In an increasingly connected digital world, events—whether they are in-person, virtual, or hybrid—play a crucial role in fostering meaningful interactions, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing platforms for learning and engagement.
However, organizing an event is just one part of the equation. Ensuring its success hinges greatly on the number of participants who attend. This is where the significance of strategic event marketing comes into play.
Event marketing involves creating a promotional campaign to generate interest and encourage attendance for a planned event. This could be anything from a music festival, a business conference, a product launch, or a webinar. Effective event marketing can heighten brand awareness, attract potential customers, and create valuable touchpoints between a business and its target audience.
This blog post aims to equip event planners, marketers, and business owners with ten proven event marketing strategies to amplify event visibility, stimulate interest, and ultimately, boost event attendance.
These strategies will encompass various aspects of marketing, from leveraging the power of social media to utilizing influencer partnerships, enabling you to select the best tactics that align with your business goals and target audience. So, let’s dive into these powerful strategies that can transform your next event into a resounding success.
What Is Event Marketing?
Event marketing is a process of promoting your event to your target audience using a variety of marketing channels. It involves reaching your target audience with your event and converting them into attendees.
The event planning industry is becoming increasingly competitive. According to Allied Market Research, the global event industry will continue to grow at an annual rate of 11.2% through 2028.
As more and more competitors enter the market, it has become more challenging for event organizers to stand out. Here event marketing comes to the rescue of organizers. With an effective event marketing strategy, you cannot only differentiate your event from your competitors but also target your target audience across multiple marketing channels simultaneously and increase event attendance.
A successful event marketing plan can provide the following benefits:
Build brand awareness and affinity: According to Visme, 74% of event attendees say they think more favorably of a company after their marketing event.
Drive lead generation: Marketers can expand their database of leads by holding a physical or virtual event and converting attendees into loyal customers. Even if an attendee doesn’t convert at the event, you can nurture them through the sales process afterward.
Increase attendee engagement: Engaging and interacting with event attendees in real-time provides an excellent opportunity to build deeper customer relationships.
Boost event revenue: A more actively promoted event will result in higher ticket sales and a higher return on investment. It has been reported that 83% of brands have experienced consistent sales increases from event marketing.
In light of these many advantages, it’s no surprise that more than half of marketers agree that event marketing is the most valuable. Thus, marketing and promotion are vital to the event planning process.
Top 10 Tips to Increase Event Attendance
An effective event marketing strategy begins with knowing and understanding your target audience. The following are ten event marketing tips you should use to increase attendance and keep stakeholders pleased at your next event.
1. Influencer Partnerships
In the realm of event marketing, one technique has emerged as particularly effective in generating buzz and drawing in crowds – influencer partnerships. With the rise of social media, influencers have gained significant traction as trusted voices that can authentically engage with their audiences and sway their opinions and behaviors.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing capitalizes on the credibility and reach of popular figures on social media platforms, leveraging their influence to promote products, services, or in our case, events.
These influencers have built loyal followings within specific niches, making them invaluable resources for reaching your target audience.
By aligning your event with an influencer who shares a similar audience, you can effectively amplify your event’s visibility and attract a greater number of attendees.
How to Leverage Influencer Partnerships to Increase Event Attendance?
Identify Relevant Influencers: The first step in influencer partnerships is identifying influencers who are relevant to your event’s theme or industry. They should have a substantial and engaged following that aligns with your target audience.
Develop a Collaboration Strategy: This could include having the influencer share promotional posts about your event, host a giveaway, or even speak or perform at the event itself. The goal is to leverage the influencer’s reach and credibility to generate interest in your event.
Track Performance: Make sure to track the performance of your influencer marketing campaign. This could be through monitoring the engagement on the influencer’s promotional posts or using a unique discount code to track the number of attendees coming through the influencer.
Create Authentic Content: Ensure that the content created by influencers aligns with their usual style and tone. Their followers value their authenticity, so any promotional content should feel genuine and consistent with their usual posts.
