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7 Tips for Marketing Your Next Big Event & Making It a Massive Success

By Jessica Sweede, McKinley Consultant and Event Marketing Expert

What is the key factor to a successful event? It’s simple: attendees.

Attendee participation is crucial for any event. Without participation, there is absolutely no benefit to the blood, sweat, and tears you endured during the planning and implementation of your event. It may sound simple, but I have found that the key to gaining high attendee numbers is through event marketing.

With a proven track record and over nine years of experience within the hospitality industry, I have found that efficient event marketing has been essential to my success in each of my previous roles within not-for-profit, catering, and international meeting planning. Through the years, I have found myself learning new techniques to effectively capture attendee participation.

Here are seven tips that will help you achieve success when planning and executing your next event.

7 Tips for Marketing Your Next Big Event & Making It a Massive Success

  1. Get to know your attendee before sending an invitation.

    Market research can be a useful tool when creating an attendee profile. Consider both the psychographics and demographics of your attendee and create a marketing plan that will serve their needs. According to the Convention Industry Council it is important to, “focus on the experience participants will have at the event and any extension of that experience you can create for them when the event is over.”

  2. Keep marketing copy short and sweet.

    Marketing materials and tactics should be to the point with little room for gray areas. The goal is to keep the attention of your potential audience and require little to no effort for them to make a decision to come to your event. Long and elaborate messaging can deter individuals and make them feel like they have to work. Make it easy for them to RSVP “yes.”

  3. Put yourself in the attendee’s shoes.

    What is going to influence your attendees to come? Is it your speakers, the content, networking opportunities? Market your “save the dates,” invitations, and your event websites to focus on your key area(s) and build hype. This can simply be done by promoting information on VIPs and celebrities who will be participating, utilizing sizzle reels, and offering sweepstakes with prizes. Always keep in mind who your intended audience is and what would pique their interest. Think like the attendee.

  4. Make sure the brand is clear.

    State who is hosting the event and identify key stakeholders. This can be accomplished by incorporating all of your partners’ logos. The key here is to eliminate potential confusion for your prospective attendees. Nothing is worse than receiving promotional material and having to ask yourself “Who is this for?” Not being able to identify who is hosting the event is problematic and should be avoided.

  5. Follow brand guidelines and don’t overdo it.

    Too much brand can become overwhelming and obnoxious. Keep it simple and readable. If you ever question if you are properly following brand procedures, check with your communications department or look on your company’s website. Most companies have a page dedicated to their brand that provides resources where employees can access company logos, view the “do’s” and “don’ts” for logo use, and see brand guidelines.

  6. All content and branding should be consistent.

    Whether it is through your “save the date” or event website, all content and branding should be alike. Attendees should be able to connect the dots and identify the event and its key aspects. Don’t allow yourself to get caught in the mess of having multiple marketing platforms, each of which have different branding and content that cannot be linked to one event.

  7. Utilize your resources and spread the word.

    Event marketing can be expensive so utilize all available resources–especially the free ones! According to Eventbrite, “43% of event professionals say marketing and promotion are their top cost.” Take advantage of partnering and event websites, social media, employee communications, and other events taking place prior to yours. If this is an annual event, start spreading the word at least a year before your event date.

Remember, event marketing can be as complicated or simple as you make it. The above tips are an easy way to appropriately market your event and gain the interest of potential attendees. Always keep in mind the needs of your audience members and market your event toward them and you’re sure to succeed at your next event.

by Mckinley Marketing Partners