Whatever the industry your business belongs to, getting the attention of potential customers is hard for everyone. Within a crowded and competitive environment, keeping the attention of interested leads long enough to convert some of them into customers is an entirely different challenge. Given the above difficulties, traditional paid advertisement might not be enough to accomplish your revenue goals regardless of the channel. And that's where an effective event marketing plan comes into play.
If you have depended on traditional marketing channels and strategies but the results are not desirable, now is the best time to think differently. Perhaps it is now more evident than before that doing the same thing the same way you've always done it will not get you closer to your goals.
In addition to defining the core basics, the tips, ideas, and strategies shared in this post will help you explore the potential of event marketing like never before. Through this post, you'll also discover different types of events and event promotion strategies.
What is Event Marketing?
Event marketing is a strategic promotional approach that involves planning and executing events, such as conferences, trade shows, webinars, or product launches, to connect with a target audience and achieve specific marketing objectives. It aims to create memorable experiences, foster brand awareness, and engage potential customers by providing valuable content, networking opportunities, and interactive elements. Event marketing leverages both online and offline channels to enhance brand visibility, generate leads, and build lasting relationships with attendees, ultimately contributing to the overall success of a company's marketing efforts.
If you are still sitting on the fence regarding the importance of event marketing, consider that over 80% of US marketers are getting sales from the money they spend on event marketing. However, it is essential to note that the results or ROI you'll get depends mainly on the level of effectiveness, not just the amount of invested resources.
Comparing in-person event vs. online event marketing
Offline event marketing traditionally involves physical gatherings such as conferences, trade shows, or product launches where attendees physically come together. This type of event marketing relies on face-to-face interactions, tangible promotional materials, and in-person experiences to build relationships and brand awareness.
Offline events offer a unique opportunity for personal connections and direct engagement but may have geographical limitations and can be resource-intensive for you to achieve significant event success.
On the other hand, online event marketing utilizes digital platforms, including webinars, virtual trade shows, and social media events. It provides the advantage of reaching a global audience without geographical constraints, often at a lower cost.
Online events enable real-time engagement through chat features and interactive elements, allowing instant feedback. However, they may lack the personal touch and physical presence that offline events offer. Both approaches have their strengths, and an effective marketing strategy may involve a combination of offline and online elements to maximize impact and reach a diverse audience. Depending on the availability of resources, most event marketers use the two options.
Benefits of event marketing on a virtual platform
Even when you have the challenge of working with a lean budget, you can still experience the potential benefits of online event marketing. Sometimes, you may not need to spend a dime if you sign up for a webinar platform with a 100% free plan like Cloudpresenter. But before that, look at the core advantages of online events below.
Global reach and accessibility
Online B2B marketing events break down geographical barriers, enabling businesses to reach a global audience without the constraints of physical location. Virtual events, such as webinars or virtual trade shows, provide accessibility to participants from different regions, allowing companies to connect with a broader and more diverse demographic. Such expanded reach opens opportunities for businesses to tap into new markets and engage with a global customer base.
Hosting different types of event marketing online is often more cost-effective than organizing traditional offline events. Companies can save on expenses related to venue rentals, travel, accommodation, and physical promotional materials. This cost efficiency is particularly advantageous for smaller businesses or startups with limited budgets, allowing them to allocate resources strategically and achieve a higher return on investment.
Additionally, participants can attend online events without needing travel expenses, making them more accessible to a broader audience. Another interesting benefit is that it is cheaper to promote your next event to potential attendees online than offline.
Data analytics and measurement
Online event platforms provide robust analytics and measurement tools, allowing marketers to track various metrics and gather valuable insights into participant behavior. From attendance rates and engagement levels to participant demographics, these data points offer a comprehensive understanding of the event's success and areas for improvement. This analytical approach enables marketers to refine their strategies, personalize future interactions, and measure the overall impact of the online event on the target audience.
