The Ultimate Guide to Event Marketing

Assume again to the final occasion you attended.

Was it a convention or commerce present? An intimate seminar or startup launch get together hosted on-line? How a few enjoyable, socially-distanced 5K or golf outing?

These occasions are all very completely different, however to the manufacturers or organizations who hosted them, all of them had a typical goal: to entertain and have interaction attendees — a.okay.a. potential clients.

Occasion advertising is a extremely beneficial technique for all types of companies, from know-how and schooling to non-profit, drugs, and retail.

Not solely do occasions profit their hosts and sponsors, however in addition they enrich the lives of their attendees. Occasions encourage, educate, intrigue, entertain, and produce folks collectively in a manner in contrast to most different advertising efforts.

That’s why we created this information — to equip you to leverage occasion advertising in your personal enterprise. Preserve studying to get began or use the chapter hyperlinks under to leap forward.Download Now: How to Host Revenue-Driving Digital Events

Occasion advertising refers to a wide range of occasions. You may arrange a small roundtable of seven to 10 company, associate with one other model to sponsor a 5K, or arrange an exhibit at a significant commerce present — or host considered one of these on-line.

You may host a multi-day occasion that pulls 1000’s of attendees, sponsors, and audio system … like INBOUND. INBOUND 2020 hosted classes completely on-line and attracted 1000’s of attendees around the globe.

It doesn’t fairly matter the scale of or platform in your occasion so long as you’re bringing worth to your clients, potential clients, and model. We’ll discuss extra about the right way to construct an occasion advertising technique under.

Kinds of Occasion Advertising and marketing

Within the meantime, let’s go over a number of the several types of occasion advertising your organization may host, sponsor, or attend. Word that all of these events can take place virtually, too.


Conferences are large events typically organized and hosted by one major company and sponsored by a long list of smaller brands and businesses. Conferences are valuable for both B2B and B2C brands. These events typically offer the most dynamic agendas, filled with speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities.

Trade Shows and Expositions

Trade shows or expositions (expos) are large events organized around a specific industry or type of product, such as sales technology or medical devices. Trade shows give companies a chance to show off their products and services and typically bring in the highest number of qualified leads. Whereas conferences are open to the public, trade show attendees are typically pre-qualified buyers, company representatives, and salespeople.


Seminars (often called webinars when hosted online) are valuable, education-centric events attended by a small number of people. They involve discussions, lectures, and intimate networking opportunities.

Roundtables are similar to seminars, but usually have even fewer attendees of comparable “levels”, such as CEOs, surgeons, or teachers. Both events typically last no more than one day.

Pop-Up Shops

Pop-up shops are temporary retail spaces that give companies the opportunity to sell their products in a controlled environment. They’re typically organized by e-commerce brands that don’t have a full-time brick-and-mortar storefront. Pop-up shops also allow otherwise digital brands to bring their brand to life through a physical, immersive setting for their customers.

Launch Parties and Celebrations

Launch parties or celebrations are small, personal events held at the launch of a new business, upon a big announcement, or to simply celebrate a success or milestone. Some companies put on a yearly party to host and entertain customers or clients. While these types of events shouldn’t be centered on a product or brand, a simple speech or presentation can help align the event with a company and remind attendees why they’re there.


Workshops are similar to seminars and roundtables in that they’re focused on sharing knowledge and educating attendees. But unlike seminars and roundtables, they’re typically open to the public. Workshops can be offered both virtually and in-person, and while they aren’t traditionally promotional, they’re usually centered around a topic relevant to the business … which makes a company seem more credible in their field.

Other types of event marketing include job fairs, customer-only conferences, networking sessions, VIP experiences, sponsorships, awards events, and competitions (like 5Ks or golf outings).

There are so many possible ways to market your business and products through events because events work.

In a recent article on the ultimate marketing advice, multiple experts mentioned that events were the best way to connect with your audience and grow your brand. Here’s a direct quote from Kenny Nguyen of ThreeSixtyEight (who spoke at INBOUND):

…businesses will utilize event strategies more than ever before as human experiences will be how companies choose to differentiate themselves, especially those that can’t do so through technologies. The key to any great event strategy is very simple —identify the memory you want attendees to walk away with and work backward.”

Events work because they’re different than every other type of marketing. They’re immersive, entertaining, and memorable. They’re also useful for businesses in any industry

Benefits of Event Marketing

Event marketing helps companies be successful — we’ve proven this above.

But how do they do that specifically? Why should you invest in this strategy for your business? Here are some distinct benefits of event marketing.

Events marketing generates business.

Companies choose to invest in event marketing because events inherently generate new business and revenue opportunities — 95% of marketers consider that in-person occasions can have a significant affect on reaching their firm’s major enterprise objectives.

As an occasion host, the registration course of alone generates a listing of people who find themselves already keen on your product, trade, or no less than fall in your goal demographic. In the event you’re collaborating in or sponsoring an occasion, you’ll be able to accumulate leads via an electronic mail checklist, demo providing, or by operating a contest.

