🚀 The Event Playbook: Proven strategies to level up your next event!

🚀 The Event Playbook:
Proven strategies to level up your next event!

event marketing plan

Elevate Your Event with a Creative Event Marketing Plan

As an organizer aiming for excellence, your event marketing plan is crucial. Unsure how to develop a winning strategy? Worry not! Our guide, featuring expert insights from our award-winning team, covers everything from setting clear event objectives to a comprehensive 12-month action plan. It's time to elevate your event game! 

In today’s fast-paced world, creating a captivating event experience is more important than ever. A meticulously crafted event marketing plan can transform your event from mundane to memorable while connecting with your target audience on a deeper level. 

To achieve this, it’s crucial for marketers to not only prioritize their event goals and objectives but also to incorporate unique and engaging strategies that resonate with their audience. 

By harnessing the power of event planning software and leveraging social media channels, marketers can seamlessly promote their events, keeping attendees informed and excited throughout the entire process.

event marketing plan

The cornerstone of a successful event marketing plan lies in its ability to create a memorable and valuable experience for attendees. 

From the initial stages of planning to post-event follow-ups, every aspect of the event should be designed to inspire, entertain, and educate. 

By utilizing powerful marketing tools such as content creation, target audience segmentation, and experiential strategies, marketers can ensure that their events not only capture the attention of their desired demographic but also leave a lasting impression that fosters brand loyalty and drives growth. 

So, dive in and start crafting an exceptional event marketing plan that is guaranteed to make your event stand out from the rest.

What is Event Marketing?

Event marketing is a powerful strategy that enables businesses and non-profit organizations of all sizes to establish direct contact with their customers and target audience. 

Hybrid conferences, seminars, and trade shows offer unique opportunities for marketers to promote their products or services face-to-face, fostering valuable relationships and boosting brand awareness.

In fact, 64% of event marketers believe that the primary purpose of online conferences is to build company brand awareness, driving engagement and generating leads.

Develop an Elevator Pitch

Creating a standout event requires crafting a compelling elevator pitch that highlights what makes your conference unique. To develop a successful pitch for your hybrid event, consider the following steps:

  1. Identify your unique selling proposition (USP): What sets your conference apart from the rest? Determine the key aspects that make your event distinctive and appealing to your target audience.
  2. Keep it concise and engaging: Your elevator pitch should be brief, ideally between 30-60 seconds. Use action words and engaging language to capture attention and convey the excitement surrounding your event.
  3. Highlight the benefits of attending: Emphasize the value of participating in your event, such as networking opportunities, expert guest speakers, and exclusive content. This will help attract attendees and showcase what they can expect to gain from the experience.
  4. Include a call to action (CTA): Encourage potential attendees to register for your event by incorporating a clear and persuasive call to action. This will inspire them to take the next step and secure their spot at your conference.

By crafting a concise, memorable, and impactful elevator pitch, you can effectively promote your event and generate buzz, ultimately leading to a successful event marketing campaign.

10 Best Practices for Developing a Successful Event Marketing Plan

As an event organizer, having a comprehensive and well-structured marketing plan is essential for the success of your event. 

Crafting a successful event marketing plan involves setting clear goals, defining your target audience, selecting the appropriate channels, creating engaging content, and leveraging social media. 

It’s crucial to consistently monitor your progress, adjust your strategies as needed, and encourage attendees to share their experiences for increased reach and impact.

To ensure that your event gains traction and achieves its objectives, it’s important to develop a marketing strategy that effectively promotes your event and resonates with your target audience. 

Follow these best practices to create a great event marketing plan:

