You can plan a flawless event, but your efforts won’t matter if no one knows about it. It’s hard for people to attend something when they don’t know it exists. That’s where a solid event marketing plan comes into play.
Event marketing is the promotion of your upcoming event. It’s the act of spreading the word about your event, getting it in front of the right audiences, generating excitement, and encouraging ticket sales. In other words, it plays an integral role in the success of your event.
There’s a lot that goes into successful event marketing. An event marketing checklist can help simplify the process.
Why It’s Important To Have an Event Marketing Checklist
Event planning has numerous moving parts. All of those moving parts need to come together seamlessly to ensure success. An event marketing checklist — also called an event planning checklist or event checklist — is a vital tool that helps you and the rest of your event team stay organized and on top of every critical task you need to do.
No matter how large or small your event, a checklist provides several significant benefits. Here’s a closer look at what those benefits are.
Reduces Annoying Tasks for Event Team
There’s a good chance you have a team of people helping you plan, organize, and run your event. Your checklist lets everyone know what tasks they need to complete. It can also outline essential details such as who’s responsible for completing specific tasks and when.
With a clear guide, your team wastes less time trying to figure out what they need to do and what’s already finished. They avoid accidentally repeating or skipping tasks. The checklist provides them with the information they need. Everyone stays on the same page, which helps the process go more smoothly.
Ensures a Stress-Free and Successful Event Day
One of the worst feelings is realizing you forgot a few crucial details on the day of your event. You then have to run around managing all of the missed tasks and hope your attendees don’t notice. In doing so, you don’t actually get to enjoy the event yourself.
Even with a good memory, details can get overlooked. Creating and following an event checklist ensures you and your team will take care of everything that needs doing. When the day of your event arrives, you won’t have to worry that you accidentally forgot something. That means a more enjoyable experience for you, your event team, and, most importantly, your attendees.
Prevents Mistakes by Simplifying the Event Process
There’s a lot that goes into putting on a successful event. Even simple events involve several different components. Things can get complicated pretty quickly, meaning mistakes are more likely to occur. Mistakes, no matter how small, can significantly impact the outcome of your events.
Your event planning checklist provides structure and keeps everyone more organized. It simplifies the process and reduces confusion. You also reduce the likelihood of mistakes along the way.
What To Include in Your Event Marketing Checklist
While the details of your event marketing checklist will be unique to your specific event, there are a few essential elements you’ll want to be sure to include.
1. Create Event Goals and Event Budget
Before you start planning an event, you’ll need to determine what you want, specifically, you want to achieve with your marketing efforts. A common goal, especially for annual events, is to increase attendance. Another is to increase brand awareness.
You’ll also want to consider the purpose behind your event. Some events aim to raise funds for a charity or educate attendees about a specific topic. Determining the “why” behind your event and what you want to achieve will help guide many of your essential planning and marketing decisions. No matter what you want to achieve, be specific. Make sure your goals are measurable, attainable, and relevant to your brand and the event itself.
Another critical early step is creating an event budget. Along with knowing the total you have to spend, you’ll need to determine how much you’ll allocate to the different components of your event. Including this information in your checklist will keep you from overspending. It may also help you see where you can reduce spending and estimate costs for future events.
2. Align the Type of Event With Target Audience
Your target audience is the people you want to attract to your event. They’re the ones who give your event meaning and make achieving your event objectives possible. Understanding who they are will affect many of the decisions you make — the marketing tactics you choose, where you hold the event, the speakers or presenters you invite, the food you serve, and so on.
Your event type and target audience need to align with one another. After all, if the people you’re trying to attract aren’t interested in what you’re planning, you’re going to have a hard time selling tickets. Knowing who they are will ensure you’ve selected the right type of event. It’ll also help you understand their expectations and needs, which will allow you to meet (and even exceed) them.
