By Lucy Bradley
When it comes to running your own event, the most worrying part is not always in the planning process – but actually in getting people to show up. If you’re a newbie when it comes to events (like us!) then these simple ideas can help to get you started, and help to make sure you fill the room on the day!
You wouldn’t produce a marketing plan, or devise a new marketing strategy without doing competitor research right? Well, that’s exactly the same when it comes to organising and marketing your event. It’s important to go to a range of similar events to yours, see what works and what doesn’t. Think about what you find effective and how you can apply this in your own event. Not only are events great for inspiration, but provide you with the perfect opportunity to network and build relationships, whom you can then invite as guests to your own event. If you don’t get a chance to attend an event, you can still look at recaps online (like ours) or assess the way events similar to yours are being marketed. It’s all about experimentation at the end of the day.
When it comes to choosing the overall focus of your event, you should choose a topic that will provide great value to those attending, but also choose an area where your expertise lies. Think about putting actionable points your guests and take away and start using straight away, as this will make your event more memorable and overall more useful to those attending.
Furthermore, you should try and create a catchy event name that is topic focussed – as this will be used consistently across your marketing efforts. Why not include a guest speaker? This will only widen your reach further, as you can appeal to their network as well as your own. Having a speaker who is an ‘expert in the industry’ can help give you a USP, and also provide increased value to the user.
Social media is one of the most powerful tools we have in our digital orientated world, so why not use it to widen your reach even further. Consider putting together an eye-catching graphic with all the details including:
To go in line with your catchy headline for the event, come up with a hashtag and use it consistently across your marketing. Not only is this great for the build-up, but also a great way for attendees to interact on the day. Furthermore, when it comes to the content of your social media posts, create a sense of exclusivity using phrases such as ‘limited spaces available’ and ‘don’t miss out’. This creates a sense of urgency and can create excitement around your event. Leading up the event, it’s a good idea to also mention and interact with guest speakers and attendees of your event you know are well recognised within the industry – it might just encourage more people to sign up!
Remember all that networking you’ve done? Well, now is the time to put it to good use. Use the contact details you’ve gained, and hit them with an email marketing campaign to entice guests along. When putting it together, keep it on brand and in line with the graphic that you’ve put out on social media – this will help increase brand recognition. Include the key details and benefits, and most importantly include a powerful CTA to encourage people to sign up for the event.
Marketing your event doesn’t stop there. You could write a blog post, or create a separate page on your site that details more about the event so that possible sign-ups can find out a little more information. Going down the more graphic route, you could even look to get a post or leaflet put in the venue you plan on hosting in. Notably, a method not to miss out is PR. Put together a nice piece with a bit about your event and push it out to local PR agencies, papers, and communities who might find interest and value in your event. The main thing is to utilise all the avenues you have available to you!