  1. Define your goals and objectives: Establish clear, measurable goals that align with your event’s purpose and overall objectives. These might include increasing attendance, generating revenue, or boosting brand awareness.
  2. Know your target audience: Understand the demographics, interests, and preferences of the individuals you aim to attract. Tailor your marketing efforts to resonate with this specific group and address their needs.
  3. Create a detailed timeline: Develop a comprehensive schedule for your marketing activities, including deadlines and milestones. Use planning software or templates to help you stay organized and on track.
  4. Utilize both digital and physical channels: Combine online and offline marketing strategies, such as social media, email campaigns, print ads, and direct mail, to maximize reach and engagement.
  5. Incorporate personalization: Tailor your marketing messages and content to resonate with your target audience. Use data and insights to create customized experiences that cater to individual preferences and needs.
  6. Offer several simple registration options: Make it easy for attendees to register for your event by providing multiple, user-friendly registration methods, such as online forms, mobile apps, or phone calls.
  7. Utilize event technology to enhance the experience: Leverage event management software, mobile apps, and digital tools to streamline processes, engage attendees, and gather valuable data.
  8. Provide engaging content: Create compelling stories, blog posts, videos, and social media updates that inform, entertain, and inspire your audience. Showcase the benefits and unique aspects of your event to generate excitement and interest.
  9. Utilize social media to create buzz: Leverage platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote your event, engage with your audience, and encourage attendees to share their experiences using a dedicated event hashtag.
  10. Measure success and adjust accordingly: Monitor key performance metrics, such as attendance numbers, ticket sales, and social media engagement, to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Use this data to inform future plans and adjust your strategies as needed.

By following these best practices and developing a well-rounded event marketing plan, you can effectively reach your target audience, create a memorable experience, and achieve your event’s goals. 

Continue reading for a detailed 12-month event planning strategy and successful event marketing examples that will help you target the right attendees, use the latest event industry technology for a more engaging experience, and create a successful digital marketing strategy for long-term impact. 

PRO TIP: Always keep in mind the question, “Why should people attend my event?” This understanding of stakeholder motivation will serve as the foundation for your entire plan and help you address attendee pain points while solving common problems they experience.

Month 1-3: Time for Pre-Event Planning, Budgeting, and Registration

With proper study and management skills, any marketer looking to create an impactful conference can succeed if they focus on developing a comprehensive plan. 

Successful interaction between business and customer guarantees greater brand recognition and customer loyalty opportunities.

Analyze the Target Audience

To succeed in marketing, marketers must create tailor-made strategies for each virtual conference they attend:

  1. Analyze the target audience
  2. Determine content marketing activities best suited for this audience
  3. Understand the culture of the conference you are marketing for

Doing so allows the flexibility to select strategies most effective at gaining short-term attention while delivering long-term results. 

Planning properly is an essential part of ensuring success.

Pre-Event Planning, Goal-Setting, and Budget

a person is using a calculator and looking at graphs

Setting goals and an event marketing budget is a crucial first step when creating a marketing plan for your conference.

Your conference’s goals are what the event needs to achieve to be successful and should be determined before any other steps are taken.

Business goals can be tangible, such as attracting 700 attendees, or intangible, like strengthening relationships with association members or business partners through the event experience.

No matter the size of the goal, it is important that everyone involved understands and agrees on the same goal for the hybrid conference.

Personalize Your Emails

Budgets must also be considered when creating an effective marketing plan. Knowing the allocated budget will determine realistic boundaries for your initiatives and help you get creative with ways to market your online conference within those constraints. 

When setting goals and budgets, consult available resources and feedback from team members to maximize efforts and create a successful marketing strategy.

Set Your Target Metrics

How can you know that your conference was a triumph? Collecting and analyzing data will give you the indicators to gauge success and make changes for future events. Performance evaluation key metrics measuring a hybrid conference’s success could include:

  • Number attendees
  • Engagement at events
  • Networking activities
  • Survey responses
  • Social media posts reach
  • Media visibility
  • Event attendance
  • Click-through rate
  • With these metrics in hand, a report should be made to show your team and stakeholders its success and be used as a powerful tool for promotion through newsletters or PR purposes.

    Target Your Audience Demographic with Speakers and Sponsors

    a conference room listening to an online event speaker through a TV

    Planning and executing a successful marketing event requires a strategic approach to attracting your target audience. Leveraging guest speakers and sponsors is a powerful way to drive attendance and boost visibility for your event or conference.

    To ensure maximum impact, utilize high-quality images, clear and engaging text, and seamless one-click promotion tools. This allows speakers and sponsors to share the details of their sessions or information about the event professionally across social media platforms and other marketing channels.

    Maximize Your Exhibitors' and Sponsors' Potential

    Exhibitors and sponsors are valuable assets in spreading the word about your event. They have invested time, energy, or finances into attending your conference or trade show, so they have a vested interest in its success.

