Live event marketing is typically seen as a stand-alone funnel, something that’s separate from other marketing strategies and possibly even a little outdated. The truth is, however, that live event marketing is actually an excellent compliment to your existing digital and traditional marketing campaigns. It gives you an interesting reason to talk to your existing audience and a great carrot to dangle in front of a brand-new audience.
Millennials are also especially attracted to live event marketing. Studies show that they prefer to spend their time and money on experiences instead of things and that they’re actively trying to increase their spending in that area. Additionally, almost 70% believe that live experiences drive an important connection. In short, if you’re trying to attract a younger audience, live event marketing is the perfect way to connect with them.
Let’s dive further into live event marketing by examining when holding a live event is especially advantageous. Beyond that, we’ll discuss the basics of holding an event and what you can do to really knock it out of the park.
Is Live Event Marketing Right for Me?
Live event marketing can fulfill a number of important marketing goals. However, these are the metrics that an event can really move the needle on:
- Building brand awareness. A successful event establishes your brand and allows you to demonstrate exactly who you are and what you stand for. You’ll enjoy total control of the messaging, tone, and overall narrative.
- Generating leads. You’ll be able to directly interact with prospects and your potential new audience members. It’s a great way to push people further down the marketing funnel or just get them into it for the first.
- Engaging and upselling. The opportunity to engage with somebody face-to-face simply can’t be beat. A live event is the perfect way to build a relationship with important audience members that you don’t have a rapport with, like VIPs or high-value prospects.
Getting Started With Live Event Marketing
The most important place to start at is determining what matters to your audience. Who are they and what do they care about? If you’re looking to target upper-level decision-makers then you’ll need something that garners their interest, like a high-profile speaker or an interesting discussion panel. If you’re in a B2C business, you might simply be able to provide some entertainment and appetizers.
Next, you need to determine what your event’s theme is so you can develop your content around it. What’s the main message you’re trying to portray? Start early and pummel your potential attendees with this message. When they arrive at the event, make sure that everything, from speakers to signage to dinner, is consistent with this theme and message.
Finally, you need to determine how to keep their interest after the event. What are you going to offer them in order to continue engaging with your brand? You have their attention and built a deeper relationship, so having a clear next step is vital.
Taking Live Events to the Next Level
One key piece of advice is planning your event with plenty of lead time. It’s exciting to plan an event for right around the corner so you can enjoy immediate results, but you need to let it really simmer. You need to build a buzz for the event, both to build anticipation and let word-of-mouth spread. People might need to plan around your event or even travel. Plus, you’ll need plenty of time to nail down the logistics.
Create a community within your existing community. Meaning, set-up a place for potential attendees to chat and interact with each other. A Facebook page would be the simplest way. This allows people to stay connected and feel an even deeper engagement with your brand. It also makes it much easier for people to share it with friends and colleagues they believe could be interested.
You’ll also want to thoughtfully plan a reminder shortly before the event. Include any important information about the event, including an itinerary. If people are traveling to your event include information about where they can grab a quick bite to eat, convenient travel options around the city, or a nice local pub where everybody can gather the evening before to network and relax. It gets people excited about your event and makes sure they have all the pertinent information at their fingertips.