If someone organizes a convention and nobody comes, is it still a convention?
Simply planning and organizing your corporate event isn’t enough – marketing is an exceptionally important piece of the process, both online and in person. You have to reach your potential attendees, informing them of your event and getting them excited to come. Marketing is simply an absolute must, whether you’re a small event building its way off the ground or a mega-event running its 20th yearly show. Here are some solid, time-tested tips to add to your marketing agenda.
Before you even conceive of your show, you should be working your connections. You should build your brand on social media, providing content that people want to regularly check.
You should make friends with bloggers and local journalists – they can be vital to getting the word out when your event is ramping up.
Keep your contact information for clients and potential attendees up to date; you’d hate to miss out on a client because they moved or changed phone numbers!
Once your event is in the planning stages and getting ready to go, it’s time to cash in on those connections you’ve been building up.
Advertise on all the social media platforms – Facebook, in particular, is a fantastic resource, allowing you to target advertising at a very reasonable rate. Use your social media to hype up your event as it draws closer and closer. Assign it a hashtag, and use it regularly – it makes it easier for people to find information regarding your event. They may even start using it themselves, spreading your information to a wider audience.
If this is a repeat event, look at feedback from previous years, and focus on any improvements in your message. Complaints about the food? Boast about your new catering service. People miss a panel because of crowding? Talk about your new, larger space.
If you’re planning on offering any discounts or specials, this is the time to hit those big, as well – more attendees, even if they’re coming at a discounted rate, means more people to get your message.
Obviously, if your event takes place over multiple days, don’t let up on the marketing blitz until everything’s all over. You never know who managed to miss all your messages until the very last day of the show.
Use your social media to show what a great experience the event is – make people who haven’t shown up jealous of what they’re missing out on, and then give them a link to buy tickets and be part of the action! Even if they don’t take you up on it this year, it plants the seed for them to come the year after.
Encourage social shares – use that hashtag you set up in the lead-in period, and encourage people to use it. You can search for that hashtag yourself, and boost the signal of people talking about your event on Facebook or Twitter. When people see “regular people” talking about how an event is going, they’re more likely to trust that then the company in charge talking about how great something is going. If you’re providing a good experience – and WPI Events will ensure you’re providing a good experience – you can use that good will to keep the ball moving, growing and growing your event.