Influencer partnerships, when executed correctly, can be a powerful tool in your event marketing strategy. Not only do they increase your event’s visibility, but they also provide social proof, which can significantly increase your event attendance.
2. Utilizing Social Media
In our technologically driven era, the importance of social media as a marketing tool cannot be overstated. With billions of users across various platforms worldwide, social media presents an unmatched opportunity to promote your event to a diverse and extensive audience. Harnessing its power can help create a buzz around your event, foster engagement, and ultimately increase attendance.
The Importance of Social Media in Event Marketing
Social media has become an indispensable part of our everyday lives, serving as a primary source of news, entertainment, and social interactions. For businesses and event planners, it offers a direct line of communication with potential attendees, making it ideal for promoting events.
The expansive reach of social media platforms allows you to connect with potential attendees on a global scale, enhancing your event’s visibility. Moreover, the interactive nature of social media fosters engagement, allowing you to build excitement and anticipation leading up to the event.
Specific Social Media Tactics for Event Marketing
Event Hashtags: Utilizing a unique and catchy hashtag for your event can increase visibility and awareness. This encourages attendees and interested parties to join the conversation, boosting engagement and spreading the word about your event.
Facebook Events: Creating a Facebook event can significantly boost your reach. It allows you to share key event details, provide real-time updates, and engage directly with those interested or planning to attend.
Instagram Stories and Countdown Stickers: These tools can create anticipation for your event. The countdown sticker serves as a reminder of the event date and helps keep your event at the top of potential attendees’ minds.
Teasers and Behind-the-scenes Content: Sharing sneak peeks or behind-the-scenes content related to your event can heighten interest and engagement. This gives potential attendees a taste of what to expect, which can increase attendance.
Influencer Partnerships on Social Media: Teaming up with influencers relevant to your industry can extend your reach to their followers, who may also be interested in your event. This can drive up interest and, in turn, increase attendance.
Live Videos: Live videos on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can stir interest and engagement. Consider hosting live Q&A sessions, providing sneak peeks of the event preparations, or even live-streaming parts of the event itself to attract more attendees.
By implementing these tactics and effectively leveraging the various features offered by social media platforms, you can reach a wider audience, keep potential attendees engaged and excited, and ultimately boost your event’s attendance.
3: Email Marketing
Despite the surge of new communication channels, email remains an incredibly powerful tool for event marketing. With its capacity for personalization, direct delivery, and extensive reach, email marketing can significantly enhance your event promotion efforts and drive up attendance.
How Email Marketing Can Boost Event Attendance
Email marketing involves sending targeted, personalized emails to a defined list of individuals, aiming to promote your event, engage potential attendees, and ultimately drive conversions. An effective email marketing campaign can boost awareness, create anticipation, and provide recipients with compelling reasons to attend your event.
Best Practices for Email Marketing for Events
Segmentation and Personalization: Not all your subscribers have the same interests or needs. Segment your email list based on factors like past event attendance, engagement level, location, and more. Tailoring your messages to suit each segment’s characteristics ensures relevance, which can improve open and click-through rates, ultimately leading to higher attendance.
Creating a Compelling Subject Line: Your subject line is the first thing recipients see. It should be enticing and give an idea of what to expect in the email, encouraging more opens.
Providing Valuable Content: Your email content should be engaging and valuable. Highlight the benefits of attending your event, share exciting news or updates, introduce speakers or activities, and give recipients compelling reasons to attend.
Clear Call-to-Action (CTA): Each email should have a clear and compelling CTA, like “Reserve Your Seat,” “Register Now,” or “Learn More About Our Event.” This directs recipients towards taking the desired action—registering for your event.
Reminder Emails: Don’t underestimate the power of reminders. A well-timed reminder email can nudge those who are interested but haven’t registered yet to do so.
Post-Event Follow-Up: Once your event is over, a follow-up email thanking attendees for their participation can leave a lasting positive impression and set the stage for future events.
