When it comes to marketing an event, there are many promotional tactics that you can use to build awareness of your event and encourage people to buy tickets. However, if you don’t start out with a plan in place, you’ll waste money on initiatives that won’t effectively support your goals or drive adequate returns on your investments.
Fortunately, there is a solution to ensure you don’t make big mistakes when you’re marketing an event. You just have to understand and follow the five essential S’s of event marketing. These five S’s apply to any kind of event as well as to events of all sizes. It doesn’t matter if you’re organizing an air show for tens of thousands of people or a small concert for a few hundred people. The five S’s of marketing an event are always relevant.
1. Set Goals
Before you do anything else, you must determine what your goals are for holding your event. Be realistic and specific when you set your goals. For example, if you hold an event every year, one of your goals could be to increase attendance by 10%. Another goal might be to keep costs under a certain dollar amount.
Importantly, make sure you can track the return on every investment towards your event. If you invest in Facebook advertising, make sure you can track the performance of every ad. If you pay for radio ads, make sure the station provides you with relevant metrics, or don’t place your ads with that station. In other words, investing in marketing tactics that you can’t track is like blindly throwing darts at a dart board. You don’t know what worked or what didn’t, and you don’t know how to fix anything that could be broken.
Once you know what your goals are for your event, you can develop a strategy to reach those objectives. Your marketing strategy should include a variety of initiatives that provide multiple ways for people to learn about your event. In other words, develop an integrated marketing strategy where all of your investments work cohesively together.
Your marketing mix should include radio advertising, experiential promotions, guerilla marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, digital advertising, and more. Develop a marketing strategy that enables you to communicate with your target audience early and often in the weeks and days leading up to your event. Most people don’t buy tickets the first time they hear about an event. Therefore, you need to keep reminding them of what they’ll miss if they don’t buy. Persistence is key!
It is absolutely critical that you have your ticket sales process in place and your ticket sales page has been optimized. Most people purchase tickets for events online. If your ticket sales page looks terrible, doesn’t load quickly or properly on desktop and mobile devices, and is cumbersome to navigate, people will click away without buying tickets.
Don’t let all of your effort and money invested into getting people to visit your ticket sales page go to waste by presenting them with a terrible user experience when they land on it. Instead, take time to create a ticket sales page that sells tickets for you with high quality images, videos, copywriting, and sales features.
Who is most likely to be interested in attending your event? Your goal is to get your marketing messages in front of that target audience and convince them to buy tickets. When you’re marketing an event, every dollar spent on promotions that aren’t seen by your target audience are wasteful because they won’t deliver an adequate return on your investment. However, when you segment your audience and show the right messages to the right people at the right times, your results and your returns will skyrocket!
Therefore, take some time to document who your ideal ticket buyer is. Your goal is to find more people like that ideal ticket buyer. This is your primary target audience. You can segment your target audience further using demographic characteristics like gender, age, and so on. You can also develop secondary target audiences who might be close in characteristics to your ideal ticket buyer but not exact matches. These secondary audiences could still want to attend your event and could drive an adequate return on your promotional investments.
5. Social Media
It’s safe to say that nearly every event can benefit from social media marketing. Why? The answer is simple. Where do most people spend time these days? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites are used by billions of people around the world, including your target audience. It makes sense that you should be visible on these sites and promoting your event on them.
At a minimum, you should publish images on Facebook and Instagram, share updates on Twitter with a special event hashtag, post videos on YouTube, and promote your registration page in LinkedIn Groups (if your event is targeted to a professional audience).
Your Next Steps for Marketing an Event
Of course, if you’re marketing an event, you can always get help from event marketing professionals who already know how to get the results you need, but if you want to do it yourself, the five S’s of marketing an event will steer you in the right direction.
To recap, start with your goals and build a strategy from those goals. Make sure your ticket sales page is set up properly; segment your audience so you get the best performance from your marketing investments; and make sure you leverage social media to spread the word about your event.
Of course, there are many other tactics you can use when you’re marketing an event, but you shouldn’t forget the five S’s that are guaranteed to give you a solid foundation. From there, you can add new initiatives along the way to reach your event goals.
If you need help selling tickets to your next event or with marketing an event, don’t hesitate to contact AttendStar at 615-223-1973 or submit the contact form.