One of the best ways that you can get your business in front of potential customers is by hosting an event. They can come in many shapes and forms, from seminars and debates to conferences and exhibitions, but they all serve the same goal of getting people who are important to your company into the same room and interacting with one another.
As this article from Forbes outlines, an event can make your business more familiar to people and helps your brand to become more approachable. It’s a chance for you to show your customer base how much you value them by providing quality speakers and content. Your event can also provide valuable time for networking between people who probably wouldn’t have connected otherwise.
However, the main challenge for you as an organiser comes when you have to get your event out there in front of its intended audience. Without effective promotion, the value of your whatever you are planning will plummet, taking a lot of your brand’s credibility with it. Taking this into account, let’s take a closer look at our top six tips for effectively promoting your event.
- Plan ahead (way ahead)
You should be looking to plan your event with enough time to comfortably organise the agenda and promote it. There is no set recommendation for this, and how long you need can depend on a number of factors. For example, large events will require a lot more time to organise, as well as needing extra time to advertise if you are targeting a high number of attendees. Furthermore, a public event will need wider and more intensive promotion compared to a private affair. You need to take these things into account and set a date you know gives you plenty of time to organise.
Your planning efforts should include elements of fun that will bring people together. One such example is a Popcorn machine hire. With this option, you can place your logo on the vessels holding the popcorn to further your company’s brand recognition. Your attendees will have their hands busy enjoying their tasty popcorn while feeling at ease in the environment.
- Find sponsors and use them to aid promotion
Even though the main role of your event sponsors is to provide funding, they can play a valuable role in its promotion too. If your brand is growing and in need of a helping hand to boost your event’s profile, securing a well-known partner can be a valuable asset. Not only could their name grab potential attendees’ attention, but they can use their considerable network of influence to further the reach of your promotion. They have a vested interest in more people seeing their own branding, so they should be more than willing to assist you in increasing awareness.
If you don’t quite know where to start looking for a sponsor, a service like SponsorMyEvent can put your event in front of a large audience of companies looking to do exactly that.
- Get your event infrastructure in place
Before you begin to promote your event, you will need to create a landing page or website where people can be directed to get full details, as well as to book their place. If you don’t have the expertise to do this or your website doesn’t have the capability for ticket sales, consider using an automated system, such as EventStop, which has easy landing page setup and will allow you to conveniently manage attendance of your event. Not only will it allow people to pay any fees themselves, but its registration, tracking, and reporting features mean that you don’t have to dedicate a whole team of staff to tracking everything, freeing them up for more pressing tasks.
- Use social media to get the word out
According to We Are Social, 59% of the UK’s population used social media in 2016, which makes it your number-one tool for sharing. Once you’ve got somewhere to direct people, you can begin to promote the event across your brand’s social media accounts. If you start this process early, you can use the booking of speakers and the addition of sponsors as an excuse to update your message across different platforms. Always remember to share the link to your website, while getting your sponsors to share your posts or create their own about your event. Furthermore, you should always be ready to interact with anyone who comments or asks questions about your social media posts as this will help you to look approachable while fielding essential questions.
- Use direct marketing to reach everyone else
Another way of letting your customers know about your event is by carrying out a targeted email campaign, where you send out personalised invites directly to their inbox. This is useful if you’ve built up a large customer database over the years or if you have access to the details of people you know will be interested in attending your event. In addition, a direct approach can help you target the 41% of people in the UK (We Are Social) that don’t use social media but may be more responsive towards an email.
- Hold a detailed review of your event
Once the dust has settled on what has (hopefully) been a successful event, it’s important that you get your promotion team together and have a closer look at what they did well and what could have been done better. The findings from this kind of review can be used to inform how you go about publicising your events in the future, allowing you to operate much more effectively without wasting resources on things that don’t work.
Follow the six tips in this article and you will be well on your way to planning and promoting a very successful and well-attended event.