In a digital world teeming with marketing noise, a well-executed email marketing strategy can help your event stand out, engage potential attendees on a personal level, and encourage them to participate in your event.
4: Early Bird Offers
One tried-and-true method of generating interest and encouraging prompt registration for an event is the use of early bird offers. By providing a financial incentive, you can create a sense of urgency, prompt decision-making, and increase your event’s attendance.
How Early Bird Offers Can Boost Attendance
Early bird offers typically involve a reduction in the event ticket price for those who register within a specific timeframe. This strategy capitalizes on potential attendees’ desire to save money and their fear of missing out (FOMO), urging them to take action and register early. By driving early registrations, you can secure a baseline of attendees, better forecast turnout, and generate buzz around your event.
Tips for Creating Effective Early Bird Offers
Set a Clear Deadline: Make sure your early bird offer has a definite start and end date. This creates urgency and encourages quick action.
Offer a Significant Discount: The discount should be enticing enough to motivate potential attendees to register early. Whether it’s a percentage off the regular ticket price or a value-added package, ensure the offer provides real value.
Promote Your Offer: An early bird offer is only effective if people know about it. Promote the offer through various channels, such as email marketing, social media posts, and your event website.
Limit Early Bird Tickets: Another strategy to create urgency is to limit the number of early bird tickets available. This can make potential attendees even more eager to take advantage of the offer before the tickets run out.
Follow Up with Interested Individuals: After the early bird deadline has passed, follow up with those who showed interest but didn’t register. They could still be potential attendees, so consider offering them a last-minute discount or another incentive to attend.
By effectively using early bird offers, you can motivate potential attendees to commit to your event, thus securing a significant number of attendees well in advance and generating excitement around your event.
5: SEO for Event Pages
Search engine optimization (SEO) may not be the first strategy that comes to mind when promoting an event, but it can be a valuable tool for boosting your event’s visibility online.
By optimizing your event pages for search engines, you can attract organic traffic, reach potential attendees who are actively searching for events like yours, and ultimately increase event attendance.
Understanding SEO for Event Pages
SEO involves optimizing web content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), making it more visible to individuals searching for related keywords.
For event pages, this means optimizing your event description, metadata, and website content with relevant keywords and phrases that potential attendees might use when looking for events to attend.
How to Optimize Your Event Pages for SEO
Keyword Research: Identify keywords and phrases related to your event that potential attendees might use in their search queries. Incorporate these keywords in your event description, website content, meta tags, and URLs.
Optimize Event Descriptions: Write clear, detailed, and engaging event descriptions using your identified keywords. This will help search engines understand what your event is about and match it to relevant search queries.
Use Meta Tags: Meta tags provide search engines with information about your webpage. Use meta titles and descriptions that accurately describe your event and include your main keywords.
Mobile Optimization: Many people search for events on their mobile devices. Ensure your event pages are mobile-friendly, with fast load times and easy-to-navigate interfaces.
Leverage Local SEO: If your event is location-specific, leverage local SEO strategies. Include the event location in your keywords, use location-specific meta tags, and list your event on local event directories.
Remember, SEO is a long-term strategy and it might take some time to see results. However, a well-optimized event page can significantly boost your event’s online visibility, attract more organic traffic, and ultimately increase event attendance.
6: Collaborations with Other Brands
Collaborations with other brands can be a mutually beneficial strategy for boosting event attendance. By tapping into their established audience, you can broaden your reach, generate more interest, and attract more attendees to your event.
Understanding the Power of Brand Collaborations
Collaborating with a brand that shares a similar target audience can significantly increase your event’s visibility. This strategy involves pooling resources, sharing promotional responsibilities, and leveraging each other’s strengths to generate buzz and attract a larger audience.
Ways to Collaborate with Brands to Boost Event Attendance
Sponsorships: Inviting other brands to sponsor your event can add credibility, attract their customer base, and also help cover event costs. In return, sponsors get exposure and a chance to engage with your audience.
