If you’re a part of the event team for your organization, you likely understand the stress that comes with planning and launching a new event. After brainstorming the perfect event idea and finding the right-size venue, your team also must consider the best way to market to your audience.
As new technology and trends pop up, it can be hard to formulate the best marketing strategy for an upcoming event. Your team must put themselves in the registrants’ shoes and consider how to best reach that target audience while facilitating a seamless event experience, from beginning to end.
Whether your event is targeting Gen Z or professionals in the same industry, your team needs to identify an audience to focus its marketing strategy on. Using event management tools for functions like online registration and report compilation, your team can develop its marketing strategy based on concrete attendee data.
Here are some best practices your marketing team should consider:
- Create a branded event microsite.
- Providing an online registration page.
- Developing an email marketing strategy.
- Gathering data for report creation.
Events are a great way to engage your constituents and give them an experience they’ll never forget. However, you need attendees before your event can ever begin to make an impact. Refine your team’s marketing strategy and feel confident as your event attendance rises. Let’s begin.
1. Create a branded event microsite.
Your organization’s website is likely the first place where attendees will visit when they want to get more information on what you do. It’s important to develop a good first impression, and providing an aesthetically pleasing and branded website is a great place to explain your organization to people who may not yet know you. If you feel like your own site may be lacking, Morweb has some great website design tips your team can look into.
Consider this thought when you’re deciding to launch your event. It’s likely that you’re announcing your event on your organization’s core website, and that seems like a great idea since most of your registrants will be visiting it anyway. However, why not create an event microsite?
A microsite is a branded content site that is associated with your organization but lives outside of your official homepage. This microsite only sticks around for a defined amount of time and is created specifically to promote your event. Here is why it works:
- It creates a unique brand. With a microsite, your marketing team can develop a more targeted brand for your event which is distinct from your organization’s brand. This also lets you focus your event’s message without any unrelated clutter from your organization’s main website. Your microsite raises the chance to showcase specific event details that will raise your event appeal.
- It’s easy to set up. A microsite can be created more quickly than larger, fleshed out websites. This is perfect for events as they don’t have a long lifespan and the site isn’t necessary once the event is over.
- It refines your data tracking. With a specific microsite dedicated to your event, your marketing team can better track data metrics and get a sense of how many people are genuinely interested in the event. Track performance with accuracy and gain valuable insight to help develop your marketing strategy.
Microsites are increasing in popularity, especially with events trying to garner attendees with their online presence alone. If you want further information on how to go about creating an event microsite, Pathable can explain the benefits.
2. Provide an online registration form.
This may seem obvious, but an effective online registration form is a critical part of your event’s marketing strategy. For one thing, it’s become rare to have someone prefer to register for an event in person or over the phone.
Offering an online registration form is not only the best way to increase registration, it also provides a great place to gather attendee data and track event performance.
The perfect place for your online registration form is on your dedicated event microsite. Make sure your event registration form can embed directly into your site. This way, registrants won’t have to go to a third-party site and the whole process stays smooth and seamless. Additionally, you can embed the form on your main website as well as other platforms you may use.
Along with embedding your registration form, there are several other features that will provide your marketing team with actionable insights, as well as continue to facilitate the registration process for attendees. They include:
- Customizable forms. Make sure that the event registration software your organization uses allows you to customize forms as well as provides templates. Use templates as a guideline which you can edit to suit your needs and get the necessary attendee data for future action.
- Group registration. Allow people to register as whole groups. For example, let’s say you’re an association hosting a conference for professionals or you’re a museum hosting a youth event. It’s likely that employers will want to register their employees as a group or a teacher will want to register an entire class. Instead of having to register each individual, one person can register them all under one account and pay together. As you’re registering others in your company, you only have to add details specified to each employee instead of completing certain account information multiple times.
- Conditional logic. This isn’t a common feature throughout event registration software, but forms using conditional logic software will help personalize the process for each registrant. Let’s say the form asks about food allergies. If a registrant says they do have an allergy, the form will automatically transform to ask additional questions. Conditional logic can also trigger an automated email based on a specific answer from a registrant. That’s just the beginning of how conditional logic can help individualize a registrant’s journey.
- Automated payment processor. Don’t make your registrants pay the old fashion way, and make sure your registration software has an integrated payment processor. This way, attendees don’t have to go to multiple websites in order to simply register for your event. With a trusted automated payment processor, you can ensure that all transactions are secure and safe. Handling your constituent’s finances can be a lot of pressure, but Regpack has a great online registration payments Q&A guide for your convenience!
Optimize your registration form and make sure you’re making the process easy while also collecting pertinent data for your marketing team.
3. Develop an email marketing strategy.
It's a common misconception that email has become an outdated mode of communication. However, email is still the top way to share updates with constituents, with 72% of consumers saying that email is their preferred way of communicating with companies. So while your team is planning your next event, it’s imperative to carefully consider the best email marketing strategy.
Your email marketing is going to depend on your event management tools. Your software solutions should have some sort of communications capabilities, so make sure you invest in one that can optimize how you send emails.
To truly perfect your email marketing campaigns equip your team with these top features:
- Automated communication system. Allow your communication tool to send emails and messages based on certain triggers without creating extra work for your team. For example, every time a registration is completed, send an email to thank the registrant.
- Follow the registration process. Find software that can track the progress of each person as they fill out your event form, as well as present the progress to the registrant. For example, if they don’t finish registration, the next day they access your registration page, they can see exactly what steps they’ve finished and which ones they haven’t.
- Filter registrants. With your communications tool, filter registrants based on fields from the registration form or even on specific data points. Your event software can also use this information to personalize communications using names, event dates, and financial details.
A good email marketing strategy will personalize communications by targeting content around registrant actions as well as using personal details picked up from the registration process. Save your marketing team’s time by automating this process and keeping up those relationships with your attendees.
4. Gather data for report creation.
One of the best event marketing strategies is to review your recent event and improve your next strategy based on concrete data. With the right event management tools, you should be able to gather relevant event metrics and analyze them for important insights.
With the tools and solutions already discussed, your team should have quality data gathered from your event microsite, online registration form, and email marketing campaign. What can you do with this event data?
- Keep your data centralized, whether you keep it in the cloud and automate your backups or you manually integrate the information to your organization’s CRM. It’s important that your attendee’s information is kept secure, so don’t allow this to be the one part that your team loses focus on.
- Customize statistics and generate graphs and charts for your team to review. The best event software will be able to compile reports for you, as well as allow you to customize the insights that matter to you. With event reporting capabilities, your marketing team can make sense of your event data and decide what needs to be improved for future marketing strategies.
- Make sense of your event data with tools that allow your team to sift through event information. Advanced event software will even be able to use filters to filter conditions independently of each other and then compare results. You can easily compare and contrast the different ways attendees found out about your event or the different ways registrants pay. With filtering capabilities, your marketing team can hone down their search even further and produce specific insights.
The reports and charts used to review your past marketing campaigns utilizes event data generated by capable event management software. Make sure your registration process and email campaign is up to par, and let your marketing team better understand your constituents. If you’re on the hunt for capable event management software, read this.
Don’t worry about marketing your next event with capable event management tools. These solutions help you refine your target audience while also giving you the necessary data to make actionable insights and better understand your constituents. Good luck!
About the Author:
Asaf Darash, Founder and CEO of Regpack, has extensive experience as an entrepreneur and investor. Asaf has built 3 successful companies to date, all with an exit plan or that have stayed in profitability and are still functional. Asaf specializes in product development for the web, team building and in bringing a company from concept to an actualized unit that is profitable.