience. Check whether your event will clash with other events competing for your audience’s attention as well as public holidays. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 20
  21. 21. #20 For free corporate events such as educational seminars it’s best to hold the event either first thing in the morning or after work – i.e. it’s hard for delegates to get away from the office in the middle of the day. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 21
  22. 22. #21 Incorporate a point of difference. Try to offer something the attendees are unlikely to have encountered before in the entertainment, theming, food, etc. so that you can create a talking point that will leave a lasting impact. The ‘WOW’ moment. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 22
  23. 23. Walk through the whole event from start to finish as if you were attending the event. Make sure you are creating the best experience possible. Ask yourself, how easy is the registration process? Is the program allow for sufficient breaks? Is there enough catering? Create an event that you would want to attend. #22 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 23
  24. 24. Event Marketing and Promotion email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 24
  25. 25. #23 Market towards the right people identify your key demographics and target them through the appropriate mediums. For example younger generations respond to social media invites through facebook, however business professionals are more likely to engage through linked in and / or email marketing. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 25
  26. 26. #24 Use more than one method for marketing your event to gain maximum exposure. E.g. email marketing, telemarketing, social media and / or press releases. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 26
  27. 27. Make sure that your branding is consistent across all event communications and that you are adhering to your company branding guidelines. #25 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 27
  28. 28. #26 Develop a detailed marketing plan with a timeline for communications. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 28
  29. 29. Send your invite out at least 6 weeks prior to ensure optimum response rate. #27 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 29
  30. 30. #28 Ensure that all pre-event communications include a call to action. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 30
  31. 31. Regardless of how big or small your event may be, create an event website. #29 This can be through Eventbrite (for the smaller ones) or Etouches (for larger events). In today’s world everyone seeks more information online, so it only makes sense to offer an event website (or at the very least a page with the event details on your website). email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 31
  32. 32. #30 Further to the above point, make your website responsive - i.e. adapts to users on a mobile device such as tablets or mobile phones. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 32
  33. 33. To capture registrations, use an online registration site such as etouches. #31 You can completely customise your registration process & questions, provide automated confirmations as well as web-based real time reporting. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 33
  34. 34. #32 Let your audience do your marketing for you by incentivising the process so that they are encouraged to bring more people along to the event. For example, tell a friend offers for 20% work really well. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 34
  35. 35. #33 Offer an early bird registration rate. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 35
  36. 36. #34 Combine a catchy teaser with a QR code to the event website if you are marketing your event to the public. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 36
  37. 37. Use tools such a Hootsuite to manage your social media posts all in the one platform. #35 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 37
  38. 38. #36 Make use of Social Media advertising, such as linkedin and facebook ads. For a small cost, there is opportunity for mass exposure. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 38
  39. 39. #37 Create a twitter hashtag and include it in all pre-event communications. Build hype in the lead up to the event. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 39
  40. 40. #38 Telemarketing for the event both pre and post is a great tool to gather feedback and understand exactly what your customers are looking for. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 40
  41. 41. #39 Promote your event on related blogs, forums or event listing sites targeted at your demographic. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 41
  42. 42. Track the statistics from your marketing communications. The size of your database, what percentage are opening it and how many are registering. By knowing how many people are opening the emails or unsubscribing, and comparing with statistics from social media, you should gain a good understanding of what is working, what to do more of, what to do less of. #40 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 42
  43. 43. #41 Have a dedicated email address or phone number for any event enquiries in the lead up to the event. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 43
  44. 44. #42 Send a final confirmation email a day or two prior with all of the event details – timings, venue, dress code, parking information, etc. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 44
  45. 45. #43 Send a reminder SMS the day prior with event details like location and start time. It makes it easy for the attendees to find the venue without having to search for the email confirmation to find the address. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 45
  46. 46. #44 Be prepared! Failing to plan means planning to fail. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 46
  47. 47. #45 Regularly refer to and make updates to your project plan. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 47
  48. 48. #46 Re-visit your budget weekly to ensure that costs are within the allocated amounts at all times. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 48
  49. 49. Create briefs for all suppliers involved with an event and be very specific. Don’t leave anything open to interpretation or allow for any oversight. Make sure you schedule a final briefing meeting as well to talk through the brief. Either face to face or over the phone. #47 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 49