Joint Events: Partner with another brand to host a joint event. This strategy allows you to share event planning and marketing duties, and tap into each other’s audience.
Cross-Promotions: Promote each other’s events on various marketing channels. This strategy is particularly useful when collaborating with a brand that complements yours.
Guest Appearances: Invite influential figures from collaborating brands to make guest appearances at your event. This can attract their followers and bring more visibility to your event.
Choosing the Right Brand to Collaborate With
The key to a successful brand collaboration is choosing a partner brand that aligns with your values, shares a similar audience, and complements your brand. This alignment will ensure that the collaboration is beneficial for both parties and that your event appeals to the partner brand’s audience.
Through strategic brand collaborations, you can increase your event’s reach, generate greater interest, and drive more registrations, ultimately leading to a higher turnout.
7: Engaging Content Creation
Engaging content is at the heart of any successful marketing strategy. By creating and sharing content that resonates with your target audience, you can raise awareness about your event, pique interest, and motivate potential attendees to register.
The Role of Engaging Content in Event Marketing
Engaging content serves multiple purposes in your event marketing strategy. It helps inform potential attendees about the event, builds excitement, offers value, and establishes a connection with your audience.
Types of Engaging Content for Event Marketing
Blog Posts: Write blog posts related to the event’s theme, speakers, or activities. These can provide valuable insights, educate your audience, and build anticipation for the event.
Videos: Create promotional videos, interviews with speakers or performers, or behind-the-scenes clips. Videos are highly engaging and can be shared across various platforms.
Social Media Posts: Use your social media platforms to share updates, news, and interactive content related to your event. Consider using polls, quizzes, or contests to engage your audience.
Infographics: Infographics are a visually appealing way to provide information about your event. They can be easily shared across social media platforms, expanding your reach.
Email Newsletters: Regularly send out newsletters with event updates, valuable information, and teasers to keep your event top-of-mind for potential attendees.
Best Practices for Creating Engaging Content
Know Your Audience: Understanding your audience’s interests, needs, and preferences is crucial for creating content that resonates with them.
Value Proposition: Highlight the benefits of attending your event in your content. Make it clear what attendees will gain from the event.
Consistency: Keep your content consistent in terms of tone, style, and branding. This helps to reinforce your event’s identity.
Call to Action: Include a clear and compelling call to action in your content, directing readers to register for the event.
With engaging content, you can not only increase your event’s visibility but also build a relationship with your potential attendees, making them more likely to register and attend your event.
8: Targeted Paid Ads
Paid advertising, when done right, can be a powerful tool to amplify your event’s reach, target specific audience segments, and increase event attendance.
With platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and LinkedIn Ads, you can create targeted ad campaigns to promote your event to the right people at the right time.
Understanding the Role of Paid Ads in Event Marketing
Paid ads can help promote your event to a wider audience beyond your organic reach. With sophisticated targeting options, these ads can be shown to individuals based on their demographics, interests, behaviors, location, and more, making your promotion efforts more effective.
How to Leverage Paid Ads to Boost Event Attendance
Identify Your Target Audience: Determine who you want to attend your event. This could be based on various factors like age, location, profession, interests, etc. The more specific you are, the better you can tailor your ads to resonate with this audience.
Choose the Right Platform: Different advertising platforms cater to different audiences. For example, LinkedIn is more suitable for professional and networking events, while Facebook and Instagram are more effective for consumer-oriented events. Choose the platform that aligns with your target audience.
Use Targeting Features: Utilize the targeting options provided by these platforms to reach your identified audience. You can target based on factors like demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.
Craft Compelling Ads: Your ad should grab attention, convey key information about your event, and encourage the viewer to take action. Include a clear and enticing call-to-action.
Track and Optimize Your Ads: Monitor the performance of your ads. Use this data to adjust and optimize your campaigns for better results.
