How to plan your next event
Let’s not avoid the elephant in the room. COVID-19 has changed the standard norm of a lot of standard business practices in marketing including event marketing. Event Marketing has always been a great option for businesses due to its nature to allow organizations to collaborate and build personal relationships.
Due to COVID-19 event guidelines have changed drastically. Some companies have converted to hybrid options, or have stopped doing events all together causing a large margin of missed opportunity.
The fear of being around a large group of people consumes and inevitably overshadows any event. Although it may seem the world is returning to some kind of normalcy regarding large gatherings, and more in-person events are being held. However, businesses must continue to consider all possible outcomes, as well as follow necessary guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
On the other hand, businesses have reverted to social media and live stream technologies to continue to host covid-friendly events. Many companies have resorted to hosting virtual events in hopes to maintain interpersonal relationships with their customers and partners, by utilizing platforms such as Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Zoom.
Although in-person events are starting up again, many businesses still continue to take advantage of virtual events. Virtual events have not only given businesses a chance to reach their attendees at a time where face-to-face contact is hindered, but it also gives them an opportunity to reach a broader audience across the world. Anyone who owns a cellphone or a laptop and has access to the internet can join in on the event at any time, extending your reach and your event’s shelf life.
When hosting an event, recreational or professional, safety precautions must be taken.
1. Offer a virtual event option.
2. Supply face coverings if social distancing is not an option.
3. Inform your guest of event safety guidelines ahead of time.
4. Have hand sanitizing stations.
5. Considering reducing the number of attendees. (As a positive this may also add to event exclusivity)
Event Marketing is a promotional strategy that one can use to promote a product, service, cause, or organization with the use of an event. These events can range anywhere from conferences, trade shows, award ceremonies, amongst others. Each type of event is different, which means for each event to be successful the marketing campaign needs to target the right audience and send the right message. Event Marketing holds a lot of value with the opportunities to drive sales, allow collaborations and create interpersonal relationships.
Marketing for an event is much different from marketing for a brand or a product. Before planning your event or launching a campaign, you need to establish the event’s purpose. Why are you having this event? How does this event align with your business’s mission? What are you trying to achieve? What are your marketing goals for this event? Once you are able to answer those questions, set your marketing goals then brainstorm objectives and tactics that will help you achieve your goals. This will be the framework for your event marketing campaign.
These goals will vary based on the type of event you are hosting and the type of organization you are marketing for. Nonprofit organizations will have a goal for the number of donations they wish to raise, whereas, a tech company will have a goal for how many units they expect to sell. Your goals should be comprehensive to both your business and your event.
After creating the event goals, begin planning your event. Where is your event going to be held? Who do you want to invite? Will there be food and beverages? Who is setting up the event? Who is cleaning up the event? What is the itinerary? These are a few questions that come with planning an event. However, once your event is planned, creating a marketing campaign is easy.
When creating your marketing campaign, there are a few things you may want to consider. How will your messaging resonate with your audience? It’s important to make sure your message will not only grab the attention of but stick with your audience. Although you are hosting a marketing event, the utilization of social media is still relevant. Using an event hashtag can spread the messaging past your event and spread additional awareness. Being active on social media prior to and after your event to engage with your target audience is also essential to your event’s success. Utilizing paid media prior to your event can also help build awareness of your event. You may want to cater to your target audience when selecting which paid media outlets you want to utilize. For example, the demographics are different on different online platforms, the demographics are considerably different on TikTok than they are on Facebook.
When creating your marketing campaign you may want to consider the use of special guests. Is your brand currently working with any marketing influencers that your target audience will benefit from? If your brand is currently not doing any influencer marketing, this is something you may want to consider to build not only event awareness but also brand awareness.
AppSoft Development offers a variety of digital marketing services and can assist you in your event marketing planning. Feel free to reach out, with any questions regarding implementing digital marketing into your event marketing plan. Please reach out to Michelle@appsoftdevelopment.com or call 904.551.4700