With COVID-19 guidelines loosening up this year, it’s time to tighten up your 2023 marketing plan. If events fell to the wayside over the past few years, now’s the time for you to get back on the horse.
Whether online or in-person, events are a great way to drive brand awareness, generate leads, and connect with customers. 60% of business leaders and 80% of marketers believe that events are critical for success.
People are aching for events. So let’s give your audience what they want.
Want to plan a superstar event that fulfills all of your marketing goals? Follow these six tips to blend event promotions with your 2023 marketing plan seamlessly.
Create a Launch Plan Leading Up to Your Big Event
Treat your event like it’s the biggest product launch of the decade for your company.
Take time to outline the necessary steps to plan a successful event. What’s the event goal? How will you promote this event?
What’s your budget? Don’t be afraid to crunch the numbers early on so you know your launch plan’s feasibility. Make sure you consider these high-ticket items at a minimum:
- Food and beverage
- Furniture and equipment
- Staffing (event coordinators, clean up, security, etc.)
- Decorations and event design
- Marketing and promotional materials
- Guest experience
Start early, reach out to vendors, and store all your launch plans in one place. Feed your event planning into your existing marketing calendar. Having all the details in a single location will make it easier to cross-reference information and share details with your team.
Online communities are virtual spaces that bring like-minded people together. This is your tribe: these are the people who want to chat about your business, attend your events, and buy products. An active event community generates buzz and excitement about events, which can ultimately increase attendance rates and sales.
By the way, communities can also become readymade sales and marketing reps for your business, so if you haven’t leveraged a community to market your events, you’re missing out.
If you’re just starting out, you can create event communities on platforms like Facebook and Slack. These platforms enable businesses to grow tight-knit communities and allow users to share content. This includes value-based content like blogs and guides and engaging content like stories and memes. Admins can adjust member posting privileges and set whether the community is private or public.
Event platforms like Eventbrite are also popular. These platforms offer a single digital access point for people to attend webinars, read exclusive content, and network with others.
Of course, the issue is that you don’t own the community on any of these platforms. And you can’t host your event and community in the same place, either. That’s why it’s usually better to opt for an event marketing technology platform to do your promotions, community, and events in one place.
If you want to add more events to your marketing calendar, you must make a big impression in 2023. There are several ways to market your event, but you need a solid message for starters. You’ll use this message as the backbone for your marketing content across multiple platforms.
- Who are you?
- What makes your event unique?
- What made your audience fall in love with your brand?
- Why does your audience want to attend this event?
- What value will attendees get from your event?
- Will people think the event is worth it?
After considering these questions, it’s time to start crafting your marketing materials. You don’t have to get fancy here: use the marketing channels you’re already using to promote your business. This helps save time and ensures you engage with your brand’s existing followers.
Make sure you promote your event via the following:
- Organic and paid social media
- Email marketing
- Custom landing pages
- Influencer partnerships
The tricky part is finding a balance between your company’s typical marketing content and your event promotions. Be sure to blend your event to-dos with your company-wide marketing calendar.
Whether you use a Kanban board, Google Calendar, or an old-fashioned calendar on the wall, make sure your event promotions don’t take away from other important posts. For example, don’t announce event details on important days, like Women’s History Month, which will take away from more time-sensitive messaging. Double-check your promotions calendar before you hit the “publish” button.
One of the biggest hurdles for event planners is cost. Instead of trimming event perks to meet your budget, you can source sponsors to make events more affordable. If you get the right types of sponsorship deals, you might even be able to squeeze a few more events into your 2023 marketing plan — and we’d call that a win.
Sponsors provide financial assistance or in-kind support for your event in exchange for advertising, publicity, or other benefits. Since sponsors want more people to see their messaging during your event, they’ll help you co-promote the event to reach even more potential attendees.
To find event sponsors, you must start your search ASAP. Start by visiting SponsorMyEvent. This platform plays matchmaker between brands and events, helping you source potential sponsors for less effort.
Promote Your Big Event With Small Virtual Events
Small virtual events, like webinars and virtual experiences, are a great way to promote your bigger, high-ticket events. Since your audience isn’t limited to a single location, small online events can increase your overall reach. It’s also a great way to interact more directly with a live audience that can react and ask questions — which is perfect if you need practice for a hybrid event.
But you don’t have to create a stuffy, old-fashioned webinar. Try gamifying your small virtual events to build traction. Gamified interactive content is more memorable and increases engagement. These attendees will remember interacting with your out-of-the-box virtual event.
The only sticking point is that you’ll need an event platform to pull off the perfect gamified experience. Endless Events’ technology solutions make it a cinch to sprinkle more frequent events into your 2023 marketing plan.
You need to justify every dime you spend on event marketing. To fit events into your 2023 marketing plan, you must prove your events generate ROI.
Track essential KPIs to measure the impact events have on your brand. Every event is different, but this often includes metrics like:
- Website traffic by promo code
- Discount code redemptions
- Social media mentions
- Post-event surveys
- Lead generation
- Product sales
You can’t use Google Analytics alone to wrangle these KPIs, either. You’ll need an event technology platform to track all your KPIs in one place. It might sound like an additional step, but metrics can help marketers prove event ROI, so this is a must-have for embracing events in 2023.
Give Events a Seat at the Table in 2023
2023 will be challenging, but that doesn’t mean brands should give up on events. On the contrary: Events can offer a lot of firepower in challenging times as long as you blend them with your existing marketing plans.
You don’t have to drop everything to do events, either. As long as you thoughtfully introduce events to your existing 2023 marketing plan, you can turn a lot of heads with minimal fuss.
Of course, you can’t do it alone. Whether you opt for in-person or online events, you need the right technology and strategy to back them up. See how Endless Events can help your marketing team effortlessly embrace events in 2023.