Successful events require significant planning and preparation, and when time and money has been invested, implementing a strong promotional strategy including a well balanced recognition awards program can greatly benefit the results. Determining a promotion plan and executing it effectively doesn’t have to be difficult; it’s simply a matter of knowing where to start.
Define a Promotion Plan
Marketable events exist over a variety of areas, including business events (sales; grand openings; product promotion), social events (parties; reunions), school events, and fundraisers. Each hopes for a slightly different outcome, but the approach is the same for all. Utilizing proper promotional tactics for events can assure that little time or money is wasted in the process.
An effective event promotion starts with a solid plan, so spending some time developing a concrete strategy can save valuable time and money down the road.
- Identify the targets: Include individuals with whom you have previously done business, as well as those who have attended similar events in the past.
- Define the objectives: What are you hoping to accomplish with this event? What are you hoping your chosen targets can bring to the table?
- Construct the tactics: Determine what tactics can effectively combine chosen targets and objectives.
- Organize implementation: Develop a promotional team and assign tasks to each team member.
- Define the timeline: Schedule a starting date and ending date, as well as key promotional dates in between, such as presence at similar events or key dates for posting via online mediums.
- Allocate the budget: Determine how much money can be spent on promotions and distribute accordingly.
- Evaluate the results: Analyze all efforts and determine the return on investment. Use these results for future promotional efforts.
Online Promotion Tactics
As of June 2012, 2,405,518,376 people had access, and were using the internet. Whether for business or pleasure, it’s safe to say that any promotion effort enacted online will certainly have a broad reach.
Online scheduling has replaced traditional calendars, old-fashioned meetings have made way for Skype sessions, and virtual shopping is giving traditional storefront a run for its money. Businesses that recognize the value of online promotion for products and events can stay ahead of competition in the battle for customer loyalty.
The unbelievable growth of social media in recent years has forced businesses to reconsider their marketing efforts. Facebook currently has 1.15 billion users, Google+ has 343 million, Twitter has 500 million, and Instagram steadily rising at 130 million. Each of these social media giants has implemented promotion plans for businesses, making it easier than ever to drive customers to an event. Some tips for promoting an event through social media include:
- Offer a couple of free tickets to the event within a post.
- Post videos of event highlights, including notable speakers or special activities.
- Encourage users by offering coupons or discounts for those who share the event.
- Create a weekly posting schedule so that your event will stay on your customer’s radar.
- Create an event listing on Facebook. Letting users see who is attending as well as post their own comments is an excellent way to keep users engaged and excited.
Stay in touch directly with email campaigns; send-out campaign platforms such as Constant Contact or MailChimp to simplify the email process. It’s important to remember the following to create the most effective emails:
- Create compelling subject lines: To avoid an email being sent to a spam filter and never to be seen again, ensure that the subject is personable and to the point; offer a discount or coupon code within the subject to offer as much information as possible before they open the email.
- Include a call-to-action: Make sure the person knows what they need to do and how to act on event coupons or special notices.
- Be thorough: Include all relevant information about the event, so there’s little left unknown. Include the place, time, date, and where/how to buy tickets to the event. Include a link to the ticket purchase site if possible.
Event Website and Registration
Developing a user-friendly website for the event can make ticket purchase simple and also help businesses keep track of ticket sales and attendee contact information. Many event registration platforms also include an email portion that allows businesses to contact users directly via email about any changes to the event or to confirm the ticket purchase.
Sites such as eventbee.com or eventbrite.com can make the ticket sale process easier and can also be connected to social media sites for simplified promotion posting. Creating an event website can greatly improve visibility and promotion towards a targeted audience, while allowing for further social media marketing opportunities.
Even though online promotional efforts have proven to be effective in today’s fast-paced marketplace, physical promotional productshave always found a place in event promotion success. When investing in giveaways, it’s important to remember the following:
- Choose products that can be used daily, such as pens, cups, cozies, and water bottles. The more useful the item, the more it will be used, and ultimately the more exposure it will receive.
- Choose timeliness to give away promotional items, including during similar events, at related conferences or to businesses which would have an interest in attending the event.
- Assure that all important information is included on the product, including how to register or buy tickets for the event.
Effective event promotion can be accomplished with careful planning, implementation of online resources and creative promotional products. With a little work and a lot of creativity, your event can be a financial success and a cherished memory.
Planning an event? Let EDCO Awards and Specialties help with your marketing efforts. With a wide selection of promotional products available, including pens, key chains, water bottles, mugs, golf tees, flashlights, umbrellas and more, EDCO can help make your event a success!