Event Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

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I've Got Clicks, Do You?I was asked to donate my services recently to a group asking me to speak about internet marketing.  I sent them my bio, seminar details and the name of my company.  About a week out, I was looking to promote the event on my own Facebook and Twitter feeds to generate more interest, but I didn’t see any hash tags, much less a landing page for the event.  When I asked the organizer where to find any information, I found a page on a local town chamber website that had the date and location of the event, but nothing else.  No times, no agenda, no list of speakers.  When I asked about this, the answer came back, “well, we’re just volunteers.”  Sorry, I’m not buying it.  If you’re asking people to donate their time and talent for your event, it’s a slap in the face if you don’t bother to promote them properly.

If you’re charged with running an event, here are some tips to ensure you have quality speakers return to your event and that you attract the right audience:

Logos and Company Names:  I received the brochure the day before the event and saw my course, “I’ve Got Clicks, Do You?” renamed to “I Have Clicks, Do You?”  Seems like a small thing, however, Got Clicks is the name of my company – they were seriously messing with my branding.  I called asking for it to be corrected – my bad.  I should have e-mailed the corrected copy.  When I opened my brochure, it said: “I Got Clicks, Do You?” making my company sound like some hickster with a 5th grade education.   Take the time to get the logos, taglines and branding correct on your printed materials and send them out at least a week in advance for proofing before actual printing.

Social Media for Marketing:  Yes, hashtags are used both on Facebook and Twitter now to identify topics of conversation.  Tell your participants and vendors what tags you have come up with for your group so that others can talk up the event.  You paid good money for those pretty posters and newspaper ads – why on Earth would you skimp on something that’s free and thousands millions of people use every day?  It’s great to create the event on Facebook, but keep POSTING updates on the page so people get excited about it.  Post about the speakers, topics, prizes, silent auction, vendors, admission, etc.  Start your hashtags early so participants can keep track of the event and what’s happening in advance.  You’ll be creating a buzz that costs you nothing but time.

Yes, Twitter is for Events:  Use Twitter to announce the next speaker, useful quotes, and hashtags relevant to the conversation; something like this:

#nichemarketing discussion at #YourEventNameHere at 1:30 #sheraton #btv

Feed Your People:  If you have a professional speaker come either for a reduced rate or free, the least you can do is offer them lunch.  Don’t assume they’ll just fend for themselves, actively go down and offer it to them.  Chances are, they’re setting up the room for their talk and might not have a chance to grab a bite.  Going the extra mile to offer this courtesy really pays off in the end.

Feedback:  Don’t wait until the end of the conference to get feedback on a speaker.  Put a special offer on each feedback form that’s put into a drawing to win a juicy prize at the end of the day.  Make sure you have a box participants can drop their feedback form into to preserve their privacy and make it feel like a contest.  Promoting the big prize throughout the day ensures audience members stay until the end to see if they’ve won.

Seminar vs. Trade Show:  While big conferences like RSA and ALA have seminars going simultaneously right on the tradeshow floor, NEVER have this environment for a smaller event attracting under 100 people.  Setup workshops in smaller rooms so that your vendors will have time to sell.  Keynote speakers should be in the main hall, however, no longer than an hour and a half – then open the floor up for vendors.  If your seminar takes up the entire conference hall, the vendors won’t be able to sell – and they won’t be back next year.

Amenities:  Find out if your facility has high speed internet (kinda crucial for a talk on social media…) what the password is into the system, where the electrical outlets are, do they need microphones and lastly, where are the restrooms?

Taking care of the details will help you have a great show that attracts not only an audience, but quality vendors and speakers for next year.


9 thoughts on “Event Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

    Knikkolette Church said:
    October 23, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Unfortunately this happens more than we like to see. Having worked for a nonprofit, many times volunteers feel since they are donating their time, substandard work is O.K. The nonprofit should be lucky to have a warm body show up at all. You were good to request a correction for your branding. I’m sorry it didn’t turn out correct. Am I surprised? Not really.

    HeatherJabusch said:
    October 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Great tips Sarah! Thank you for sharing your knowledge =)

    Miriam Slozberg (@msmir) said:
    October 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing Sarah.

    Carly Alyssa Thorne said:
    October 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Great Post, Thanks for the great tips

    Carly Alyssa Thorne said:
    October 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm
      Got Clicks? responded:
      October 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Thanks for the re-blog, Carly! I appreciate it.

    Maggie DeGennaro said:
    October 23, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Great information…thank you..

      Got Clicks? responded:
      October 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      You’re welcome, Maggie! Hope it helps.

    Tereza (ourgreektv) (@terezalitsa) said:
    October 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Great article! Very useful, definitely keeping all the tips!

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