    To maximize their impact, use social media integration tools and create viral hashtags that generate excitement around your event. 

    This way, exhibitors and sponsors can increase their reach while also contributing to the success of your marketing program.

    Personalize and Customize Your Messaging for a Memorable Experience

    Employ event management and marketing software or an event app to gather and categorize information about attendees. 

    This data enables you to create customized messaging based on past attendance, future events, sponsorships, and more, ultimately delivering a tailored experience that resonates with individuals.

    By leveraging event planning and marketing software, you can create effective templates for events of any complexity. 

    Offer coupons and giveaways through trade show apps that capture people’s attention across multiple platforms, and use analytics to measure the success of your strategies.

    Securing high-profile or influential speakers can further boost visibility and attract larger crowds. 

    Integrating these tactics into your comprehensive event planning strategy allows you to provide a personalized approach that fully reaches and engages your target audience, fostering valuable relationships and nurturing potential customers.

    Develop an Engaging Interactive Website or App for Registration

    One of the most successful new technologies is using an integrated app as a one-stop shop for registration, scheduling, video highlights, interaction, and community

    Even if you don’t have the bandwidth for app development, a fully interactive website can serve as a place for a simple registration and coordinating schedules, gathering attendee data, posting media, and building a community post-event.  

    The most successful events have an ongoing strategy that lives well beyond the event. An app or website should be part of the plan. 

    How important is an interactive website or app for your upcoming hybrid conference? Discover how We & Goliath’s award-winning team created a world-class online event and a vibrant online forum for the United Nations using the best event technology platform.  

    CASE STUDY: America Meditates Hybrid Conference 308,000 Online Attendees & 6500 In-Person Breaks Records in Denver, Colorado

    HYBRID EVENT MARKETING CASE STUDY

    The event received a staggering 308,000 livestream views across all virtual partners in 106 countries around the world.

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    Livestream Views

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    In-person Attendees

    The Challenge? Promote America’s First America Meditates Conference in Less than 3 Months

    The Art of Living Foundation presented We & Goliath with a daunting challenge: to promote a unique hybrid event, America Meditates, a popular Argentinian meditation and music festival making its debut in the USA, with merely 2.5 months’ notice. 

    The primary objective was to create awareness, generate excitement, and drive signups for this new event.

    And what was the result? Due to a rigorous and successful event marketing campaign, America Meditates met its goals:

    1. Increased visibility: Strategic marketing efforts, including social media strategies and targeted messaging, generated awareness and interest in America Meditates, leading to 308,000 online participants and 6,500 in-person attendees.
    2. Targeted messaging: Creative and engaging marketing content effectively conveyed the unique experience that America Meditates had to offer, appealing to a wide, diverse audience.
    3. Successful promotion: By promoting the 3-day mental health summit alongside America Meditates, the agency attracted diverse attendees interested in both events, ultimately maximizing the event’s reach and impact.

    The Solution

    We & Goliath proposed an effective omnichannel event marketing campaign to the event organizers, which included the following components:

  • Digital and social media strategy: Utilizing various digital channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, the marketing campaign aimed to raise awareness and create a buzz around the event.
  • Facebook ads: Targeted advertisements were used to attract the ideal audience for America Meditates, maximizing reach and engagement.
  • Omnichannel Retargeting ads: A powerful advertising technique, retargeting ads were employed to remind potential attendees of the event, further driving interest and signups.
  • Outreach Campaign to Speakers, Performers, Influencers, and other Promotional Partners: This aspect of the marketing plan focused on securing high-profile speakers, performers, influencers, and promotional partners to amplify the event’s appeal and credibility.
  • The outreach campaign was successful in securing Marianne Williamson as a headlining speaker, a headlining DJ, and other performers, as well as food donations, a partnership with a top yoga studio, and 28 daily posts on a Facebook page with over 2 million followers, who also agreed to co-host the event livestream.

    Measuring Metrics to Track Conversion Success

    We & Goliath tested two conversion goals: 

  • Facebook Event RSVPs
  • Eventbrite ticket RSVPs
  • The overall We & Goliath marketing campaign generated an impressive 7,419 Eventbrite RSVPs, while 2 million Facebook ad impressions resulted in an additional 4,899 Facebook event responses. 

