Back To School: Fundamentals of Event Marketing

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It should come as no surprise that summer is winding down and kids everywhere are heading back to school. And even if you’ve been out of school forever, now is a good time for a quick refresher on a few of the fundamentals of event marketing. Technology may be changing the way we communicate, engage and interact—but a few tenants of event marketing remain constant:


Set objectives and create calls-to-action that achieve your goals


The first thing event marketers should ask themselves is, “What do we want to accomplish?” Your goals may seem self-evident but articulating them works wonders in focusing your creative ideas.


Once you have established your goals, you can create an event that produces the right deliverable. Test your call-to-action against your goals and refine it until it’s precise. If your goal is to speak to new customers, then inviting existing customers to your event is off base. Unless…you create an incentive for each existing customer to bring a new customer to your event. By setting clear goals and optimizing your CTA, your event will deliver the right results.


Know your audience and drive the traffic you want


In most situations, quality trumps quantity. Lead generation and customer engagement are no exceptions. The more precisely you define your audience, the better chance you have of creating communications that drive them to your event.


Successful tradeshow program managers have embraced this strategy in a big way. They no longer rely on capturing passing foot traffic and sifting through attendees to find the qualified leads. Instead, they use pre-show communications to drive the qualified leads directly to their booth.


Technology can really help here. CRM software allows you to personalize messages to prospects. And new media platforms can help target your message to the right audience. If your brand wants to engage 20-somethings use Instagram or Snapchat. If retirees are your target, email or Facebook will be your best bets.


Measurement is the key to improvement


It’s tough to know if your program is successful, if you don’t have a definition of success. While you are defining your goals, create some metrics that will tell you if you have achieved those goals. Then develop a data collection method that measures performance.


Whether you use surveys, track social media engagement or monitor post-event interaction, is determined, in large part, by your goals.


Follow up - don't let leads go cold


One of the biggest mistakes that event marketers make is to let collected leads gather dust. After the event is over, be sure to send your leads over to your sales team. While it's almost impossible to measure ROI for an event, return-on-opportunity isn't. Make sure to work together with your sales team to see what kind of opportunities were brought in due to the event.


It’s easy to get bedazzled by the latest and greatest technology or shiny new media platforms. And it’s important to keep up with emerging trends and leverage them to drive brand engagement. But these things can distract more than inform your audience if you don’t remember the basics.


Posted by Carrie Johnson | Request as a Speaker

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