What is Event Marketing? Definitions, Strategies, and Examples

Developing successful marketing campaigns for your business is challenging, especially when you want to stand out from the billions of other advertisements bombarding consumers every day. To remain ahead of the curve, many organizations turn to event marketing. 

Event marketing is a marketing category that promotes products and services by hosting, attending, or participating in an event. It helps you build strong and sincere relationships with customers by directly educating them about your products and services. Nothing can be more powerful than a face-to-face interaction with your customers.

With the right tactics, you can design and execute a successful event marketing strategy that strengthens your overall business efforts.

What Is Event Marketing?

Event marketing is the process of planning and executing an event to achieve specific marketing objectives. These objectives may include promoting a product or service, building brand awareness, generating leads, or creating excitement around a new launch. Events can take many different forms, from tradeshows and conferences to concerts and product launches.

Event marketing creates unique opportunities for brands to interact with their target audience face-to-face. This type of marketing can be especially effective in building loyalty and creating evangelists for a product and service.

Traditionally, events have come in two forms: those that take place online and those that are held in person, though there has been a rise in hybrid events as a result of the pandemic. Whether an event is held virtually or in-person, a brand can boost its marketing efforts by hosting the event, attending as an exhibitor, or being a sponsor.

The Benefits of Event Marketing

There are several advantages to event marketing. The following are some reasons why many marketers (and budget holders) find this method beneficial:

Target Your Marketing Efforts

Events are an excellent way to target a specific group of people. You can choose an event related to the product or service you offer. This method will help you attract the people you want to sell your product or services to.

For example, if you are an art gallery, your events should target art enthusiasts.  There is no better way of marketing than to narrow down your target audience to the people in your ideal demographic.

Generate Leads

Events are great lead capturing tools. If you’re hosting an event, you can use registration forms as a way to capture new leads as they sign up to attend. If you’re sponsoring, exhibiting, or speaking at the event, you will have the opportunity to network with potential customers during the program. Finally, post-event, you can use attendee information to follow up with leads, establish a relationship, and encourage them to purchase your product or service.

Build Customer Relationships

Events allow you to meet and interact with potential customers and directly sell your brand to them. This method not only earns a customer’s trust but also improves your brand’s credibility. Additionally, by hosting or marketing at an event, you can establish customer relationships that might lead to repeat purchases and referrals. When executed correctly, event marketing can be a powerful business-boosting tool.

Boost Sales

The primary purpose of marketing is to generate sales. Event marketing increases sales by creating buzz, amplifying brand exposure, and generating interest in products or services. Proper marketing through events also builds excitement and anticipation around your brand’s offering among consumers.

More importantly, event marketing creates a sense of urgency and persuades a targeted audience to take action before the event ends. You can generate sales at an event using on-site event management software that offers customers an easy buying process ⁠— from any device.

Improve Brand and Product Exposure

A well-marketed event will typically receive a lot of online and offline exposure. Event marketing efforts have the potential to attract media attention and reach the proper demographic, giving potential prospects the chance to discover your brand, product, and services.

Gain Valuable Customer Feedback

Events give you a valuable opportunity to collect first-hand customer feedback about your brand. You can use questionnaires or directly chat with customers during an event to get their opinions about your product, services, or general processes.

6 Event Marketing Strategies That Every Event Organizer Should Know

Events don’t advertise themselves, so you need to find creative ways to market them. Here are the methods for promoting events:

1. SEO & Content Marketing: Create Awesome Value for Your Customers

Search engine optimization (SEO) and content help generate organic traffic to your event’s website. Optimized digital content can help drive ticket purchases and registrations to your events, but this strategy requires dedication and patience to have your event page rank at the top of the search engine result page (SERP). To grow event awareness online, follow these three best practices:

  • Leverage the right keywords. Maximize your local SEO efforts by using the right keywords on the right areas of your event page to show search engines the location and date of your event.
  • Consider domain authority. Ensure that your event partner has powerful domain authority (such as Events.com) to increase your chances of ranking higher on Google’s search results.
  • Create valuable content. Customers value quality content. Be the voice they need to answer their industry questions, provide insight, and offer solutions to their pain points.

2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing: Jump to the Top of the Search Results

SEO efforts will boost your event’s visibility, but even if you’ve secured the top organic SERP position, paid advertisements will always appear higher. To drive more traffic to your event, you can leverage pay-per-click (PPC) ads.

With PPC marketing, you can pay to have your event’s website or landing page show up above organic results. When customers search for a product or service, they’ll see your event website before anything else.

3. Email Marketing: Build Email Lists & Communicate Directly With Event Attendees

Traditional email marketing is a powerful event marketing strategy, as it helps your brand commu­nicate di­rectly with attendees. Email communication can assist your marketing team in attracting visitors, improving brand engagement, and sharing pertinent information about upcoming events.

Email marketing for events comes with its own set of best practices involving segmenting your existing mailing list, using automation tools, and offering exclusive incentives. For example, creating a targeted campaign with offers such as early bird discounts or free merchandise is a great way to generate interest and get potential attendees to subscribe.

 4. Social Media Marketing: Unlock Advanced Targeting & Retargeting Strategies

Social media is a great way to promote an upcoming event. Whether posting updates or running social ads, using the correct language can spread the word fast and propel it to the right audience. You can also leverage social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and more. By promoting your event across multiple platforms, you’ll reach a wider audience. 