    Retargeting efforts on Facebook, as well as the retargeting website and app networks, ensured that the ads were seen by people an average of 6 times, significantly increasing top-of-mind awareness and driving attendance to the event.

    America Meditates Experiences Record Success in the US

    The Art of Living hosted its largest public event in the US, with a staggering 308,000 livestream views across all virtual partners in 106 countries worldwide. Despite thunderclouds and rain, 6,500 people attended the event in Denver City Park.

    This was a remarkable success, achieved after just 2.5 months of marketing efforts by small online and in-person teams. The event’s high attendance and widespread virtual viewership are a testament to the Art of Living’s commitment to providing unique and engaging experiences to its audience and We & Goliath creating a winning marketing plan.

    Easy starting packages • Advanced options • Proven results

    Month 4-6: Early Marketing Efforts Win the Game

    As previously mentioned, the initial step in devising a triumphant event marketing plan is pinpointing your target audience. Who will attend? What kind of experience do you want to provide them?

    Understanding the answers to these questions can shape your approach to event marketing and promotion, as diverse methods resonate better with various individuals. Consider the following statistics:

  • 73% of businesses use social media promotion during and after the conference
  • 55% of businesses use social media to post exciting photos
  • 35% of businesses use social media for launching new products and services
  • Once you’ve identified your target audience for the hybrid conference, it’s crucial to establish a comprehensive early marketing strategy.

    Incorporate both online and offline tactics, such as ad placements on websites, radio ads, social media campaigns, print materials, email blasts, special offers, and more.

    Crafting a content strategy that speaks directly to the target audience is vital to distinguish your event from the rest.

    several people are gathered around a table with papers during a content strategy meeting

    Always Measure Data Results

    In event marketing, continuously measuring results and rapidly adjusting to reach the event’s full potential is indispensable.

    By monitoring customer behavior and market trends, you can identify which strategies succeed and which require modification or replacement.

    This approach enables you to optimize your marketing budget by concentrating on what resonates most with your target audience.

    Offer and Promote Exciting Early Bird Pricing

    Early bird discounts serve as an excellent incentive for event attendees to register as soon as possible.

    By presenting these discounts, event organizers can instill a sense of urgency in ticket purchases and stimulate sales throughout the lead-up to the hybrid conference.

    Early bird discounts function by raising ticket prices as the launch date approaches – this encourages people who may have been hesitant about attending to commit earlier, thus helping to generate interest and leads in the run-up to the event.

    an image of an early bird neon sign

    Host Sneak Peek Events to Build Buzz

    Incorporating sneak peek events into your marketing plan is a powerful way to build excitement and anticipation for your upcoming virtual event

    By creating a sense of exclusivity and generating buzz, these events offer attendees a glimpse into the valuable experiences they can expect.

    To ensure a successful event, start by scheduling your sneak peek events in your marketing calendar and use planning software to keep track of progress. 

    Coordinate with your team, speakers, and sponsors to develop engaging content that will capture your target audience’s interest. Some popular types of sneak peek events include:

    1. Virtual tours of the space
    2. Behind-the-scenes look at event setup
    3. Q&A session with keynote speakers
    4. Exclusive product or service demos
    5. Early access to registration
    6. Interactive social media contests
    7. Meet and greet with sponsors
    8. Preview of hybrid event swag
    9. Sneak peek at sessions
    10. Access to exclusive online content

    As you create your sneak peek events, keep your audience’s preferences and needs in mind. Use data and insights from previous events, surveys, and market research to tailor your content and strategies. 

    Engaging with individuals across multiple channels, such as social media, email, and blog updates, can help ensure that your message reaches a wider audience.

    By offering these exclusive previews, you’ll not only pique the interest of potential attendees but also gather valuable feedback to fine-tune your event strategy

    Analyze the responses and engagement from your sneak peek events to identify any areas for improvement and adjust your marketing plan accordingly. This proactive approach will ultimately lead to higher attendance, better customer experience, and a more successful virtual event.

    Incorporating sneak peek events into your marketing strategy is an effective way to build momentum, engage your target audience, and ensure a successful virtual event.

