Four critical event marketing tactics you’ll likely overlook


Guest post by Jacqueline Jordahl

Big or small, hosting a successful event can be a platform to increase revenue and drive business. However, for a non-event agency, the thought of planning an event can make even the most seasoned marketer cringe.

From start to finish, executing an event can be time consuming and stressful. But with the right preparation and a dedicated team, planning an event can feel more like a victory and less like pulling teeth. Oftentimes the simplest steps are overlooked. Below are four tips to help planning be as seamless and organized as possible.

1. Create an Event Team
Whether you’re planning a 20 person get-together or a conference with 800 attendees, there’s got to be a back bone to the operation. Before diving into planning mode, create your dream team. Getting the right people on the bus in critical- delegate tasks based not only on strengths, but also on interests. People are more likely to succeed when they enjoy what they’re doing.

If your business has enough bodies, select a communications/creative staff, administration staff, budget staff, event planning and protocol liaisons. Allotting jobs maintains a sense of organization by holding people accountable while offering clarity and visibility. Lastly, divvying up responsibility allows people to concentrate on other facets of their job (because we all know that sometimes 24-hours just isn’t enough). There is no such thing as being too organized!

2. What’s in it for your attendees?
It’s easy to get carried away when planning an event. Finding the perfect venue and caterer is great, but is not the most important aspect of an event. Remember your guests attend for a specific purpose. This should be the main focus, guaranteeing each attendee leaves feeling like the experience was worth their time.

In your communication messages, remind people of the potential networking opportunities your event will offer. People like chatting with others who have similar interests. Promote event content about what people will learn or what they can take away, and then sprinkle on the details about fun extras.

3. Craft and Implement a Communication Plan
Developing a strategic communications plan can play a large role in the success of your event. By pin pointing specific launch dates, coinciding events or trade shows, and weekly email/social media campaigns, you can ensure a smooth transition through the weeks leading up to the event and prevent crossed wires. As far as format is concerned, don’t make it more complicated than it has to be.

Create a basic, easy-to-read outline and to share with the entire team. The simplicity will not only help you, but also your team members to understand exactly what will be communicated each week. In the plan be sure to include: date, communication activity, communication type, and target audience. A communication plan can be an excellent resource for future events to reference what worked are what didn’t.

4. Plan B
The best-planned events are the ones that look like they happened with a snap of a finger. However, it is impossible to predict everything. There are guaranteed to bumps along the way. Always remember Murphy’s Law and have Plan B in your back pocket ready to put in action.

Think about hypothetical situations that could be a detriment to the event. Does your outdoor venue have an indoor substitute? Have you thought about stand-in speakers? What if there are travel delays? Beyond an explicit backup plan, the ability to think on your feet is critical. Be prepared to make quick decisions and changes on the spot. As always, hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.

Whether it’s figuring out where people need to exit, developing a schedule, or making sure the linen color is on brand, no detail should be forgotten.

These are just a few steps to help you create a successful event, what tips can you share?