Executing an Event Marketing Plan

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Executing an Event Marketing Plan

  1. 1. How-To Guide© 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.Executing an Event Marketing PlanExecutive SummaryEvent Marketing is used to support a variety of marketing programs and initiatives.Deciding what types of events to attend and/or host, identifying the content you willpresent, initiating promotion to attendees, and evaluating every detail of your event(s) arejust a few components of the overall event marketing process. Meticulous planning andeffective promotion of your event will ultimately lead to ease of execution and, in turn, apositive response.This How-To Guide is designed to provide practical advice on planning, promoting andexecuting your event marketing plan. This guide outlines the event planning process,provides tips to promote your events, and explains how to execute a successful event.What Does the Event Marketing Planning Process Involve?After you have committed to an event or an event strategy, you will enter a planningphase. To make the best possible impression, events require extensive planning. Here aresome items that need to be considered:1. Selecting Events - When considering tradeshows and industry conferences tochoose from, there are some key factors that should influence your choices: The types of events your customers & prospects attend, Which events show reputation & quality, The presence of competitors, and Cost.
  2. 2. How-To Guide© 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.If you plan on attending a trade show, Use Demand Metric’s Tradeshow EvaluationMatrix to determine the best fit.2. Choosing a Venue (if hosting) – When choosing a venue for your event it isimportant to consider: Capacity Amenities Parking Pricing/Fees Storage Availability Maintenance Food & Beverage Technical Requirements3. Staffing Your Event - Determine the optimal staffing requirements to ensuresuccess. Elements to consider include: Staffing Level - At tradeshows, staff for peak traffic flows to ensure prospectsaren’t waiting or passing by because your team is busy. Set-up - Create a team just for set-up and take-down to allow staff involvedin the actual event to focus on the purpose of the event and potential clients. Length - At day-long events, plan to have enough staff at peak times andschedule breaks accordingly. Type - Bring customer-facing staff (sales, marketing and support) to theevent. Personable and/or outgoing team members are generally best.4. Technology Requirements - Determine your technology requirements and ensurethe event venue is able to accommodate them. Aspects to consider in yourplanning include: Internet availability, mobile phone coverage, equipment (PCs,
  3. 3. How-To Guide© 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.displays and/or other demo devices), electrical/power requirements and theavailability of a lead capturing system at your venue.5. Promotion Items & Collateral - Determine what promotional items and marketingmaterials are needed to provide event attendees. Promotional items & collateralmay include branded giveaways, contests and/or draws and marketing materials.Keep in mind that tradeshow attendees throw away much of what they get beforeheading home. Provide basic product and company information, and plan to follow-up after the event to provide more details.6. Amenities - Consider other amenities your event may need and plan for them.Amenities can include, but are not limited to, catering, decorations, booth designand signage.Key Steps of Event PromotionWhen it comes to event planning; the promotion strategy deserves special attention. Youcan tend to all other details of event planning, but if you don’t promote your eventproperly, it can easily fail. This section will cover three steps of event promotion:1. Pre-Event Marketing & Promotion for Tradeshows – Promote your presence priorto a trade show by incorporating the following activities into your promotionalstrategy: Promote your attendance via your website, blog, eNewsletter and socialmedia channels. Obtain registration list from show organizers and develop pre-eventcommunications to attendees such as: direct mail, email or both. Help attendees qualify themselves in your communications by positioningyour company or featured solution.
  4. 4. How-To Guide© 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Indicate your booth number or location and provide an incentive for peopleto visit (“register to win”, “stop by to pick up swag”, “see a demo”, etc.).2. Pre-Event Marketing for Events you Produce – Before you kick-off your upcomingevent, follow the steps below to help increase attendance: Collaborate internally with sales team, and executives to identify idealattendees. Determine advertising strategy: invitations, print ads, social media, email,other If using invitations, build the guest list and design invitation. If you require an RSVP, have a follow-up plan to ensure attendance. Make sure that accepting an invitation is as simple as possible. Provide all event details in your promotional material: time, place, duration,transportation, etc.3. At Event Promotion – If your objective is to obtain impressions (encounters withattendees/leads), your goal is to: Maximize the number of impressions you get. Have the impressions you get represent your brand well. Capture significant “impressions” as leads.Impressions are valuable opportunities to create and build relationships withpotential leads. Make sure your presence at an event takes full advantage of theseopportunities.
  5. 5. How-To Guide© 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.Essentials to Successful Event ExecutionA successful event is a product of meticulous planning and flawless execution. The morecare and effort invested in planning; the easier the event is to execute, and the more likelyit is to succeed. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind: Focus on details – Anyone who has managed an event will tell you that ifsomething is likely to go wrong, it will. For this reason, best practices for managingevent execution include: Work your plan – check and double-check your plan, then work from it. Anticipate problems – expect the unexpected. Come up with a plan of actionfor potential problems or issues so you’re ready to deal with them quickly &efficiently, and avoid any disruption during the event. Be specific – make no assumptions. Any aspect of your plan that lackssufficient detail risks being misinterpreted and executed incorrectly. Show up early – give yourself plenty of problem resolution time. Communicate proactively – communicate with everyone involved to ensureroles and responsibilities are well understood. Manage the participants – Events usually require the participation of internal andexternal stakeholders. A few tips for managing participants include: Clarify roles - make sure that everyone who has a role understands theirspecific responsibilities. Set expectations - In addition to clarifying roles, communicate exactly what isexpected from every participant and get acknowledgement of acceptance andunderstanding.
  6. 6. How-To Guide© 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Send reminders – Don’t assume participants will remember their role.Communicate their responsibilities and confirm their commitment before theevent. Plan for contingencies – Consider “worst case scenarios” and have a contingencyplan for each one. Examples to consider: Malfunctioning demo technology Speaker/presenter no-show Inclement weather Booth display or materials fail to arrive at show site Flight delays or cancellationsAction Plan: How to Get Started1. Begin the planning process – work with your team to plan for tradeshows,conferences, webinars or any other events you are planning to attend or host. Afew tools that may assist you in the planning process: our Webinar ProgramMethodology, Events Database, and Conference Planning Checklist.2. Promotion – advertise your events to ensure you get enough attendees to justifythe investment in your tradeshow, conference and/or webinar.3. Execute and attend – now that you’re planning and promotion stages are complete,you can attend your events and ensure everything runs smoothly.4. Evaluate & measure the results – our Key Marketing Metrics Dashboard will helpyou track & assess the results from all of your event marketing efforts
  7. 7. How-To Guide© 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.Bottom LineEvents can have a large impact on your brand’s overall perception. By outlining everydetail of your event(s), advertising your presence, and executing your event(s) flawlessly;attendees will take away, at a minimum, a positive experience associated with your brandand company. Potential clients and partners will remember those positive experienceswhen considering doing business with your company in the future.

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