    Prioritize these events in your marketing plan and use the feedback gathered to refine and perfect your event experience for maximum impact.

    a couple of men sitting at a table looking at a phone and talking about buzz around an even

    Month 7-9: Focus on Mid-Event Marketing Efforts

    Mid-event marketing strategies are important for any event organizer to consider as they plan their virtual conference. 

    Following up with attendees and nurturing them through the lead process is a great way to stay engaged with them before, during, and after your event. Doing so helps build excitement and increases the likelihood of returning guests. 

    PRO TIP: Developing effective SMS campaigns, email strategies, and phone calls to targeted groups are crucial to keep them informed and engaged. One key strategy is to provide follow-up to attendees. Doing so helps build excitement during the conference and increases the likelihood of connecting with guests. Follow-up should be tailored to each attendee based on data analysis.

    Produce Highlight Videos to Generate Buzz and Excitement for Speakers

    Creating engaging invite videos from speakers can create a sense of anticipation and help attract a larger audience. 

    Highlight videos are another effective way to showcase your virtual conference and its key moments, generating buzz and excitement among attendees.

    a woman in a pink hoodie is shooting a video

    Develop a Comprehensive Email Campaign

    It’s never too early to start promoting! Five to six months out, you should begin saving the dates and getting the word out about your upcoming happening.

    Emails remain event organizers’ most popular event marketing strategy, with over 70% of event planners utilizing email marketing strategies.

    Start by crafting a dynamic and exciting email campaign that introduces the date and venue for the event. 

    This will give your community a chance to begin planning travel. In addition, don’t forget to reach out on social media. 

    Believe it or not, social media drives 25% of attendees to your registration page. Showcase your brand with vivid imagery and graphics, allowing people to recognize your event and draw attention from potential attendees easily.

    a man is working on an email campaign on a laptop in an office

    Send Out a Press Release

    Furthermore, a press release is essential at this stage. 

    Write up a detailed announcement of your conference to ensure it reaches broad audiences on different outlets, such as magazines or websites relevant to the particular field of study or topic of the discussion you are focusing on for the occasion. 

    With these steps set out five to six months ahead, you can be sure that everyone is aware and excited about the gathering coming up soon!

    Use Data to Personalize Mid-Event Marketing Efforts

    Personalization is an essential component of effective marketing, and it’s important to implement this strategy throughout your mid-event marketing efforts. 

    Utilize personalized emails and landing pages to create a unique experience for each attendee, increasing the likelihood of their attendance and engagement. 

    By implementing these mid-event marketing efforts, you can ensure your happening succeeds and maximizes its potential impact.

    According to Adobe.com 73% of event planners believe data and personalization must be a priority with any event planning.

    How can data truly transform a conference? Check out how our We & Goliath team was able to help Organizing 2.0 create the most impactful event in 11 years by using innovative technology and data for a truly impactful attendee experience.

    CASE STUDY: Organizing 2.0 Shifts to Virtual in 3 Weeks

    VIRTUAL CONFERENCE CASE STUDY

    1,683 attendees at 1st online conference vs 200-300 at 11 yrs of in-person conferences

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    Attendance

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    Revenue

    In March 2020, Organizing 2.0 faced a significant challenge when the pandemic forced them to swiftly transform their 11-year in-person event into a virtual one in just three weeks. We & Goliath stepped in to create a multi-directional online community conversation, prioritizing attendee engagement, cutting-edge technology, and feedback to ensure a successful marketing event.

    Crafting a Comprehensive Marketing Plan for an Engaging Virtual Event

    With a tight schedule, our award-winning team swiftly developed a detailed marketing plan and calendar. By leveraging social media and other digital channels, we targeted the ideal audience and crafted captivating stories to spark excitement and interest in the event. Our marketing strategy also included crafting valuable content for our blog and sending regular updates to our email list.

    Using Innovative Tech to Create Transformative Interaction

    Having to compress several months of planning into less than a one-month timeline, our team provided training for speakers, moderators, and vendors, ensuring a seamless experience. We created a custom knowledge base and infographic to inform and inspire attendees. The event platform featured interactive vendor booths, polling booths, networking opportunities, breakout sessions, group & individual text/video chat, and user-friendly people-finding tools.