Occasion advertising offers one-on-one buyer engagement.

A lot of at this time’s software program and e-commerce companies by no means get to fulfill their clients or shoppers in particular person. That’s the place occasion advertising is useful.

A 2020 Bizzabo examine discovered that 93% of marketers consider in-person occasions present attendees with a beneficial alternative to type connections in an more and more digital world.

Partaking clients and potential clients at occasions initiates private interactions. These private, one-on-one interactions construct model loyalty and assist clients humanize your model. Occasions additionally present a reprieve from the distractions of every day work — that means you’ll be able to seize a shopper’s consideration higher than over a cellphone name or in-office pitch. With that spotlight, you’ve gotten an opportunity to promote — or upsell — your services and products.

Occasion advertising builds model consciousness.

Internet hosting or collaborating in occasions is a key manner for firms to ascertain and develop their model. 64% of event marketers reported that the first cause for internet hosting occasions is model consciousness for his or her firm or merchandise.

Occasion advertising lets you affiliate a bodily identification and aesthetic with an in any other case digital model. Like with pop-up retailers, occasions present a very immersive expertise at which customers and clients can get an actual really feel in your model and what it seems to be like in particular person.

The most effective half about utilizing occasions to construct model consciousness? Folks discuss occasions. Shoppers, clients, media, bystanders, and influencers discuss occasions in particular person, on social media, within the press … you identify it, making occasions a improbable strategy to educate and alert folks of your model and merchandise.

Occasion advertising encourages product and trade schooling.

No matter what kind of occasion your organization hosts or participates in, there’s most definitely an schooling part. That’s what makes occasion advertising so profitable — they don’t focus solely on a model or product.

As an alternative, they deal with educating and entertaining a demographic or trade … and promote services and products on the facet. (Actually, this makes for nice advertising throughout the board.)

Occasion Advertising and marketing Plan

Now, let’s discuss how one can implement your subsequent occasion. Your occasions ought to have a advertising plan separate from different efforts you do for your small business.

You’ll be able to cross-promote (i.e. share occasion data on firm social media and vice versa), however it’s clever to element your occasion advertising as a standalone marketing campaign technique.

Listed here are some questions that will help you construct your subsequent occasion advertising technique.

What are your SMART objectives? What’s your finances?

SMART objectives stand for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Maintaining your objectives SMART helps you keep away from operating with obscure objectives like “usher in leads.”

SMART objectives have a twin goal: to present you path when planning and implementing your occasion and that will help you resolve whether or not or not your occasion was successful (and if it wasn’t, to know the right way to enhance).

An instance of a SMART occasion advertising objective could be to “develop our potential leads checklist for our new product by 100 names by the tip of the occasion.”

This objective is restricted (potential leads for under the brand new product), measurable (100 names), attainable and related (assuming the occasion is related and there are greater than sufficient attendees to get 100 names), and well timed (by the tip of the occasion).

Word: Don’t restrict your occasion to 1 single objective. You must also set intangible objectives like “strengthen relationships” and “have interaction potential clients,” however by way of inventive and financial choices, use your SMART objectives to information you — and to measure on the backend.

Lastly, take a while to outline your occasion advertising finances. That is essential because it’ll seemingly be the deciding issue on the whole lot from the venue to the leisure to the web site.

What’s your occasion’s theme, model, and schedule?

To market your occasion, you will need to know what data and content material to market. Earlier than shifting additional, set up your occasion’s identify, theme, model, and goal. Why ought to folks attend? What is going to they achieve? Is your occasion an offshoot of your organization, or is it a standalone model?

Subsequent, determine the place and when your occasion will happen. These will seemingly be the most-asked questions by attendees.

Then, analysis and description your occasion’s schedule, reminiscent of keynote audio system, workshop classes, leisure parts, and instances to assemble and community.

You don’t should safe all of those earlier than you begin selling your occasion, however it is best to no less than have an thought of who will probably be there and what you’ll provide for attendees.

Who’re you advertising to? How will you attain them?

Outline your target market. Who would profit most from attending your occasion? What varieties of individuals would get pleasure from your workshops, study out of your audio system, and have interaction your sponsors?

Establishing your viewers will make it easier to goal and spend money on the correct advertising channels. Social media and your event website are given channels in today’s digitally-saturated market. If your event is local, consider print advertisements. Consider adding your event to an event listing website like Eventful, Hey Event, and 10times to succeed in extra folks.

Occasion marketing via email

Electronic mail is one other in style and efficient strategy to promote occasions. 39% of marketers discovered that electronic mail advertising instruments have been the best contributor to occasion success.

Electronic mail data is simple to gather at registration, and attendees examine electronic mail, so that they’ll simply discover updates and confirmations.

