iMiller Public RelationsBy: Amy Sesol, Event Producer, iMiller Public Relations

If you think event marketing has taken a backseat to online marketing, think again.  Right now, 67 percent of business-to-business (B2B) content marketers believe event marketing is an essential part of their business’ go-to-market strategy.  Thousands of in-person events occur annually across the globe, which amounts to billions of dollars in marketing spend.

This begs the question: with so many events occurring annually, how can you make your next one stand out?  If you want to attract the best attendees and speakers, make sure you do the following:

1. Focus on your core market:  In order to create a successful event, you need to understand what your target markets are.  Dig into your customer demographics and identify your key target audience.  Then, research the top trends or issues facing your customers now and in the near future, as well as identify key speakers and industry influencers that would provide keen industry insight and solutions to enhance the event.  Lastly, make sure that your attendees represent a good mix of end-users and providers.  Balance your ratio depending on your event goal without being exclusionary; this can mean providing incentives such as discounted or even free attendance as well as speaking, exhibiting or sponsorship opportunities to end-users or providers to help boost key audience participation.

2. Create a go-to-market plan:  Next, you need to spread the word about your event.  Creating a prospectus is just one tool; pinpoint critical marketing vehicles (like press releases, electronic direct mail, social media, articles, blogs, and more) for reaching your core market, as well as your target, industry-relevant speakers.  It always helps to leverage your own industry connections, too.  Barter agreements and media partnerships are also a great and cost-effective way to promote your event and brand.

3. Create clear calls to action:  Use content to build interest and make a case for your event, and funnel people directly to it through specific calls to action.  Make sure your content is clear, concise and full of information about your event including registration, sponsorship, speaking, and exhibiting call-outs.  Focus on the Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?  Establishing an event website that features overviews, key speakers, attendees, topics, sponsorship opportunities and registration, travel and venue information is also key to effective event communication.

4. On-site coordination:  Get organized!  Coordinate event logistics well in advance in order to ensure a smooth event that enhances the attendee experience, rather than distracts from it.  Remember, how smoothly you manage and execute an event will create a lasting impression on event attendees.  Use social media as well as on-site branding to market your event as well as promote your attendees and sponsors.  Provide real-time information for those who are not in attendance by way of live streaming or regular twitter feeds.

5. Follow-up:  After your event, the real work begins.  How can you ensure attendees get information communicated during and about the event?  How can you make the next event an even bigger success?  Send out links to presentations, photos, surveys; obtain testimonials and make calls to find out what attendees liked – and disliked.  Sending save-the-dates for your next event(s) can also help excited attendees and busy professionals plan ahead and reserve their spots.

iMiller Public Relations has extensive experience and expertise in the strategic planning, support and execution of corporate roundtables, sales retreats, training seminars, conferences and other events – small or large.

Let us make your next event an unforgettable success.  Email to learn more today.