By Brea Carter, founder and director, Experience Maker PR
Often – and rightly so – the focus of an event turns to devising a compelling strategy, coming up with out-of-the-box creative and ensuring a seamless delivery.
However, this means there can be missed opportunities when it comes to the promotion of both an event and the parties involved – from the host and sponsor brand/s to the event or experiential agency, AV company and more.
Below are five marketing tactics to consider when it comes to generating interest in an event, building brand reputation and continuing the conversation after the fact.
1//Engage your audience via email
Email marketing is a great way to let your existing audience know you’ve got an event coming up and tap into prospects through database growth strategies.
These include rewarding those that sign up with special offers, re-targeting and banner advertising the offer, and sharing your newsletter sign up link across social and web.
Email marketing also allows for ongoing engagement once an event ends. It can be leveraged to share event highlights, trend and news-driven pieces and even surveys that inform the design and production of future events.
2//Explore opportunities with earned media
Impartial media coverage is incredibly powerful from both a brand building and reach perspective. So where possible, share event details with the press outlets your target audience consumes ahead of time. Importantly, make sure you contact not only the relevant outlets, but the right journalists too.
Then once the event rolls around – COVID-19 restrictions permitting – offer select media the chance to go behind-the-scenes at an event, by hosting them on the day.
3//Amplify it with social
Whether in-person, virtual or hybrid, not everyone can attend an event live, so it pays to develop a robust social strategy where they can tune in at varying stages or catch up on what they’ve missed.
This could include a combination of posting written sound bites and images of event highlights, live streaming content and sharing snackable pieces of edited video footage. An official event hashtag is a must too – and make sure you promote and encourage its use among attendees for greater reach.
4//Consider industry awards
If the event was a great success, it’s worth identifying award schemes and categories to enter it into. Awards are great for boosting both brand reputation and employee morale. It’s important to stick to the facts when crafting entries, include tangible results and keep it as visual as possible!
5//Don your copywriting hat
Create a master case study of the event and edit it for different award submissions, media pitches, your website (ensuring it’s SEO optimised) and sharing across social (aim for highly visual posts for maximum engagement). Want to be a thought leader? You could include the case study in a topic-specific white paper, too.
This industry produces great work, so where possible, strive to share what you’re up to with others, either yourself or with the support of a specialist agency. It will work wonders for your business and elevate this brilliant sector in the process.
Experience Maker PR (EMPR) is an independent public relations agency for the event, experiential and hospitality industries. Founded by former hospitality and marketing journalist and event agency marketer Brea Carter in 2021, EMPR provides a range of content, media and digital services to clients in Australia, the UK and the US.