With the exponential rise of experiential marketing campaigns in recent years, brands and event marketers alike will be more than familiar with the vital role that marketing plays in carrying out a successful event. And with the run-up to and follow-up of, an event just as important as the actual campaign period itself, forming a holistic approach to event marketing is fundamental.
Organising and running an event is not without its stresses, but with a well-executed campaign giving businesses the publicity and potential for huge volumes of people, investing the time, money and effort that’s required can soon pay off. That’s why today, we’re exploring how you can ensure that you’re utilising event marketing activities in the most effective way before, during and after the event - so you can form a marketing strategy that will make a real impact on audiences across both the physical and digital spaces.
1. Plan your pre-event promotion
The secret to a successful campaign is to ensure that the whole day runs smoothly - which is why careful planning and preparation is so important. From encouraging attendees to turnout and visit your stand to considering ways in which you can ensure that all passers-by get the opportunity to engage with your brand, adopting a pre-emptive marketing strategy for the pre-event promotion means that you can generate as much publicity as possible. And if your event stand attracts a larger audience than expected, by preparing for larger crowds in advance, you’ll still be able to convey your most important marketing messages to every attendee.
2. Pay attention to on-the-day branding
Whether it’s a pop-up shop specifically for your brand on the high street or you’re based on a stand in a busy exhibition space, attracting the attention of passers-by is crucial for maximising success on the day itself. Events are one of the easiest ways to directly pitch both a brand and its products to consumers, and by igniting a sense of brand loyalty in the minds of passers-by, you’ll be able to improve the likelihood of shoppers choosing your brand in the future. When it comes to designing your on-the-day exhibit, bring your digital branding into the physical space by using display materials like branded dump bins that can be filled with your products or free merchandise if you’re looking to build brand awareness in a big way.
3. Make an impression on social media
For most of us, social media has fast become an integral part of our lives - and that means that it’s crucial that event marketers are accessing target audiences through these digital spaces before, during and after the event. From encouraging social networkers to attend the event to inviting followers to participate in the action from wherever they are in the world, a strong online presence on different social media channels is a must-have for any brand that’s seeking success. Generate a buzz about the event by sharing the details online well in advance, and when it comes to the day itself, encourage your online audience to become digital-attendees by designating a team member to utilise live video features on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat throughout the day.
If you’re planning a unique and immersive brand campaign during the event, covering this aspect across digital channels could mean that you attract even more publicity from other social media users too - and with many relatively undiscovered brands rising to fame through viral social media videos, it’s worth thinking outside the box when it comes to planning your experiential marketing campaign.
4. Be clear and consistent with key messages
While the most effective event marketing campaigns will offer attendees a truly unique experience, balancing the need to stand out with the brand’s core values is essential. Finding new and distinctive ways that you can market your product line over this short period of time means that you can make an impact on passers-by, but by being consistent with your branding, attendees will still be able to easily identify the brand identity. Drinks brands, for instance, could transform their event space into a one-off bar and serve up a range of exciting cocktails, where the menu is orientated around the brand’s own product range.
5. Stay memorable after the event
From pitching products to building genuine connections, encouraging your brand ambassadors to network with attendees on the day will widen the awareness of your business - but that’s not to say that there won’t be work to do as the day draws to a close. In actual fact, the follow-up is one of the most important aspects of an event marketing campaign - which is why you should get in contact with any new-found online followers shortly after the event draws to a close. From thanking them for attending to reminding them of your current special offers, continuing to make an impression on potential customers means that you could see your sales rise in the near future.
When it comes to organising your next event, learning from past experiences can prove to be incredibly valuable too - and it’s for this reason that analysing event data and connecting with attendees for their feedback on your campaign is such an important aspect of building your event marketing strategy.
From the activity before and during the event to the business relationships you’ll build upon in the follow-up, every aspect of your approach counts - which is why adopting a holistic approach to event marketing campaigns is so vital.