Paid ads can significantly extend your reach, ensuring that your event gets in front of those who are most likely to be interested and increasing the likelihood of higher event attendance.
Gamification involves applying game mechanics and design elements to non-game scenarios, like event marketing, to make them more engaging and enjoyable. When used strategically, gamification can generate buzz, foster engagement, and motivate potential attendees to register for your event.
Understanding Gamification in Event Marketing
Gamification can transform ordinary event marketing tactics into engaging and interactive experiences.
Whether it’s a contest, a scavenger hunt, or a rewards program, gamification can make the process of learning about and registering for your event more fun and rewarding, increasing its appeal to potential attendees.
How to Use Gamification to Increase Event Attendance
Contests and Competitions: Run contests or competitions related to your event on social media or your event website. This could involve trivia questions about your event, a photo caption contest, or a creative challenge. Winners could receive discounts on event tickets, special perks at the event, or other prizes.
Rewards and Incentives: Implement a reward system for early registrations, referrals, or social sharing about your event. Rewards can motivate potential attendees to take action and can turn attendees into promoters of your event.
Interactive Games: Develop interactive online games related to your event. These could educate players about your event, offer virtual event experiences, or build anticipation for the event.
Leaderboards: Use leaderboards to foster a sense of competition among potential attendees. This could be linked to any of the above strategies, such as rewards for referrals or game scores.
Best Practices for Gamification
Align with Your Event: Ensure your gamification strategies align with the nature and theme of your event. This ensures that your games and contests resonate with your potential attendees.
Make it Simple: Your games or contests should be easy to understand and participate in. If they’re too complex, potential attendees may lose interest.
Promote Your Gamification Strategies: Let potential attendees know about your games, contests, or rewards through your various marketing channels.
By making event promotion a fun and engaging process, gamification can stimulate interest, create excitement, and increase event attendance.
10: Remarketing to Past Attendees
Remarketing to past attendees is an often-overlooked strategy that can significantly boost your event attendance. Those who have attended your events in the past are already familiar with the value you provide and are more likely to be interested in your future events.
Why Remarketing to Past Attendees is Effective
Past attendees have already shown interest in your events and experienced them first-hand. They’re more likely to have a positive perception of your event, and if they had a good experience, they’re likely to want to attend again.
Thus, remarketing to this group can yield higher conversion rates than targeting new, unfamiliar audiences.
How to Remarket to Past Attendees
Email Campaigns: Use your email list of past attendees to send personalized emails about your upcoming event. Highlight what’s new and exciting about this event and remind them of the great experience they had last time.
Social Media: If you have the social media details of past attendees, use these platforms to remind them about your event. Share photos or videos from previous events to invoke nostalgia and excitement.
Retargeting Ads: Some digital advertising platforms allow you to upload a list of past attendees and target ads specifically to them. This is another way to keep your event top-of-mind for those who have previously attended.
Special Offers: Consider offering past attendees a discount or special perks as a thank you for their previous attendance. This not only shows appreciation but also gives them an extra incentive to attend.
Best Practices for Remarketing
Respect Privacy: Always ensure you’re compliant with privacy laws when contacting past attendees. They should have the option to opt-out of your communications at any time.
Personalize Your Communications: Make your past attendees feel valued by personalizing your communications. Use their name, refer to the event they attended, and highlight what you think they’ll love about your upcoming event.
By effectively remarketing to past attendees, you can tap into a group of individuals who are already interested and engaged with your events, which can significantly increase attendance for your future events.
Increasing event attendance is not just about boosting numbers—it’s about enhancing your brand’s reputation, creating meaningful connections with your audience, and contributing to your business’s bottom line. In this era of experience-driven marketing, events offer an unparalleled opportunity to engage your audience on a deeper level. As you refine your event marketing strategies, always keep your audience’s needs and preferences at the forefront. After all, an event is only as successful as its attendees deem it to be.