Whether you've launched a brand, just finished rebranding, or want to increase brand awareness, events are a great way to bring attention to what your business is all about. At Namify, we participate in dozens of events each year - from trade shows and golf tournaments to business networking events and community concerts.
According to a recent report by the Content Marketing Institute, in-person events were rated as the most effective form of B2B marketing for six years in a row (see chart on the right). 75% of organizations found in-person events to be the best messaging tactic for their business.
Events are so effective because unlike any other form of marketing, they give you the chance to receive immediate feedback about your products and services and answer questions with a personal touch.
We know how much planning goes into being a part of an event, especially with our upcoming Concert Series just a few weeks away. That's why we created this simple guide with 5 steps to help you determine everything you'll need to prepare for your next big event with the same strategy we used to prepare for ours:
1.) Choose Your Message & Goals
The most important question at any event (especially when determining ROI) is knowing what your message and goals are. Your message should stay consistent to the key messages you share with your audience in all marketing communications. Events offer a venue with hundreds of qualified individuals who could be interested in your business, give them a reason to find out more with a timely hook like a promotion, discount, or special offer.
Brand awareness is definitely important, but shouldn't be the only goal when attending an event. Think about the other aspects of why you're attending - do you want to draw in new leads, attract prospective employees to your business, gain media attention, or all of the above? Once you know what your message and goals are, it will become much easier for you to plan your event and measure your success.
2.) Select Methods Of Promotion
The methods of promotion you choose may depend on your budget, however, you don't need a huge advertising budget to start spreading the word about your event. Here are a few methods you can use to promote your event without breaking the bank:
- Social Media - Post frequently on social media about your events and let your audience know why they should be there. They'll be looking for your style, the venue, and everything that lets them know what to expect when attending your event. You can also hold a contest to give away tickets, drink vouchers, or a VIP upgrade to those who share your event with their friends.
- Email - Send out an email blast to those you think would be interested in attending and let them know why they should come to your event. Include a link to more information such as an event page or website so they can find out more or purchase tickets.
- Press Releases - Write a media list by looking up all relevant newspapers, magazines, blogs, and other outlets you think would be interested in writing a story about your event. Craft a press release (under 300 words for best practice) with the most important details including the who, what, when, where, and why at the top of the release. Also include at least one call to action directing readers to a website or a number to call for more information. When emailing media representatives, be consise and let them know why you think your event would be perfect for their publication or column.
- Online Event Channels - There are hundreds of local and national websites that post details about events that users can sort by interest and location. Try searching for events near the area your event will be held - for example: "Events in Salt Lake City, Utah" and checking out the sites where those events are posted. Often, these sites will let you post for free after submitting a form with your event details. Other great ways to post your event online are through Facebook Events and Eventbrite. We chose to use both of these methods to promote our summer concert because they make it easy for users to find events in their area.
- Flyers/Posters - Print out posters and hang them up all over the surrounding areas where your event will be held. Use bold text and bright, contrasting colors to bring out the details you want to highlight to passers-by. Flyers are also a great way to get the word out, print out some smaller versions of your posters to give to neighboring businesses to put out on their front counter or have volunteers from your business hand them out on the street.
3.) Set A Schedule
There are a few things you'll want to map out when creating a timeline of tasks for your event. Here are a few things you'll want to schedule in advance so you don't miss anything important:
- Map out area and create a layout
- Make a list of needed supplies
- Register for the event
- Contact government entities for requirements if event is held on city property
- Apply for a special events tax license if necessary
- Order supplies early
- Start advertising on social media
- Send out a press release before and after event
- Distribute promotional materials
- Create schedule for the day of your event
4.) Decide Layout & Materials
We recommend getting a layout of your event venue beforehand, either by requesting it from the event organizer or with an aerial view on Google Maps. This will help you decide where to put all of your signage for increased visibility and coordinate your booth setups for volunteers and other event staff.
If your event calls for shade or a way to stand out in the crowd, custom printed canopies are the best way to differentiate your business. Our custom printed canopies are affordable and dye-sublimated so you can create full-color, 360 degree designs with your canopy that really catch the eye of anyone who walks past it.
Don't overlook signage - pop-up banners can also be a good way to fill space and add a professional touch to your event. Branded event materials like table covers, backdrops, promo products, lanyards, and badges can bring attention to your business and are the perfect implementation for your new brand guide.
5.) Designate A Team
The last step to event planning is choosing a team to carry out all of these steps to ensure your event will be successful. Have plenty of volunteers and event staff available for questions or issues that may come up at the last minute, and have them arrive early to get everything set up and feel prepared for when the event starts. Make sure you have someone there to photograph or record your event for excellent collateral to share on social media later!
We hope your next event is hugely successful and that you find this article helpful toward planning it. Feel free to share your comments with us below: