Your event needs some top-notch marketing to make it a hit, and of course to sell more tickets! What’s the most effective event marketing? Having your attendees do it for you! It’d be great if attendees helped promote your event, but why would they? What would it mean for you as the event organizer? There are 3 main reasons for making your attendees your biggest evangelists:
1. Increase your reach
2. Build credibility
3. Save yourself time and money
Increase Your Reach
Between the Internet and modern technology, we’re always competing for attention- but, once we do get their attention, our reach can be unlimited! So how does this make you money?
On average, a social share across all social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) drives $3.23 of additional revenue for event organizers through ticket sales. So you may not be a “social media guru” with thousands of followers. You don’t have to be- just find and reach out to your attendees who are!
Build Your Credibility
People buy from those they trust; according to Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report, 92% of Americans trust recommendations from family and friends. For instance, below is an example of a typical email marketing campaign versus a post from a friend you follow on Twitter. It is clear which method of promotion is stronger and perceived as more credible. A real person you know who’s attending the event has much more persuasive power than a faceless advertisement.
Should email marketing still be your main event marketing channel?
We all know what traditional marketing emails look like that are trying to get you to Buy! Buy! Buy!, but what if your event marketing could look like this:
Save Time and Money
Once you expand your reach and build credibility with your followers, you can save ample amounts of time and money. Having your attendees do the work for you saves hours that you can spend securing sponsors or curating content surrounding your event. Also, there is only a 19.7% open rate on average combined with a 3.6% average click-through rate for email marketing campaigns across all industries, which doesn’t look too promising! Using word of mouth tactics as opposed to spending money on ad and email marketing campaigns will help you cut costs.
So, how do you make your attendees your event promoters?
1. Start early
• Be mindful of your promotion timeline- it takes time to build a follower base on social media
• Every new follower can help you potentially reach hundreds of new potential attendees
• Community building is an ongoing task. Don’t open accounts the day before an event- no one will be following you! Your tweets and posts will be pointless without an audience.
2. Choose tech that encourages sharing and social media engagement
• Choose event tech that is simple, clean, and straightforward
• Make sure your event tech or event app is optimized for mobile devices
• Make sure there are opt in features to make it easy to share- you want to create a route that provides the least resistance possible for your attendees
• Make it WORTH sharing! Be fun, creative, have a personality when tweeting, posting, and sharing
3. #Hashtag it real good!
• Have an event hashtag and display it everywhere: event entrance, signage throughout the venue, on stage, in social spaces, after parties, and the event website
• Make sure to follow your hashtag to stay on top of your attendees wants and needs
• Engage with attendees on the hashtag- let them know you’re listening to what they have to say!
• A great example is a selfie contest attendees post pictures of themselves at the event on social media (and of course hashtag it) to get attendees engaged, involved, and trending!
• Contests via social media- ex: Tweet what you’re excited about at #SMMW and receive 25% off your ticket
• Reward creativity with retweets and likes
5. Ask your speakers to help out
• Create a mutually beneficial relationship with shout-outs and special deals
• Speakers have many followers that can greatly increase your social reach
• Highlight them in posts and share it with them, they can then share in their networks
• Offer them discounts especially created for them to share with their followers
6. Reward Engagement
• Onsite engagement, like reading the best tweets out loud at the event can get attendees actively promoting in fun, creative ways!
• Tweet walls are another great way to have attendees engaging with each other by rewarding them with recognition
By turning your attendees into your promoters using these techniques, you will expand your reach, build trust, and save both time and money in the process! Don’t forget to be creative!