Event Marketing In Kingston: A Beginner’s Guide
So you want to plan an event for your company and your goal is lead generation, of course. Selling your product or service by hosting an event but avoiding having it look like a staged advertisement can be tricky. When event marketing is done right the return can be massive and can leave the potential customer with a positive impression of your brand. In addition, hosting events for existing customers is one of the best ways to see an ROI from your marketing dollars, because it is cheaper to keep a current customer than engage with new ones. We encourage you to rethink your marketing budget and make room for event marketing besides your regular marketing budget in 2017. Here is our beginner’s guide to planning and marketing a great event for your business.
Always Plan Ahead
From the second you decide to hold your event, get planning! There are so many small details that will come later, but first, you need to decide on the big details. Pick a date, and do your research to see what else is happening locally on that day. Summer months in a city like Kingston are very busy, you need to keep in mind holidays, long weekends and annual events that draw a big crowd.
Alert the Media!
One of the most important steps to generating buzz for your event is contacting media outlets early on in your planning stages. Generally, they get lots of invites to local events (for obvious reasons) and your event marketing will not be complete without a little spotlight. Depending on the size of your company and event it may even be helpful to send a press release and/or media kit. This will get the word out about the who, what, when, where, and most importantly why of your event! There is nothing worse than people asking what your event is about when they arrive, make sure as many people know in advance as possible. Event marketing is not just about letting people know, it is about getting them excited. Give people you want to attend every opportunity to get pumped for your event!
Event Marketing Needs to be Social
If you don’t plan on posting your event on social media you may as well pack it up now. Being on social platforms is extremely important when your goal is to spread the word and get attendants to your venue. Not only should you have a business Facebook page, you should also have an event page on Facebook. An event page will allow you to invite people directly on Facebook and they can choose to click attending or not. The Facebook event also lets you add photos, information about the venue as well as all the essential information about when it is, what it’s for, and anything else you want to add. Regularly posting on the Facebook event keeps this top of mind for your target audience. Instagram is also a great way to inform people of your event and use hashtags to market it! Using Instagram along with Twitter allows you to reach out to people to invite and raise awareness. There should be numerous posts leading up to the event to inform the public, get them to commit, and allow them to post pictures of the event and tag your business.
Set Clear Goals For Your Event
Let people know what your event is for, whether it’s a business milestone, anniversary, grand opening, charity awareness, or something completely different. Make sure people know what the cause is. Always keep in mind that people talk and word of mouth is still a very effective way of creating buzz. You never want people discussing your event and saying things like “I’m not sure what the point of this event is, do you?” Adding a little blurb to your marketing materials is a great way to keep the event goal short and sweet; “celebrating 6 years in business!” is a great tagline to let people know to come to celebrate with you!
“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.”- Dennis Waitley
Having a strategy session with your team discussing all the things that could go wrong is very important! Think “worst-case scenario’ and decide on a plan to overcome any of the issues that may happen. Do you have enough food, drinks, rentals etc… these are all common mistakes that happen at events and can be avoided easily if planned correctly. Weather is a big consideration if you are hosting your event outside, having a rental tent available is a smart idea or having a backup location. In any situation, have a plan and have your staff ready to jump into action if need be.