Flexibility and convenience
Online events offer flexibility for both organizers and participants. Attendees sign up for your event and attend from the comfort of their homes or offices, eliminating the need for travel and reducing time commitments. This convenience increases the likelihood of participation, especially for individuals with busy schedules or in different time zones. For organizers, the flexibility of scheduling virtual events allows for better coordination and planning, making it easier to accommodate speakers, sponsors, and participants from various locations.
Online event platforms offer a range of interactive features such as live chat, Q&A sessions, polls, and breakout rooms. These elements enhance participant engagement, providing real-time interaction and feedback. Attendees can participate in discussions, ask questions, and network with other participants, creating a more dynamic and immersive experience. The ability to incorporate multimedia content, such as videos and interactive presentations, further enhances successful event marketing.
Content repurposing and extended lifespan
Online events generate a wealth of digital content that can be repurposed for ongoing marketing efforts. Recorded webinars, presentation slides, and other event materials can be shared on the company's event page, social media channels, and through email campaigns, extending the lifespan of the event's impact. Such recording maximizes the value derived from the initial event and allows businesses to engage with their audience continuously over an extended period. As part of effective event marketing tactics, content repurposing provides a valuable resource for nurturing leads, educating the audience, and reinforcing the brand message.
How to create an effective event marketing strategy
Getting the best results from your efforts requires a holistic strategy. Check out this guide on how to go about creating a marketing strategy before you begin to market your event.
Step 1: Define clear objectives
Start by clearly outlining your specific goals for the event. For example, if your aim is lead generation, set a target number of qualified leads you want to generate. If brand awareness is the focus, define metrics like social media impressions or press coverage. Interestingly, choosing the best marketing tool to help you track these metrics is important. Having well-defined objectives will guide your planning process and provide a benchmark for evaluating the event's success. Before you commit to hosting an event, clearly defined goals and objectives are the foundations of your next event.
Step 2: Identify your target audience to make your event a success
The first question is, who do you want to attend your event? Regardless of the chosen marketing tactic, you must define your potential event attendees.
Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience's demographics, preferences, and pain points. Create detailed buyer personas to guide your decision-making throughout the planning process. Knowing your audience will enable you to tailor the event content, format, and overall experience to match their needs and interests.
Step 3: Craft a compelling message to sell out your event
Develop a compelling and concise message that clearly articulates your event's value proposition. Emphasize how attending the event will address specific challenges or provide unique solutions for your target audience. Use language that resonates with your audience, focusing on benefits rather than just features to capture their attention and interest.
Step 4: Leverage multichannel to promote your event
Utilize a mix of marketing channels to promote your event. Develop a comprehensive promotional plan that includes email marketing, social media campaigns, targeted online advertising, and even traditional channels if relevant. Tailor your messaging for each platform, ensuring consistency in branding and information across all channels. Before promoting your event on social media, ensure you have a performance tracking system to understand what is working and what is not. Don't forget to leverage other types of content marketing.
Step 5: Enhance engagement on event day
Prioritize attendee engagement by offering diverse and interactive sessions. Incorporate Q&A sessions, polls, and live discussions to engage participants and boost the success of your event. Create networking opportunities, both online and offline, to facilitate connections between attendees—leverage technology such as event apps and virtual platforms to enhance the attendee experience. It is also important for the event organizers to get involved in the networking process.
Step 6: Collaborate for success
As part of your event marketing strategy, you should try to forge partnerships and collaborations with industry influencers and complementary businesses. Leverage their networks and expertise to enhance the event's credibility and reach a wider audience. Co-promote the event with partners and consider joint sessions or collaborative activities during the event to add value for attendees.
Step 7: Measure and analyze
Post-event, measure key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the number of qualified leads generated, attendee satisfaction scores, and social media engagement metrics. Analyze the data to understand which aspects of the event were most successful and where improvements can be made for future events.
Step 8: Continuous improvement
Use the insights from analyzing the event's success to refine your future B2B event marketing efforts. Gather feedback from attendees through surveys and testimonials to understand their perspectives. Stay updated on industry trends and competitor events, incorporating new ideas and technologies into your strategy for continuous improvement.
