Event Planning 101: Start to Finish
When is the right time for your business to have an event? Business owners must remember event planning is a very big part of their marketing power, especially when combined with social media prowess. In financial services, as an example, I recommend scheduling your marketing plan over a 3-month (or 12-weeks) period and making certain it includes all of your events.
Think this through from the CLIENT'S perspective for it to be most strategic.
Questions to ask yourself, and answer them while planning
· How small or large do you want the event to be? Intimate soirees garner a system of inclusivity while larger events allow your client to bring a friend.
· What would your client's like to do? Would it be an event that supports a non-profit in your area (making your event more about others than yourself)?
· Would it be an event to support another client's business - a new restaurant that's opening and you have a wine and appetizer event to support local businesses while introducing new possible patrons?
· What RSVP system/process will your client prefer to use? Is it easy and straightforward? Does it require a bunch of steps they have to surmount just for them to let you know they are going to be there!
· Will your RSVP system/process be shareable through the client's social media presence (such as Eventbrite which allows your client to tweet out their attendance or Facebook Events which allows your client's participation in an event to be seen by their connected audience).
· When you're at the event - how do you intend to make every client feel connected? How do you plan to meet new faces - and how to remember their names? (Name tags help!)
· Who will be there to take pictures of the event to share on your social media sites? (Hint: NOT YOU - hire someone or ask a friend you trust to focus on this.)
· What is your follow-up process with the client? Not only about the event itself (great events need to be repeated!) but also to get referrals for new business or new appointments? What is your follow-up process for marketing? Are you going to write a blog article or a follow-up post? Were there clients at the event who have a venue or offering to do another event at?
Think every detail through because there are tons of marketing nuggets that fall to the side of events - missed opportunities to make your brand bigger, bolder, and more amplified if you fail to pay attention. The ROI is about the Return on Impact which will affect your Return on Investment!
Sheryl Brown. CEO
@BIONICsocialite pretty much everywhere online!
In my years of experience with leveraging events as a marketing tool, I have found many tricks to leverage the data received at events to drive present and future sales.
Events can be used to build a brand long term by making available to your desired
Customers; a platform to interact with your brand face to face with a positive experience. People are more likely to remember the last event they attended rather than the last website they visited. HOWEVER, when you pair potential customers who have attended your event with the correct marketing funnel, you can mine for gold!
Having different places and things for your potential customers to interact with while at your event, giving them the opportunity to ask questions, and play raffle draws for a chance to win SPECIFIC prizes, is another avenue to segment your marketing strategy to retarget for the CORRECT kind of relevant content your desired customers will love and appreciate because it's relevant to them! Every event should have a way for people to be tagged with their specific interests, so the follow-up content can be as relevant as possible to them. Even if people miss your event, send them a follow-up email the next day saying you’re sorry you missed them and show them some fun pictures of the event (this will make them less likely to miss the next event.)
If anyone signs up that day/makes a purchase, they should be given a special bonus gift they can carry around which shows the other potential customers in the room that other people are saying yes, so they should too! Be sure to have plenty of extra staff to take care of these customers so they will be more likely to make EVEN more purchases with you in the future.
In the past, I have always aligned my events with charities that are relevant to my marketing client’s goals for a few reasons.
1) It feels good to give back and help a charity
2) They usually have an email list and will invite their supporters
3) If a portion of your proceeds from the event are going to a charity, you can usually get alcohol sponsors and other companies to donate to your event
4) It’s a great way to network
Director of Operations and Creative Services
EKOH Marketing- email@example.com
After the Event: Make it Known that you Will Be Utilizing Media Coverage
Create a media opportunity for the guests to repost and coach them up on how to tag your business and the event on Instagram. You can also create custom Snapchat filters for your event that is geographic specific to within a mile of the location, so your brand can overlap fun photos taken. We specialize in event videography to showcase the event for our customers as a package when taking on the event project management.
Post event depends on the preparation of information gathering prior to the scheduled event date and the man hours to follow up...key:personally! Consumers hardly read all the way to the end of an email. Branding is about your dedication to your business industry and market. New relationships are forged at events, especially when unexpected B2B or B2C networking happens. It has the most gravitational pull away from our smartphones and tablet gratification when we connect with people again.
Owner of Open44,an events + media company in Arizona.
Do’s & Don’ts
1. Don’t add them to your email drip campaign without asking first. Seriously. In a way, you probably stand out by not doing this.
2. Connect on relevant social media if appropriate for your industry - real estate, for example, can generally be pretty comfortable regarding this.
3. Don’t harass people with calls, texts, and emails. People get freaked out - give them time to respond. Be courteous and have it in mind that they have their own lives too.
4. Follow up on any promises you made to people you spoke to. If you put someone’s email address in the margin of your notes because you said you’d send them something they requested, do it. Think hard! First impressions are important, and you’d be better off surprising someone that completely forgot they asked you for something than have someone left waiting and disappointed that you dropped the ball.
Business Growth Strategist at Dev Bev Co.
Dev Bev Co., Digital Marketing Agency