Usually instances, firms will create separate electronic mail addresses and newsletters for his or her occasions as a strategy to maintain communication and promotion separate from it others advertising efforts.

This additionally advantages your attendees — they in all probability don’t need their inboxes flooded.

What’s your content material creation and administration plan?

Selling your occasion includes a whole lot of data — what, when, the place, why, who, and the way, for starters. To correctly handle all this data, you will need to set up a viable plan to create and management it.

As a result of your occasion particulars seemingly gained’t be prepared suddenly, you’ll be tasked with releasing, updating, and altering data for months main as much as the occasion. Will you do that by way of publication? Who will probably be in control of ensuring the web site is up-to-date? Will you spend money on an occasion app so attendees have this data of their pocket always?

What’s your occasion advertising timeline?

To have interaction your viewers, it’s finest to advertise your occasion all through the weeks and months main as much as it. It helps to stipulate a promotion timeline so you realize when and what to launch. A timeline like this additionally helps pique your attendees’ curiosity as you launch new names or data at completely different instances.

It’s additionally clever to arrange a multi-touch promotion. Embody a range (i.e. electronic mail, social media, junk mail, cellphone calls, print adverts, and paid adverts) to succeed in the utmost quantity of individuals.

Merely getting the phrase on the market may make a large distinction in your registrations.

How will you promote and market throughout the occasion?

Advertising and marketing your occasion shouldn’t cease when your occasion begins. Dedicate some assets to selling your occasion because it’s occurring. Attendees might study one thing new about what’s provided, and those that didn’t register will probably be interested in what they’re lacking.

Most firms use social media to interact folks whereas their occasion is going on. 73% of businesses use social media to advertise particular occasions and options throughout the occasion, 55% use it to submit photographs, and 35% use it to amplify product bulletins.

Contemplate taking Fb or Instagram Dwell Video or Dwell Tweeting throughout your occasion.

How will you measure your occasion success?

Within the midst of a bustling occasion, it’s straightforward to have a look round and be ok with your attendance and engagement. However is that the easiest way to guage whether or not your occasion was successful? In all probability not.

Like each different advertising funding, it’s clever to set some key efficiency indicators (KPIs) in opposition to which to measure your occasion and consider its efficiency.

Listed here are just a few frequent KPIs for occasion advertising.

Registrations and check-ins

Not everybody who registers in your occasion will attend. Evaluate your registrations to your precise attendance and take into account reaching out to some who registered however didn’t check-in. Check out your registration knowledge to see when probably the most and fewest tickets have been bought and what sorts of tickets have been bought, when you provided a wide range of ticket packages or choices.

Income and cost-to-revenue ratio

How a lot cash did your occasion usher in? In case your occasion required a paid ticket, gross income is a vital measure of success. How does that quantity examine to what you spent on the occasion? This comparability will make it easier to higher perceive the worth of your occasion and the assets provided. Occasions are costly, however they’re not value getting into debt for.

Attendee satisfaction

Did your attendees get pleasure from your occasion? What did they take part in and revel in probably the most? “Satisfaction” might look like an obscure metric, however understanding the opinions and perspective of your occasion attendees may help you higher perceive the place your occasion was successful … and the place you can enhance. Contemplate constructing a survey to ask your attendees about their experience, takeaways, and to calculate a Net Promoter Score (NPS) for your event.

Here’s a direct quote from another expert who provided some marketing advice in a recent piece of ours, Mike Piddock of Glisser spoke at INBOUND:

“Events need to be assessed with hard metrics, rather than just ‘gut-feel’ opinions and feedback forms to rate the coffee.Measure attendee engagement, rather than simply counting who registered and who showed up, as this isa great proxy for the effectiveness of the event.”

Social media mentions/engagement

How often was your event discussed on social media? What was the general consensus around the event? Did your attendees share content that engaged non-attendees? (It’s highly likely — a 2016 study discovered that 98% of customers create digital content material at occasions, and this quantity has seemingly risen at this time.) In at this time’s digital world, social media is a superb measure of occasion success and attain. Check out your occasion mentions on Fb, Twitter, Instagram, and extra. Think about using a hashtag so you’ll be able to simply observe posts.

Lead acquisition and buyer conversion

Buying leads and changing clients is among the fundamental advantages of occasion advertising, so it’d make sense to measure these as KPIs of your occasion. Make observe of what number of certified leads you achieve out of your occasion, after which observe what number of of these leads are transformed into paying clients. This may help reveal the direct ROI of your occasion and see which techniques labored for lead assortment and conversion.

Get Began with Occasion Advertising and marketing

Organizing and implementing an occasion is a frightening process. However method it with a “snackable” technique, and also you’ll be planning your first occasion very quickly.

Whether or not you’re aiming to entertain new shoppers, construct your contact checklist, or increase cash in your non-profit, occasion advertising could be the answer for you — and most enjoyable in your clients.

Editor’s observe: This submit was initially revealed in April 2015 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.

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