Virtual event marketing strategies and ideas for beginners
Whether you have been hosting virtual events or just getting started, we have highlighted a few virtual event marketing ideas you can use to grow your business. With free webinar software like Cloudpresenter, you can start putting these ideas to the test any time you choose. One thing we have found that works well is to use an iterative testing approach to discover the best ideas, content formats, and strategies that get better results than others.
Webinars and virtual workshops:
Host webinars or virtual workshops to showcase your expertise and provide valuable insights to your audience. Choose topics relevant to your industry or address common challenges your target audience faces. Promote the event through email marketing and social media to attract participants. Encourage interaction through Q&A sessions or polls to keep attendees engaged during the session.
Virtual networking events:
Facilitate networking opportunities by organizing virtual events where participants can connect. Utilize video conferencing platforms with breakout rooms to simulate face-to-face networking experiences. Provide icebreaker activities or discussion topics to encourage conversations. Promote the event by emphasizing the chance for attendees to expand their professional network and make meaningful connections.
Panel discussions and expert interviews:
Arrange virtual panel discussions or expert interviews with industry leaders. Select topics that are relevant and interesting to your target audience. Promote the event by highlighting the expertise of the participating speakers. Encourage attendees to submit questions in advance or during the session, fostering engagement and interaction. Share the recorded content afterward for those who couldn't attend live.
Virtual trade shows and expos:
Replicate the traditional trade show experience by hosting a virtual trade show or expo. Create virtual booths for exhibitors to showcase products or services through multimedia content. Promote the event by reaching out to your network and industry associations. Use virtual platforms that allow attendees to explore booths, interact with exhibitors, and participate in live product demonstrations or presentations.
Interactive virtual challenges or competitions:
Engage your audience by organizing interactive virtual challenges or competitions related to your industry. Such events may include hackathons, design contests, or problem-solving competitions. Promote the event by highlighting the competitive aspect and offering enticing prizes or recognition for winners. Leverage social media to create buzz and encourage participants to share their progress.
Themed virtual happy hours or social events:
Foster community by organizing themed virtual happy hours or social events. Choose a fun theme related to your industry or your audience's interests. Promote the event by emphasizing the casual and social nature, encouraging participants to relax and connect more informally. Use icebreaker activities, trivia games, or virtual entertainment to make the event enjoyable and memorable.
For beginners, it's crucial to start with manageable virtual event formats and gradually experiment with more complex ideas as they become more familiar with the virtual event landscape.
How to choose the best event marketing software
Specifically for online event marketing, you need a robust platform suitable for your unique business needs and intended context. To host a successful event, here are the most important factors to consider before choosing a platform:.
- User-friendly interface
- Features and functionality
- Tech support and training
- Security measures
- Integration capabilities
- Cost and budget considerations
- Customization options
- Analytics and reporting
- User reviews and recommendations
- Reliability and technical stability
Here is a detailed webinar software buyer guide you should check for more valuable insights. With a simple free trial plan, you can even get started today.
Knowing what event marketing is is one thing. Getting involved enough to experience the potential benefits is another thing. Now that you know what it is and its unique advantages, getting the desired marketing results requires that you take the following steps. That's why we have given you some practical tips on choosing a webinar software.
As you may have acknowledged, offline hosting is often more expensive than virtual events. With this post's virtual event marketing ideas, you can start positioning your brand for better results. You only need a webinar platform that may cost you under $100 per month.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is event marketing guide?
An event marketing guide provides strategies and best practices for planning effective branded events that engage audiences while meeting business goals.
What are the objectives of event marketing?
Key objectives include driving brand awareness, acquiring new leads, educating customers, generating excitement around new products, and building stronger relationships.
How is event used as a marketing tool?
Events create memorable in-person experiences that deeply connect with target audiences, conveying brand values powerfully through immersive activations.
How does event marketing increase sales?
Well-executed events allow meaningful engagement between brands and prospects, driving greater awareness, consideration, and intent to purchase which converts to increased sales.
Which is the best event marketing software?
Cloudpresenter is the premier all-in-one event marketing software renowned for its intuitive tools that make planning, promoting and hosting immersive virtual, hybrid and in-person events easy.