    An Impactful Conference to Change the World

    The virtual event proved to be a startling success, attracting 1,700 individuals from across the globe to participate in over 70 sessions led by 140 industry leaders. With a well-executed marketing plan and event program, attendance rates increased sevenfold, and revenue surged fourfold. This exceptional experience demonstrated the power of experiential marketing and innovative event planning strategies in today’s ever-evolving market.

    Month 10-12: The Final Push for the Event

    With three months until the event, it is important to start planning the keynote speaker. As you build your list of potential speakers, consider factors such as their expertise and audience appeal. 

    Once a few solid candidates have been identified, contact them and ensure they are available on your date.

    Send an email to all event participants updating them on the progress being made. This can also remind them to submit abstracts or book their tickets as appropriate. 

    Across your social media channels, continue posting relevant content with updates and announcements about the event.

    As sessions and keynote speakers are confirmed, use these as promotional material and use different angles depending on the platform when needed. 

    Finally, ensure you keep up with press releases. Releasing information on keynote speakers is one of the things that can help drum up excitement for the event.

    Push the Last Call for Registration

    With only two weeks until the big marketing event, it’s time to make the last call for registrations. 

    Give your target audience one more push to sign up by emphasizing the importance of registering today to secure their spot. 

    Create a sense of excitement and urgency by delivering relevant and unique content, such as describing each engaging session or mentioning any special incentives you may offer.

    Maximize Social Media Pushes

    Ramp up your marketing efforts by leveraging the power of social media to promote your event. Post updates about the conference on your social media platforms multiple times, using captivating stories and captivating visuals to give that extra boost.

    Be creative and interactive with how you engage with followers – get inspiration from humorous polls or question posts that can generate hype and discussion. Additionally, link back to a comprehensive event page detailing the itinerary, speakers, and panelists, as well as any other valuable information that will help attendees make the most of their experience.

    PRO TIP: For those who miss out on this final chance to join in person, consider running targeted ad campaigns on local platforms like Facebook, which let you customize based on geographical areas. This could be an efficient way of ensuring everyone can access promotional material and registration options regardless of location.

    Send Out Advanced Notification Emails

    With just a week to go until your big event, now’s the time to ensure attendees have all the information they need for a successful and stress-free experience. 

    Start by sending out a well-crafted email containing all pertinent logistical information, such as parking details, the start time, and the final agenda for the occasion. This advance notification will help ensure everyone has plenty of time to make necessary arrangements.

    If you have a mobile app, encourage your audience to download it in advance and get familiar with its features so they know what to expect. This will help them stay connected and informed throughout the event.

    Finally, use a combination of social media, e-mails, and the app to broadcast last-minute updates or action items to keep everyone up-to-date. 

    By meticulously planning and executing your marketing strategies, you can create a buzz around your event and attract a larger, more engaged audience.

    Ready to Plan Your Next Event?

    By preparing these important details in advance and keeping everyone informed throughout this final stretch of preparation, you can create continuity when it comes time for the online conference. 

    Preparing ahead also guarantees your team and attendees focus solely on enjoying the weekend instead of worrying about logistics when everything should be arranged.

    Once you’ve taken care of these final action items in the leadup, your experience will surely be memorable – you only need a few more days to enjoy yourself too!

    Don't Leave the Success to Chance!

    Let We & Goliath take your marketing and promotion to the next level with our comprehensive services. Our award-winning production team has the experience and expertise to help you create excitement and drive attendance for your virtual conference. With our help, you’ll have everything you need to promote your conference, from custom-branded marketing materials to landing pages and registration.

    Our Award-Winning Event Marketing services include:

    • Memorable Videos: Animated promo videos, social media invites, highlight videos, and more
    • High Impact Graphics: Logos, promo graphics, per-session graphics, and more
    • Detailed Tech and Web Support: Landing pages, registration, HTML emails, and more

    At We & Goliath, we understand that successful marketing and promotion are key to BIG IMPACT success.

    We & Goliath

    We & Goliath is an award-winning, top 100 worldwide event agency known for increasing conference attendance by 7X and profits by 3X through beautifully designed virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Since 1999, their team of innovative strategists and creative designers has worked with global enterprises, SMBs, non-profits, and other organizations to engage audiences and exceed expectations.

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    We create iconic events that generate buzz.

    Let us help you smash your engagement goals and set attendance records.

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