Events offer companies valuable face time with prospects and leads, often allowing them to share thought leadership and industry expertise with attendees. During the window of time the event takes place, the host organization(s) have a captive audience to educate and engage. And, while ensuring attendees leave the event as willing brand ambassadors who gained value from their experience, it is equally important to ensure that your organization is maximizing the marketing value of its events.
Encourage social sharing
Creating a dedicated event hashtag can make it easy to track down audience engagement during and following the event, but ensuring attendees know what the hashtag is and how best to share their event experience on social media is critical to achieving social media success. Whether you include your organization’s social media handles and the corresponding event hashtag in the program, on event signage or in pre-event email marketing, laying a strong foundation for social media engagement is key to maximizing social media exposure for the event.
Take a two-pronged approach to post-event marketing
Following up with attendees after the event is an opportunity to build stronger relationships and deepen stakeholder engagement. However, attendees aren’t the only audience you should be talking to following an event. Whether you include a short recap in a monthly email newsletter, create photo galleries for social media, distribute a post-event news release or deploy an integrated approach that includes one or more of the above tactics, it’s important to expose those who couldn’t attend to what your event had to offer. This can help bolster attendance for future events as well as deepen all stakeholders’ knowledge of what is happening within your organization.
Tap into the power of video
Videos can strengthen the event experience for attendees as well as provide engaging assets for post-event marketing. When crafting your video strategy for upcoming events, consider how the video(s) will be used during and distributed following the event. Are you looking to compile a highlight reel showcasing interesting tidbits from different speakers and use this as a marketing tool on the registration landing page for future events? Do you want to collect attendee video testimonials that you can use in email marketing to drive registrations for future events? Do you need short-format video content that can be used to make your social media content more dynamic throughout the year? Or, are you looking for a high-impact video to open the event and get attendees excited about what’s to come?
With the marketing objective and distribution channel(s) clearly defined, video can become a high value marketing asset to maximize the impact of an event.
A well-executed event, whether it’s a business breakfast or a signature fundraiser, can help to attract new and deepen relationships with existing audiences. Pre-event, during event and post-event marketing offer opportunities for content sharing, education and engagement, all of which can support client acquisition, retention and word-of-mouth referrals. As you continue to hone your event marketing strategy, focus on putting a multi-channel marketing program in place that can not only drive optimal attendance but provide ongoing marketing value for your brand.