If you want to plan and implement a winning event marketing strategy, it should all revolve around your audience. Attendee experience is everything, and we don't just mean while the event is taking place! Your goal is to create anticipation and excitement before the event and continued benefits after the event.
We've previously discussed the importance of providing personalized marketing materials to your audience. Even with virtual events, you have the capability—through your database and the data you've collected—to provide each attendee with a customized experience. Here are some ideas and best practices for delivering a top-quality experience for your event.
Before the Event
Get your attendees interested in your event by creating targeted marketing campaigns for specific groups of people. Review your content and let it guide your strategy. Segment your audience by interests, age groups, and job level and see how these could match with your event sessions.
Once you've segmented your audience, use marketing automation tools to create targeted content and offers for each segment. From intelligent mail campaigns to targeted social media ads and email marketing, deliver the content each group needs to solve their unique challenges. Don't forget to consider video content, which is shown to be the most engaging form of content in today's marketing mix (likely because of shorter attention spans and the capacity to build buzz quickly.)
Another impactful way to provide a personalized pre-conference experience is with personal website pages (PURLs). Using your automation tools, you could send postcards to every prospective attendee with their very own unique landing page on your website. This is a high-visibility, eyebrow-raising marketing tactic that will drive your audience to your website to learn more.
Whatever methods you use, make sure you tease the event content your attendees will experience during the event itself. Meaningful pre-event content that shows the value of your event will increase your leads and conversions.
During the Event
Whether your event is in person, virtual, or a hybrid of the two, branding is the name of the game. Consider the following ways your brand—and those of your sponsors—can and should be displayed for your audience:
Signage and Wayfinding. The worst thing you can do to your attendees is get them lost! Make sure there is ample signage directing them to each session, meal, or special venue.
Hygiene and Safety. In the past two years, event planners have seen a skyrocketing rise in requests for hygiene stations. But even implementations like charging stations can be categorized under the safety umbrella. These areas are prime sponsor real estate and can be branded with custom graphics.
New Onsite Venues. Because of social distancing and room capacities, many venues are expanding their offerings into outdoor seating, balconies, and other open-air spaces. Explore the possibilities for unique branded structures like multifaceted towers and temporary walls to liven up theview.
Themed Mini-Events. If your conference has a reception, consider designing it around a central theme. The possibilities to delight your audience with custom graphics are endless. Try an 80s party with branded throwback gear or a luau complete with branded drink umbrellas. (Did you know we can print on those too?)
Social Walls. Have you ever attended an event with a social wall? These large screens display feeds from aggregated social content, like a specific hashtag or mention, and all attendees can see them. Even in a virtual setting, the feed will draw attention because of its interactivity. Take this opportunity to brand the experience with a sponsor or the event branding.
Photo Opportunities. Selfie spots are always a popular and engaging activity. Provide a step-and-repeat wall similar to a Hollywood red carpet backdrop and your brand will be spread far and wide as attendees snap selfies and group shots.
After the Event
Once it's all over, your goal is to keep the good vibes from your event flowing to your attendees. You've likely captured new information from this event (sessions attended, new interests, etc.) so make sure you update your database so that you can keep the targeted messaging going.
Post-event emails are standard, but you can really wow the audience with targeted video updates from speakers, specific content sent via direct mail, and detailed updates on breaking news about their topics of interest.
Looking for more ideas? Reach out to your account manager. Our years of experience in event branding and design have led to innovative solutions that delight all types of audiences.