The Best Way to Promote Your Event (It's Not What You Think)
Picture this: you are in charge of planning and running an event. You designed a compact event program, invited a bunch of amazing speakers, and booked the best venue ever. Apart from that, you had time to set up a promising social media marketing strategy that will definitely boost your event promotion.
So you put everything aside, and happily focus on creating multiple social media accounts, picking the right profile and header images, obsessively promoting the event, being unable to find the right hashtags, worrying about the low number of followers, questioning your decision to even become an event planner in the first place...
Let’s stop here. Yes, your event marketing strategy may consist of good ideas and doable strategies, but that doesn't mean it will work. On the contrary, you run the risk of transforming an event promotion into a marketing hell.
So instead of losing time and money insisting on doing your event marketing plan exactly your way, focus on learning more about the Net Promoter Score. "What's that?" you may be wondering. Used by businesses and startups, the Net Promoter Score is a metric that measures customer loyalty. If you want to know your NPS, ask your customer one simple question: "How likely is it you would recommend us to a friend?" In other words, word-of-mouth marketing rules.
Feel free to replace the word 'us' from the question with concepts such as company, product, service, or event. That's right - as an event planner, you can always find a way to increase the Net Promoter Score of your events. How? Start by answering the question, "What should I do to make people talk about my upcoming event?"
Here are a few ideas you can use:
1. Respond quickly to your potential attendees' needs
Imagine you have an online app you want to sell and your potential customers ask you questions related to the pricing or the product's functionality. Of course, you want to answer and provide all the necessary information. The same goes for the events. Even if people haven't decided to attend yet, they may have questions, doubts, or even requests related to the event.
Even if your head is spinning with to-do lists, don't ignore them and try to reply as quickly as possible. Ideally, assign somebody from your team to take on any questions and concerns your potential attendees may have. This way, you’ll start building a positive line of communication, and if you have a positive dynamic, even if the person decides not to attend your event, you never know if he or she will recommend it to a friend or two.
2. Follow and interact with influencers on social media
You don’t need thousands of followers on social media to recommend your event—you just need a few influencers. Use social media wisely. Try to connect and interact with influencers to help spread the word about your event.
How? First, you could create event-related content and introduce some quotes, subsequently tagging the influencers who provided the quote. Secondly, if they have a blog or a site, you could send them an email asking if you could guest post for them about a topic (related to your event) which will be of great help to their audience. Thirdly, you could try networking at events and meet face-to-face with the industry leaders or influencers. By interacting with them on social media, you’ll increase your chances of getting them to recommend your event to their many active followers.
3. Share the event-related material with your potential audience and encourage them to create their own content
Many interesting people have blogs or share their thoughts on different online platforms. Chances are you'll find content pieces related to your event that you could share on your social media or site. This way, you’ll be able to connect with these people, increasing the possibility of them wanting to attend or talk to other people about your event.
4. Offer your potential attendees discounts if they bring a friend
When designing the ticketing options for your event, add an important discount for those who bring a friend. This way, you’ll increase the number of attendees and also create more awareness about your event.
5. Send an event T-shirt or postcard to the confirmed attendees
No doubt you've prepared a few gifts for your attendees. Are you planning to hand them out during the check in? Not a bad idea, but how about sending the gifts before the event? It could be a T-shirt or an event postcard, a notebook or a teacup … you decide. This small token will get your attendees enthusiastic for the upcoming event, and discuss your event and hopefully recommend it to others.
Do you want to promote your event? Make people talk about it and you won't need sophisticated marketing strategies. Think about building a positive communication with your potential attendees, connect and interact with influencers, share content people publish on their sites or blogs, offer discounts to people who bring another person, or send small gifts to those who have confirmed their attendance. Make people feel good and excited about the event. This way, you’ll encourage them to share their enthusiasm with others.