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Effective Ways to Market an Event

Deejay Mash has been in the entertainment industry for over 20 years. He is also an experienced event organizer and entertainment consult

A 1977 poster advertising a Bob Marley Paris concert

A 1977 poster advertising a Bob Marley Paris concert

It’s All About Getting Noticed

Events are as old as the human race. Back in the day, various methods were used to inform people about events; from sending carrier pigeons, beating drums, to using smoke. Interestingly, the smoke signal is still used today in the Vatican when electing a Pope.

An event requires attention and hype for it to succeed. Whether it is a conference or club event, concert, comedy, fashion or car show, pool party or an album launch, knowing how to market is vital. In case you have an advertising budget, it becomes easier, although it is very expensive, especially on mainstream media-or if you choose the celebrity endorsement route.

But if you do not have the luxury of a Coca-cola advertising budget, it is possible to market your event and still achieve resounding success.

Here are some tried, tested and effective methods;

Create a Landing Page

All your marketing efforts should lead traffic to a landing page as the final destination, for detailed information about the event. This is where the conversion rate happens; registration, sign ups and ticket sales. That is what makes a landing page a powerful marketing tool. Ensure the page is attractive and updated regularly, free from distracting links, and it provides all the relevant information about the event.

The most effective event landing page should have the following

  • Creative, clever and catchy headline
  • Stunning photos and videos to promote the event and trigger the fear of missing out to page visitors
  • Capture the trust of prospects by posting endorsements from previous events. If it is your first event, use sponsors, partners or the event’s main attraction to boost credibility
  • Optimize your landing page to ensure it is easily accessible to all devices especially mobile phones
  • A compelling, confident, convincing and irresistible call to action

A landing page also assists with valuable data on prospects like demographics, patterns, feedback and social media source of visitors. The latter can help you assess the performance of various platforms.

An email registration option is also important to help build a client base, and send notifications on future events.

An old Elvis Presley show poster

An old Elvis Presley show poster

Hashtag

Come up with a simple, easy to remember and catchy hashtag for your event and mention it every chance you get. A well thought out, simple yet creative hashtag can be contagious and has the tendency to stick on people’s minds. Also, hashtags have a wide social media reach outside your immediate network. A hashtag brings like-minded people together and as a result, it leads to active and lively conversation which increase an event’s awareness, visibility and brand promotion.

Hashtags have enormous power to influence perceptions, trends and opinion. A good example is #throwbackthursday which transformed Thursdays on social media to a day to reminisce on the good old memories. Within no time, clubs took up the trend and a majority still dedicate Thursday’s entertainment menu to blasts from the past and similar themes.

This is how to get the most out of an event hashtag;

  • Time your posts carefully so that your hashtag grows organically
  • Accompany your hashtags with interesting content and tag at least one social media influencer to speed up the pace
  • Research on the best time to post, that is, when social media use is at its prime for maximum effect
  • Find out how hashtags work differently on various social media platforms. For example, research shows Instagram requires at least 11 hashtag posts to catch on, while Twitter requires about only two

Find the perfect balance to prevent your hashtag from becoming spam. The best way to achieve this is by checking out the current trending hashtags and how they have been used to produce the desired effect.

Build Consistent Momentum

After launching an event, it is important to maintain a steady momentum until the actual day. This creates interest and keeps the conversation alive. To achieve this, find creative ways to market and attain consistent visibility. Throw in early bird discounts on tickets with a deadline to encourage early bookings and boost sales. Constantly post reminders or begin a countdown of days, hours and minutes as a run-up to the event.

Blogging also helps to create awareness and highlight the finer details of the event. You can clearly articulate the event’s background, inspiration, objectives, activity and entertainment menu and what attendees should expect. Try to also feature as a guest blogger to expand your network and conquer new territories. Guest blogging also presents a great opportunity to leave event related links behind.

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to market an event to existing contacts but constantly overlooked. Most event organizers concentrate most of their efforts towards attracting a new audience. Never forget the people who have supported you in the past. They can market your event to new crowds as well.

This is also an opportune time to reach out to like-minded partners to chip in and spread the word on their respective networks. If your event budget allows, include media partners to cast the net wider, create more hype and excitement.

Sneak Preview

Post a video showing or describing what people should expect by attending your event. It could be from a past event, or the guest artist promising to deliver a memorable performance. Just like a movie trailer, a sneak preview of what your event has in store can work wonders and create a lot of buzz. Make sure to live up to your promise on event day.

A Section of a crowd enjoys a live concert

A Section of a crowd enjoys a live concert

Old School Marketing

Posters and flyers are still a great way to market an event and reach those left out of social media. Posters can be put up in strategic locations around the city hosting the event, but make sure to inquire about by-laws in the respective city. Some cities require applying for permits and other conditions.

Flyers, on the other hand, can be distributed in malls, shopping centers, car parks, supermarkets and other areas with lots of human traffic.

Lastly….

Although the basic marketing strategies are constant, each event is unique. At some point the various kinds of events part ways and take slightly different paths. Marketing a conference and a concert, for example, may differ in minute detail, but the above strategies provide a general, solid and effective approach, relevant to all type of events. The idea is to create awareness, put out sufficient event information, encourage attendance, promise a good time and spark excitement.

Pre-event marketing determines the level of success of an event. The more time, effort, vigour, dedication, enthusiasm and passion you inject, the bigger the reward you will reap.

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