  50. 50. #48 Have contingency plans in place. E.g. wet weather contingency. Speak to your suppliers about what they suggest. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 50
  51. 51. #49 Ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork from your suppliers including public liability and work cover. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 51
  52. 52. #50 Make sure that all agreements and conversations are documented in writing or via email, in case any discrepancies arise. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 52
  53. 53. Make sure you have all the required permits. E.g. lottery permits for competitions. #51 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 53
  54. 54. #52 Always consider your demographic when booking speakers and or entertainers. Be conscious of cultural sensitivities. You don’t want to offend anyone or make them uncomfortable. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 54
  55. 55. #53 Consider factors such as disability access, translators or any other services that may be required for attendees. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 55
  56. 56. #54 Have a clear agenda for the event. Have this on the event website and have print-outs available including maps for customers upon registration. Make it clear exactly what is happening when and where. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 56
  57. 57. #55 Ensure that sufficient time for breaks / walking between sessions has been allocated. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 57
  58. 58. Incorporate the use of a mobile app to share event information and engage with attendees. #56 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 58
  59. 59. #58 but for the events it does apply to, sure #57 but for the eventsit does apply to, ititsure makes them more fun. Select a theme fits fits makes them more fun. Select a theme thatthat youryour participants and purpose of your event. participants and thethe purpose of your event. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 59
  60. 60. #58 Play good music. Good music is different for everyone though so if you will be playing music, make sure it resonates with target audience, and is at an appropriate decibel level. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 60
  61. 61. Hire a good photographer and videographer; they provide countless opportunities to extend the life of the event too. #59 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 61
  62. 62. Incorporate the use of event apps. iSurvey (good for feedback forms), iLead (lead capturing) and iBanquet (table seating allocations) are a few examples of apps that are useful for event planners. #60 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 62
  63. 63. If there’s a networking component to the event, another great app is CardMunch. CardMunch enables you take a photo of any business card and then finds the person on LinkedIn for you so that you can send them a request straight away. #61 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 63
  64. 64. Always ask about attendee’s dietary restrictions if there will be food served. There’s nothing worse than going to an event and not being able to eat anything. #62 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 64
  65. 65. #63 Always have coffee, tea and water available to delegates. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 65
  66. 66. Have room temperature or lukewarm water for speakers. Cold water is not as good for the vocal chords. #64 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 66
  67. 67. #65 Test microphones beforehand during sound check. There’s nothing worse than listening to the loud screech of microphone feedback during an event. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 67
  68. 68. #66 If learning is a component, share knowledge through different mediums to cater for different learning styles. E.g. visual, audio or kinaesthetic. Graphic artist drawings of the sessions projected on screen are a great way for visual learners to recall information. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 68
  69. 69. #67 Ensure you provide a thorough briefing to all staff onsite. They are the ones who will be connecting most with your attendees - they need to know everything about the event - where are the toilets, what time is the session, the names of the rooms, who is speaking during this session, when will the event finish. Let them impress attendees with their knowledge! email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 69
  70. 70. #68 Include images of the staff/speakers. People like to see pictures of other people. They like to know who they are dealing with and who they will be listening to. Include headshots where appropriate. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 70
  71. 71. Understand the flow of people through a room. If you are unsure how the layout of the event will work, do a run through yourself by pretending you are a customer. If you cannot see something properly - move it. If something is not set up correctly - fix it. You need to see the event through the customers eyes. #69 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 71
  72. 72. #70 If you have a small budget for entertainment, reach out to local dance schools. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 72
  73. 73. #71 Make the most of your AV. Never underestimate the effect that lighting and projections can have on theming a room. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 73
  74. 74. Schedule a rehearsal with speakers prior to the event to run through their requirements and check their presentation. #72 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 74
  75. 75. Develop a delivery schedule. List all items that are being sent to the venue and tick these off as they arrive. Have return delivery labels handy so they can easily be couriered back to the office at the end of the event. #73 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 75
  76. 76. #74 Be creative with the way you serve your catering through unique catering stations & unconventional serving platters – tie it into the theme of the event. E.g. if your client is related to a particular product, use that product to serve the food. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 76