Also, remember that human beings are visual creatures. Research shows that humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. To fully maximize the benefits of social media, use graphics, photos, and infographics as visuals.

In addition, be sure that the strategy behind every post engages your followers. The quality of posts and relevance to the event and audience will determine how many shares, likes, and comments they receive. After all, the more engagement your posts receive, the more publicity your event gets.

5. Affiliate Marketing: Turn Your Attendees into Advocates

Another excellent approach to marketing your event is to enlist your participants as evangelists for the event. It’s a simple concept. If another attendee can sell or sign up for your event through an affiliate’s initiative, your advocates are entitled to a cut of the profits.

For instance, if you’re hosting a webinar, ask your registrants to promote the event on their social media channels and offer a commission for every person who registers through their link. This strategy incentivizes your participants to market the event and create a community of evangelists invested in the event’s success.

This method is called revenue sharing, and it is a valuable way to outsource your marketing needs since affiliate marketing is responsible for up to 30% of sales worldwide.

6. Influencer Marketing: Borrow An Audience & Get In Front of the Right People

Influencer marketing is one of the fast-growing customer acquisition methods. Statistics show that 93% of marketers use influencer marketing methods to increase sales. 

When influencer marketing is done correctly, it may be the boost you need to fill your event seats, as it is a fantastic method to pique your audience’s interest and get them to listen.

Key Digital Marketing Best Practices To Know

Every digital marketing plan is different. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when creating an effective digital marketing plan for your event:

Research Your Target Market

Knowing your audience allows you to create a more targeted plan. This strategy is pertinent in marketing for events because it allows you to better understand your potential attendees and what they may be interested in. You can, therefore, tailor your marketing content and methods accordingly.

Customize Your Marketing Efforts

The most effective marketing strategy is a targeted, personalized approach. Ensure your marketing efforts target the suitable event demographic. Tailor your marketing content to the unique needs of each event. For example, if you are hosting a technology conference, send out tech-related invitations and reminders.

Have a Mobile-First Approach

Because people spend more time on their phones than on their computers, ensure your event marketing plan gives mobile users top priority. Make sure your website, invitations, and content are easy to read and navigate on mobile devices. Also, use SMS and social media to reach people where they are spending the majority of their time.

Create Real, Value-Adding Content For Your Audience

Understand that a quality content strategy requires more than just a few blog posts, random tweets, and Facebook ads. Stay up-to-date with the latest technology and the trending methods of getting your audience’s attention. Also, keep in mind that providing value is a great way to attract and retain the right audience.

Use a Sales Funnel and Strategic Retargeting

A sales funnel allows you to track every step of a customer’s journey, from outreach to conversion, closing, and retention. As an event marketer, this gives you a chance to see what it takes to bring a customer through every step of the funnel, and offers the opportunity to redirect and retarget them.

Create a User-Friendly Website With Good UX

Whether your event has a dedicated website, landing page, or individual mention on your business’s Events page, make sure that you’ve designed a solid user experience (UX). Ensure your landing page and website is simple to use so that users have a clear path to conversion when they visit the website.

Match Your Messaging With the User’s Mindset

It’s essential to match all these with the user’s mindset to be effective. For example, if you’re targeting business owners, you’ll focus on the benefits of your product or service in a way that resonates with them. Keep in mind that mindsets change between platforms, so it is crucial to tailor the messaging for each platform.

Event Marketing Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign

Choosing the best event strategy for your company depends on your industry, goals, and budget. Here are some examples of event marketing strategies to inspire you for your next marketing campaign:

In-Person Events

  • Trade shows: An event that brings together large groups from different demographics, trade shows are a chance to make and strengthen industry connections while also meeting many new potential customers.
  • Conferences: Conferences bring together a group of people around a specific purpose, cause, or topic. Hosting or attending a conference allows you to score great connections and market your brand.
  • Seminars: These events offer you an opportunity to educate your audience about a specific topic. In return, you get to engage with the audience on your product and services.
  • Workshops: These are smaller gatherings or field trips where a speaker leads a group in a more structured learning atmosphere.
  • Meal-centric get-togethers: These events are more intimate and are best for focused networking or a specific customer or prospect appreciation.
  • Pop-up events: These are short-term events whereby you host a short meeting at multiple locations accompanied by entertainment and other offers.

Online Events

  • Webinar: A webinar is an online seminar. Typically, webinars are interactive sessions with a speaker and allow people to contribute and ask questions.
  • Virtual events: Rather than meeting in person, virtual events take place entirely online through an event management platform.
  • Hybrid event: You can also extend an invitation to more attendees by live-streaming your in-person event worldwide.

Which Event Marketing Strategy Works Best For You?

Event marketing is a powerful tool when it comes to your marketing strategy. It can be the fuel you need for your business to grow and prosper. Events allow you to talk with customers one-on-one, but they are also a great way to generate leads with high conversion potential.

It is also an excellent strategy to collect data and feedback directly from the customers. This method will help you improve your product or services. However, the success of any event marketing strategy depends on your industry. Before settling on an event for your next marketing strategy, make sure you adequately research what best suits your business. Pick a marketing strategy that works best for you.

Events.com has a variety of digital marketing services suitable for all types of businesses. We have an extensive range of services to help you achieve your desired results. Our team of experts can help you plan, execute and measure the success of your next event. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your event marketing goals.