Events marketing is a commonly used tool for everything from product launches to networking events because events work for driving interest in your product, allowing people to engage with your brand, and, eventually, increased purchase rates. If you plan to hold an event any time soon, it’s important that you do everything in your power to make it successful. The last thing that you want is for the event to flop, damaging your reputation rather than supporting your brand.
Successful event planning is the key to achieving success with your events marketing. And, that’s where this post comes in. We tried to craft a post containing everything your need to consider as your plan your event if you want the event to succeed.
Events marketing basics
Planning a business event shares many of the same tasks necessary for a successful social event, especially high-stakes social events, such as weddings. You need food, entertainment, a venue, support staff, and an agenda for the event regardless of whether you’re planning a social or business event. Business events have significant differences over social events, however. And mastering these differences sets your business up for success.
Effective planning and implementation are critical for your brand reputation and the success of your events marketing campaign. Plan out every detail, including a timeline ahead of the event, then carefully monitor implementation to ensure you’re meeting deadlines set on the timeline. Set up contingency plans to implement in case you encounter a problem before or during the event.
Commonly, social events don’t have a goal, unless you consider hosting a fun time for friends and relatives a goal. Business goals involve efforts to promote your brand either in the short run or long term. A common type of events marketing involves a product launch and Apple under Steve Jobs was a master of the craft. Jobs would put together a new product launch filled with the biggest names in both online and offline tech media filled with excitement, anticipation, and a carnival-like atmosphere.
The goal for a product launch often involves creating a buzz around the event that drives interest in the product or the brand. And, when Apple introduced the iPhone using events marketing, the product sold out almost immediately.
Make it memorable
The first thing that you need to do for successful events marketing is to make it memorable. You want people to talk about this event for months after the event but only for the right reasons. You don’t want people talking about what a disaster it was but more about how well you did one thing, or how fantastic it was when something else happened. Ideally, you want your event to show up as a trending topic on social media like Twitter and to capture a ton of media attention, so the average consumer feels the excitement generated by your event. We know that creating buzz is extremely difficult but you should set that as a goal for your event.
Develop a theme
A theme is a great way to make your business event memorable. Encourage attendees to dress according to the theme using your events marketing strategy, such as brochures and ads. Promote the theme throughout the event with decorations, food, drinks, and music tied to your theme.
If you come up short with theme ideas for your corporate event, here’s a list of 25 ideas along with suggestions for implementing the theme. Choose a theme that fits your goals, your company, and your product to maximize the value provided by the theme. Don’t make the entire event about marketing your products/ brands but use the theme to reinforce associations with the product.
Getting attendees to interact with each other and your products/ brands is essential for a successful outcome. Set up stations for attendees to “play” around with your products while providing staff to help when they run into a problem. Just check out a nearby Apple store to see how people love interacting with their products.
Avoid long-winded speeches as no one enjoys these. Instead, set up an atmosphere where you can get engagement between attendees and with your product. For instance, setting up small tables to discuss problems solved by your product helps attendees begin conversations around your products that carry over past this activity.
Plan for extra attendees
Whether you sell tickets or require registration for the event, plan for about 30% more attendees than you expect to show up. Regardless of whether they paid for a ticket or simply registered, a number of folks won’t show up for any number of reasons. So, oversubscribe your event to ensure the place looks full for the majority of the event. A low turnout looks bad and may damage your reputation. A low turnout also translates into less buzz and reach, which limits your success.
A full house also means more engagement among attendees.
Show up on time
If you want to hold a good event, you must show up on time. We know that a lot of people have a reputation for not doing this but there’s a fine line between building anticipation by arriving late and pissing people off. This is especially true for your staff, entertainment vendors, and the caterer. Plan to have all these elements in place before the first guests arrive to ensure you look professional and early arrivals don’t feel awkward by watching you set up.
Set a reasonable budget
Finally, people can tell if you tried to host your event on the cheap. As such, you must develop a budget that allows you to meet goals set for the events marketing campaign. Throw the best marketing event that you can afford or don’t do the event at all. Running out of food or drinks halfway into the event makes you look bad and contributes not only to the failure of the event but can damage your reputation. I commonly plan for extra food and drink to ensure we don’t run out. Any extras we donate to a local charity, which benefits our reputation as a socially responsible business.
Expenses add up quickly, so ensure your budget includes everything you need to host a successful event from a venue, to a caterer, to entertainment, to staff. Plan for expenses such as renting table cloths and glassware, as well as providing for extra outlets or faster internet speeds to ensure your event goes off without a hitch.
We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you need to do if you are going to hold a successful business event. Giving yourself the best possible chance for success is important, and that’s what you’re going to be doing if you take our advice. We wish you the best of luck and hope that your event is a success.