How to make your next event or fundraiser a hit.
Has this ever happened to you? You’ve decided to host an event to network or promote your business or non-profit. You thought you made all the necessary preparations and marketed the event well.
The time comes to start the event and… Gasp! No one showed up, or maybe your food vendor didn’t have enough food because an accurate guest count wasn’t given. Maybe you’ve run out of key swag bags that were promised to every guest, and now you’re way over budget from getting supplies from the nearest store!
If you’ve ever tried to plan and coordinate an event for your business or non-profit, you know it can be a dizzying experience! Rest assured, we wrote this blog to help share the best event marketing tips and tricks, essential steps, and more. Keep reading for our advice to make your next event or fundraiser successful!
Key to Success #1: Plan Ahead
The way you run your event reflects back onto your organization and can impact your client’s feelings about your brand. A bad or poorly executed event can leave a negative image with your client or potential clients, while a great event experience encourages trust and repeat business. Give yourself enough time to lock in all details, especially if you are the one coordinating outside vendors or sponsors.
When scheduling your event, be sure to pick a date far enough in the future for you to properly communicate with all involved parties AND time to promote it. You want enough time to finalize answers from others AND include them in marketing materials, with plenty of time to have the marketing implemented. Don’t let your event marketing suffer because you didn’t plan far enough ahead, create a schedule for all your marketing as well!
You don’t need a big budget to host a rockin’ party! Smaller events can come together beautifully with the right help, for whatever budget you have in mind. Once you set your own realistic budget, goals, and projections, it will be much easier to figure out what you can accomplish.
Working with sponsors can be exciting, and requires professionalism and communication to build lasting relationships. Be sure to include any promised items in your events marketing and advertising materials for sponsors. If you forget to include these items, it will harm your relationship with that sponsor, and cause you to lose future opportunities.
Key to Success #2: Clearly Identify Your Event Target Audience
In order to make your advertising dollar go further, you want to research and identify your target audience. This will ensure the best use of your advertising/marketing dollars by targeting your marketing and advertisements to the exact people you want to reach. Untargeted ads will still use the same amount of money, but won’t reach as many “ideal personas” for your event as targeted and customized marketing and advertising materials.
There are plenty of places to promote your business or non-profit these days. Knowing where your audience spends their time helps identify the best tactics and platforms to promote events. Promoting on the wrong platform costs you time, money, and frustration, but promoting on the right platforms to the right people, with the right message will help you effectively reach your goals.
Once your target audience is at your event, you’ll want to encourage them to connect with you in other ways as well. Capture info like email addresses and zip codes in your sign-up or registration process to gain greater insight into your customers and target audience. This will also give you a direct way to reach your customer about upcoming offers and events.
Posting often on social media is a good idea for growth, but the data and insights gained from posting consistently are where the money is. Leverage your website’s or Google’s analytics to determine areas of improvement, and also what’s working. Are many people coming to your website from LinkedIn? Are they spending more time on a particular page or product? This will save you time in the long run by letting you prioritize what’s working, and fixing or throwing out what isn’t.
Key to Success #3: Include Multiple Channels & Multiple Touches
Your target audience is most likely spread out around the internet, but no one has time to post to all the places, all day, every day. Choosing “Smart Strategies” or an integrated approach to these channels will boost effectiveness while saving you time. Scheduling your posts in advance is one way to achieve this, and bring us to our next point.
Plan out all your channels and platforms (Website, Email, Social Media, Advertising / Boosts, PR Campaigns) for event marketing several months before the event. Your supportive marketing is just as important as the actual event. Setting aside time to create and schedule this in advance will save you from long late nights, and creating last-minute graphics.
While some firms often refer to the rule of seven in their approach to live events, data shows it takes people up to 15 times to see something before they take action. Give your audience multiple “touches” with your upcoming event promotions for a better turnout.
Making your business or non-profit easy to identify is essential, especially when getting ready for a promotion. Signage, posts, or lettering that is suddenly different from your normal branding will confuse your audience. Ensure all your content has consistent branding, messaging, and tone of voice to clearly communicate your brand and event to your audience.
Remembering these three essential steps will lead to a successful event or fundraiser. Plan your event well in advance, and even add some extra time for delays to avoid stress. Identify your event target audience and outline the event goals. This will make your events AND your marketing more effective. Include multiple channels and multiple touches per channel in your marketing plan to keep your brand top of mind.
If these tips were helpful, and you would like more guidance, CLICK HERE to book a free consultation or intro strategy session with us today!