  77. 77. #75 Contrast – mix contrasting elements for a striking look with your theming. Old building? Add in elements of crystal and modern glamour. Steel city building? Add in organic, natural elements of grass and fresh flowers. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 77
  78. 78. #76 Book your accommodation room blocks and flights / travel arrangements well in advance to get the best rates possible. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 78
  79. 79. #77 Read the fine print! Always check your contracts including cancellations clauses. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 79
  80. 80. #78 Make use of work experience students or volunteers for cost effective onsite assistance. However make sure that these people have basic roles such as greeting people, directing people. Nothing with too much responsibility. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 80
  81. 81. #79 Create a detailed cue sheet for the audio visual / production side of the event. Make it very clear what is happening at all times with the lights, music, stage wash, etc. Have a production meeting before hand and a rehearsal to ensure the av crew know exactly what is happening. The more detailed, more prepared you are. The more seamless the production will be and less work for you onsite. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 81
  82. 82. Reserve the back rows of a room to encourage attendees to fill the front seats first. #80 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 82
  83. 83. #81 Always make sure there is enough food! There is nothing worse than hungry guests. It will be the thing they remember long afterward. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 83
  84. 84. #82 As you think about hiring your entertainment talent, find out where and for whom they’ve previously performed. Make certain that you view a demo video or check their references with a couple of phone calls. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 84
  85. 85. #83 Save the phone numbers of key staff and suppliers in your contacts on your mobile phone so you can quickly call people if needed onsite (rather than having to search through emails or documents to find their contact details). email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 85
  86. 86. #84 If budget permits, hire walkie talkie headsets so that you can communicate with key staff onsite (it saves you from running around to multiple places throughout the day). email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 86
  87. 87. #85 Prepare a detailed run sheet for onsite that outlines exactly what is happening, when, where and at what time. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 87
  88. 88. Make sure that you give yourself enough time for bump in. Liaise with suppliers to find out how much set up time they need. #86 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 88
  89. 89. #87 Prepare a well-stocked event kit containing every item you might possibly need, such as tape, stapler, extra nametags, scissors, pens and pencils, first-aid kit, camera and batteries. Create a checklist incorporating these items. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 89
  90. 90. #88 Put a smile on, while keeping a positive and cheerful character. Attendees can tell if you look stressed so make sure you maintain your smile at all times and keep calm, cool, and collected no matter what happens. Always remember that managing an event is all about interacting with people to deliver the best results. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 90
  91. 91. #89 Provide delegates with a freebie or giveaway that will be of use post event and will have them be reminded of your brand for a long time to come. This could be a backpack for example. Use subtle branding (consider having your logo in the lining of the bag as opposed to on the outside) and don’t include any dates – you want delegates to actually use the item again in the future. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 91
  92. 92. #90 Send follow up emails. Thank your customers for attending the event and include some points as to where they can go for more information. Where possible send personal follow-up emails. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 92
  93. 93. #91 Ask attendees to complete a post event survey with a prize incentive. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 93
  94. 94. #92 If an objective of your event was to increase sales, make sure that any attendee leads are forwarded to the sales team in order for them to follow up and close the deal. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 94
  95. 95. #93 Continue engaging with attendees post event via social media. A great way to do this is to post the event photos online and enable delegates to tag themselves and share with their social networks. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 95
  96. 96. Turn the recorded content from your event sessions into formatted videos that can be used as a resource post event – for example to train staff or share with customers who couldn’t attend the event. #94 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 96
  97. 97. #95 Hold a sub event on the backend using the left over collateral and content. For example, if you have a major conference in Sydney or Melbourne you may then hold a mini conference or road show in rural areas. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 97
  98. 98. Hold a post event webinar or multiple webinars utilising the content from your event. #96 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 98
  99. 99. Offer a hybrid event – expand the reach of your event by engaging delegates who may not have been able to physically attend the event and share resources post event. #97 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 99
  100. 100. Live stream sessions that can be re-played and shared post event. #98 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 100
  101. 101. #99 Write a case study or post event press release and submit to trade publications. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 101
  102. 102. Take time to evaluate the event with all participating parties and create a detailed debrief document which you can refer to in the future. #100 email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 102
  103. 103. #101 Celebrate the success of your event and thank all involved. email ask@leadharvest.com.au phone (02) 8038 5098 website leadharvest.com.au | Page 103

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