There are a few ways you can pinpoint your target audience:
- Look at your past events
- Scope out your competition
- Gauge interest with a pre-event survey to your email list
- Create an ideal attendee persona
3. Outline Marketing Channels To Reach Potential Attendees
Now it’s time to determine what marketing channels you’ll use to reach your target audience and attract attendees to your event. You have a wide range of options, including:
- A dedicated event landing page
- Content marketing with your blog
- Social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Email marketing
- Video marketing
- Paid advertisements
- Traditional (non-digital) strategies with marketing materials such as flyers, billboards, and radio spots
These are just a few of the marketing channels you can choose to promote your event. Using more than one in your marketing initiative can help maximize your reach. When setting up your event with Events.com, you can build a dedicated event detail page where you can integrate your social media feed. You can also set up Refer-A-Friend discounts, so people can easily share a link on their social media channels to give discounts to friends.
Juggling too many marketing channels can spread you too thin, reduce the effectiveness of your efforts, and deplete your budget before your event arrives. Instead, start with two or three and test them out. Monitor the effectiveness of your efforts and alter them as needed. You can also add or remove marketing strategies as you learn what works best.
4. Start an Effective Email Campaign Using Email Lists
Email remains one of the most effective marketing channels for promoting events. Almost everyone (99%) checks their email daily, with many people checking it multiple times. Fifty-eight percent of people check their email before they even have breakfast.
Use segmented email lists to create effective campaigns. For instance, you may have a list of previous event attendees and a list of first-time attendees. You may also segment your lists based on interests, geographic location, or other information. By separating your audience, you can personalize messaging, ensure the most relevant details get to the right people, and encourage prospective attendees to register. Events.com has an integration with MailChimp, making it easy to sync email lists and target attendees.
5. Promote Consistently With Social Media and Advertisements
There are more than 270 million active social media users in the U.S. (nearly 81% of the population). In other words, there’s a good chance many people in your target audience spend time on one or more social media platforms.
Social media marketing allows you to build a community around your event. Create a social media post to share updates, provide event details, and encourage engagement. Creating live videos on your social channels gives you the chance to offer real-time sneak peeks, answer questions, and introduce your team or special guests.
You can also take advantage of paid ads on social media, which ensure your event gets in front of your target audience. You can also use them on Google to put yourself at the top of relevant search results. While paid ads do cost more, great campaigns can be highly effective.
When it comes to an effective social media plan, consistency is key. Regular posts boost your visibility and keep you at top-of-mind with your target audience. Consistency in your brand and voice is critical, too. It keeps you more recognizable and helps develop trust.
6. Determine the Metrics You Will Track and Report
How will you determine if your event marketing efforts (and your event) were successful? You need to set key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics that you’ll monitor throughout the marketing process, as well as what you want to track during your actual event. These metrics will help you figure out if your event was, in fact, a success, resulting in a nice return on investment.
Some metrics to consider monitoring include:
- Event registrations
- Ticket sales by type
- Number of returning attendees (and number of new attendees)
- Social media engagement
- Social media mentions
- Email marketing engagement (open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates)
- Percentage of people who actually attended versus how many registered
7. Send Surveys for Optimizing Future Events
Even after your event officially ends, you still have a little more work to do. One of those things is to send a thank-you email to your attendees, as well as your sponsors, vendors, and others who helped make your event a success. The second is to send a post-event survey to gauge attendee satisfaction. Asking attendees to rate their experience and share their insights will help you improve future event marketing efforts as well as your future events. Events.com offers a feature that allows organizers to email attendees who participate in your events. You can choose to either send emails immediately or schedule your send. With Events.com, you can customize the message to ask questions and send thank-you messages.
Follow Through on Your Marketing Checklist With Event Technology
Event marketing is an integral component of the event planning process. Without it, very few — if any — people will find out about your incredible upcoming event. Like the event planning process itself, marketing involves several components that need to work together to reach, attract, excite, and convert attendees.
With an event marketing checklist, you and your team can stay on top of everything you need to do to ensure event success. Follow through on your checklist with the right event technology. Events.com’s event management software provides the tools you need to manage all the moving pieces. For more information and to schedule your free demo, visit Events.com today.