How to Write a Marketing Plan For an Event – in 5 Steps

The ultimate goal of an event marketing plan is to maximize registration and convince the right people to attend. This is where event planning comes in. From the core components of your event to marketing and building anticipation, setting up effective marketing strategies is one of the best ways to maximize the impact of your event. 

Step-by-Step for the success of the event

As in every marketing plan, an event marketing plan should also use the 5Ps as a base to work from: product, price, promotion, place and people.  When these are defined, everything else is easily incorporated in steps. Read on to find out how to write a marketing plan for an event.

1. Know Your Event – first step of the marketing plan for an event

Goals

The first step is to identify the event goals and objectives. Are you launching a new product, rebranding or something else? Knowing your event type, location (in-person or virtual), and details such as event name, theme, tagline or colour scheme will help you decide how to market your event.  

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Budget

According to a survey done with corporate event planners, 81% of them said that budgets were a top priority, while 54% also stated ROI as a priority. Budgets are critical to event success. Historical data is a good starting point to build from.  List must-haves and luxuries. Printing, website development and paid advertising all fall within the marketing budget. If you have money left, pull items over from your luxury list.

Set evaluation metrics

Decide on the metrics you’ll use to evaluate your event’s performance. Perhaps the number of attendees, networking activities, or the number of social media posts. There are many tools to help you collect this data. You can use this late for your PR purposes.

2. Set Event Content Creation and Tactics

Serial event content strategy is crucial for event planning. This is all about how you get your product or service to your customers at the right time, in the right place, and the right quantity.  

Engagement tactics

Effective content event strategy will attract more attendees to the event and increase your brand visibility. Therefore, strive to build anticipation with a series of interviews featuring guest speakers to give attendees a fuller scope of their expertise. Post the series on social media platforms, or announce it through email marketing. Highlight key messages you’d like to convey.  They can include the benefits of attending the event, a video from a previous event, or keynote speakers.

Design a stellar event page

As a place where your prospects convert to actual attendees, it’s one of your most important pieces of marketing collateral. An exceptional event website yields a higher enthusiasm for the actual event. To unify the event brand and keep it memorable in the mind of web visitors, use consistent colours and fonts on every website event page.

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Content creation calendar

When preparing your marketing content, start with the event schedule and speaker list. Think of what content you’ll create, how often and for what platforms or offline channels (i.e. magazine). If the event is hosted annually, you may be able to reuse event content like agendas, name badge designs, surveys or sponsor information.  

3. Gather event participants

Sponsors

Work out clear sponsorship packages and articulate your event’s value proposition. Almost any sponsor is a good sponsor! You can also co-market some strategies or collaborate on them.  Be creative and proactive in creating co-marketing strategies. Include sponsors’ logos and brand colours on marketing collateral.

Attendees

Attendees need to understand why they should attend the event. Better the prospective registrants understand the benefits of attending the event, the more likely they will attend. Event attendees can also be event advocates if they have genuine enthusiasm or an incentive to share the event details.

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Speakers

Invite your speakers to post on social media to promote their attendance and your event. Because many speakers have large networks, this is a great way to get the word out.

4. Promotion as part of the marketing plan for an event

Promotion includes everything from sales to social media and it is the most important aspect of any marketing plan. Without it, how can anyone know about your event?

Offline

This includes public relations industry press and blog coverage, magazines and other news media. Your PR strategy should drive registration and support overall event goals. Pitch the press with a concise list of event details and a strong hook. 

Online

Email marketing

Create an email campaign for your event, to connect with your existing network and keep them updated.  Send several emails over some time, so as not to overbear the recipients. Mention any early-bird discount, and add the highlights of your upcoming event.

Social Media platforms

Statistics show that social media drives nearly 25% of views to ticketing pages. Both paid and organic forms of social media campaigns are go-to solutions for marketing your event, as you reach audiences across multiple demographics. Social media platforms have different groups of users and types of content that perform best. Choose the platforms that make sense for your event. Use short, shareable hashtags and captions.

Replace your background image with event branding – all of your social media channels need to reflect it. Use materials that are easily shareable such as 5-second videos, eye-catching images, and well-designed infographics.

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Blogs as part of the marketing plan for an event

Instead of saying it, show people why they’ll love the event.  Include images, videos and testimonials from previous events to help potential attendees visualize the event. Your blog should include everything from speaker profiles and previews of session content, to logistical information. Don’t forget live blogging from the event. 

Paid promotion

To increase the ticket sales for the event, consider using ads, one of the most effective ways. Retargeting, influencers’ collaborations, and social media ads are all incredible ways to market your event.

5. During the event

Record milestones, such as the keynote speakers, popular booths or product launches.  Tweet, post and share across your social channels to highlight the event and encourage dialogue.  Don’t forget to use your event hashtag! 

Giving goodie bags to all attendees goes a long way in making them feel special and growing fonder of your event.  Consider personalised items that can be done by a company such as Camaloon, or gift boxes that are fully customisable to your preference.

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6. Post-event touch-ups

Simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way.  One week after the event, don’t forget to thank your attendees and guest speakers for a memorable event!

Wrapping up: crafting a successful marketing plan for an event

Without event marketing, it’s nearly impossible to spread the word about your event. Create an event marketing plan with a timeline and detailed content calendars. This will help keep all of your marketing activities organized. Regardless of your budget, the most successful event promotion uses multiple channels and starts early. 

Audiences are diverse, so how they find your event will also be diverse. Make sure to create a marketing plan that includes a variety of approaches that include email campaigns, public relations, social media and paid advertising.

Devising an event marketing strategy that works can feel overwhelming. Take into consideration your event goals, content management, promotion efforts and engagement activities, and you will create a great marketing plan for your event.

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