Image by: The Angry Teddy
By Josie Alexander
Whether you’re going into the event planning business or if you want to plan an event for your small business, it is imperative to look at various marketing strategies before you advertise. Business events are an important part to drawing in new clients, building strong relationships with potential business partners, and bringing in new customers. You want to make sure to do it right.
If you’ve got a big event planned for the near future, check out some of these great tips for marketing strategies and other event planning tips.
#1) Write Down the Details
While you are in the planning stage, make sure to jot down everything that you think of. While you may dismiss some of these thoughts later, it’s a good idea to consider all of your options first. Jot down all of the things that you may forget about later: prices for lighting, tables, food, transportation, content, presentation materials, etc.
#2) Have a Purpose and a Market in Mind
Every decision made during the planning process should support a main goal. So make sure that is clear before you start ordering the food. What is your main goal or purpose for this event? Also consider who your target audience is.
Don’t just think of your purpose for having this business event. In addition, think of why your guests would want to show up. What is their motivation for going to your event? What can you do to bring them through that door?
#3) Check Out the Local Events Calendar
Before you decide on a date and time, look into what other events are going on that day. Check the local events calendars on Facebook pages and on websites. Look at the local events calendars on an industry or neighborhood bulletin board.
Also make sure that you’re not scheduling this event too close to when people decide to go on a trip, vacation, or around the holidays. While people may get that time off, normally they block off that weekend as a “no business weekend” and spend that time with their friends and family or on trips.
#4) Remember to Be Flexible
Murphy ’s Law says that when bad things can happen, they will. Remember to be flexible. Have back-up plans for most of your initial plans. Have various copies of your presentation. Plan a back-up venue and date. Have an idea for food if the catering doesn’t pull through. From the time of your initial conception to when it actually takes place, your event will evolve into a different form.
#5) Financing Plans and Expense Budgets
Create a detailed marketing plan by taking into account your target market and looking into all of the different ways to reach them.
How are you going to fund the event? Create a financing plan as well. Consider a combination of sponsorships, ticket sales, and internal marketing budgets. Before you call catering services and book a venue, make sure that you’ve talked with various places that will sponsor your event, and make sure that you’ve looked into your internal marketing budget.
Consider selling advanced tickets to see how much interest you can get with this project as well.
Consider crowd-funding as a source of financing. As far as events go, you will need all the money that you can wrangle up because business events are always more expensive than you plan for. Crowd-funding is pretty nifty because you limit your risk by having attendees pledge for their tickets. If the minimum number of tickets or donations aren’t raised, there isn’t an event and the attendees know this in advance.
#6) Twitter Hashtags
Marketing your event on social media is pretty much a given. However, don’t forget to use Twitter hashtags to talk it up. Set up a unique hashtag right from the get-go and send regular updates on the progress of your event. When people retweet or use that hashtag, it is instant advertisement. The coolest part? Facebook is now using hashtags too.
#7) Pre-Event Specials
Create excitement for your event by hosting some pre-event specials. If you have great speakers that are available for it, have a Google Hangout or record a Skype chat with them where you can talk about all of the great things that will happen during the event. Then post snippets of the video on your website, YouTube, and other social media accounts at the two week and one week mark before your event.
#8) Online Registration
Utilize an online registration process. It’s easier and more convenient for your attendees. Also, another added perk is that online registrations can help you gauge how many people will end up attending your event.
#9) Use Your Speakers
If you have speakers attending the event, make it easy for them to publicize the event. Extra publicity, right? They should find it easy to share your event on their social media accounts and to their e-mail subscribers. Give them copies (digital and also print) of the ads for your event. Give them the hashtag, Help them to help you promote the event.