Organizing events can be a great way to build a community and following for your business. This is especially true if your product or service caters to a very niche. The target group in such narrow niches tend to be highly passionate and events help foster a sense of community among such users.
However, organizing a successful event is easier said than done. Successful event management requires a great deal of planning and execution. When executed imperfectly, your event can draw in very thin crowds than can backfire and sully your brand.
Here are a few quick tips on how to go about launching a successful business event.
Plan your event well in advance
Planning an event can be a lot of work and it is important to give yourself adequate time. At the same time, it is also worth pointing out that an individual’s certainty of participation reduces over time. This is because participants who have RSVPd to your event early on might have other things come up that was not anticipated earlier.
The ideal time to plan an event is thus between 30 to 45 days. It is also recommended that you pick a date and venue that is apt for the season. This ensures that participants to do not back off at the last minute because of rain or a snow storm.
At the outset, a free-for-all event seems like the best way to maximize participation and brand exposure. Not surprisingly, early-stage startups plan such events with the hope that their campaign could go viral and bring in hundreds (or even thousands) of participants.
There are a few downsides to this. Firstly, planning an event can be incredibly challenging in the absence of a clear idea of your audience size. Your organization may lease a large space only to have a handful of people turn up. Too many people turning up at a small venue makes things chaotic and unpleasant for everyone involved.
A paid event works better since you have a better idea of your audience size. Also, paid events attracts the highly passionate crowd that will turn up regardless of the weather or traffic. Use an event management software that can seamlessly integrate with your marketing channels like Facebook. This allows you to focus your marketing campaign on a targeted audience and also sell tickets in the process.
Have a dedicated marketing plan
Organizing an event can mean a lot of operational and marketing work. Ideally, you should hire an event marketing company to handle all of this. However, if you are a bootstrapped startup, you may be tempted to do all of this yourself.
While all the running around can take up most of your time, it is also important to invest a good amount of time marketing your event. Pick a channel that is popular among your target group and market heavily in this channel. This could be Facebook, or LinkedIn or even local meetups.
Once you have picked the channel, figure out the most optimal outreach strategy. There are a few strategies you could try out.
The most popular strategy is to target your PPC ad at the right target audience. That can however be quite expensive (unless you are selling each of your tickets for several hundred dollars each). Marketers also tend to create ‘newsworthy’ press releases about the event and target the ad at influencers (both social media influencers as well as bloggers and journalists). This lets you be seen by the voices in your industry who then write about your event to the larger audience.
Another popular strategy in recent times is to create interactive content like quizzes and surveys. Social media users, like those on Facebook, enjoy participating in such quizzes that also allow you to capture greater insights into their interests. Engagement on such content is also high and this allows you to capture targeted leads for your event. These leads may then be prospected further to sell your event tickets.
All said and done, an event marketing campaign involves a lot of capital investment that does not always return a profit. While you may very well be sure about the success of your campaign, it is also important to make sure that you do not turn a loss due to factors outside your control. Getting a public liability insurance is an absolute must while organizing business events. This insurance covers you in the event of third party injuries or damage to properties during the event.
Organizing events can catapult your brand exposure and also help you build credibility in your industry. However, pulling one off successfully is always tricky. The tips mentioned here in this article should go a long way in helping you succeed in your campaign.