Christmas season is rapidly being bestowed upon us, so I wanted to write down some of my top tips for event marketing using the Eventbrite system for managing events. I find them reliable and well recognised, which can help build trust with your event. For anyone that isn't aware, Eventbrite is software platform that helps event organisers sell tickets and registrations for their events. It can be integrated with MailChimp and most social media platforms, which enables you to have a better hold on the event in general. From a marketing potential, this is a much more targeted way of acquiring data for your event and any future events.
You can find clear instructions about how to set up an invite here. The rest of this blog gives hints and tips about how to optimise your marketing around the event to make it a great success.
1. Know your audience
You have to ensure your potential audience are excited by this event, and feel you have considered them whilst curating it. By creating an audience persona, you will be able to set the tone of messaging to make it as effective as possible. Considering these personas will also help influence your budget, you will be able to understand how much they are willing to spend, what other events they are likely to go to, and what your competition may be.
When building an audience persona, the 5 questions to consider are:
Why are you organising the event?
Who do you want to come?
How do you identify your audience? What social channels do they use?
What is your events USP? What will motivate your audience to come?
When is the event? Are any of your competitors hosting events at the same time?
2. Know your brand and event
Consider why you are doing this event, and what outcome are you expecting. Consider your brand story. A compelling brand story helps to build loyalty from your customers. Your audience should be able to summarise what they are going to and who your brand is in 1 sentence, this will help to let them do some peer to peer advertising for you.
If this is an event in a series, remind your potential audience of the previous event and its successes. If you are a charity for example, and you are doing a fundraiser remind people of how much money you raised before, and why this particular event is unique.
If this is your first ever event, explain why it is so unique and take them on journey by creating a story about what they should expect by attending.
3. Consider your invitation
The design of your invitation is important. Colour psychology is important for purchasing decisions. If you have a design team, make sure they are aware of the story of the event and what the key information is that needs to be highlighted.
Think about resources outside of image and copy layout, it is widely recommended that video content can help increase sales. It is also a great way of engaging people on another platform to help sell the story of your event. The more opportunities for engagement you can create, the higher the chance of captivating a larger audience.
Testimonials are always a winner! They can build trust and use your existing audience to promote for you. If you have already had an event, get a previous attendee to discuss their experiences. If this is your first, identify a key influencer to recommend your brand and ask them to write down a few words about how excited they are for the event. If you have a speaker there, maybe ask them to write down a few words about how excited they are to be there.
Remember you want to convey information in a thoughtful way, always include a map and venue contact details. This will show your audience you have thought about their needs, and making them planning their journey as simple as possible. It is also worth bearing in mind accessibility, parking and dress code tips.
Finally, the most important part of compiling this invite, test it! A/B testing is useful to consider the success of your invite design and layout. If you have a large email subscription, it is worth sending out a test to 2 different lists of different keywords and image layout to see what has the most effective click through rate.
4. Market your event
I started to touch upon this when discussing testimonials. Try and identify key influencers or speakers who will be able to recommend your event.
Think socially - make sure your invite is linked up to social media, the more people can see their peers are going the more likely they are to also attend. You can build upon this by creating a hashtag specfically for the event.
Make sure your invitation is mobile optimised, most people read emails on their phone and will be more than likely to respond when out and about on a lunch break. You also should consider how many click throughs it takes to confirm. The easier it is, the more people will say yes.
Eventbrite has a great functionality where you can see who has opened, responded or not opened your invitation. This is a great resource to monitor the success of your invite. Don't be afraid to resend it to people, they may have forgotten to continue or thought they had completed the purchase.
If your event is invite only, it helps to invite two thirds more than the total amount of people you are expecting to attend.
5. On the day
Make sure everyone is happy and know where they are, it can help to have a registration point, so you can monitor who actually turned up. This will help you with your follow up strategy.
You want the buzz to still be there, so encourage your guests to tweet including your hashtag, and think about having something branded there that people are likely to share, like a photobooth with a live stream to the internet. This will create a buzz and help expand your exposure in the weeks after.
Gifts are always a lovely touch, but perhaps not always appropriate. Think about if you have budget for this, or if you can get a sponsor to provide gifts for you.
6. Follow up
Events packed up, crew parties have finished, and you want to thank the people that attended. Luckily, you will still have your attendance list from registration, so you will be able to use this to create a thank you email list. Try to include a video, or some image highlights and a feedback survey.
It is worth considering running a loyalty offer and offering the people that arrived an early bird discount code. Make it very clear it is for a limited time and there is a limited number. You can also think about approaching people that didn't rsvp by sending them an email showing them wha they missed out on - play on their FOMO (fear of missing out) and send them another tier of discount to encourage them to make sure they don't miss out on the next one!