Nov 13, 2018 / in Comms Best Practices / by Kayla Matthews

With all the talk of online branding and social media marketing, you may have overlooked some of the things that make in-person, or event marketing, great.

Of course, you can still tie event marketing into the online world, but the focus is very narrowed and all about what happens at the event, how people can participate in activities and experiencing something unique to your brand.

In one survey, 63 percent of marketers said they planned to spend more on promoting live events in the future. Most marketers believe live events define the success of their companies and see it as even more effective than online advertising in reaching new leads.

Marketing events is a bit different than other types of marketing. Here are six things to keep in mind to get the word out about your next event.

1. Incorporate Influencers

One way to market your event online is by utilizing influencers in your industry. For example, ask them to share details about your event. You should also reach out to key players and invite them to your event as speakers.

Take a look at how IBM promotes the influencers who will speak at their event. They offer a page that allows site visitors to "meet the speakers." A large photo highlights each speaker. Click on the picture, and you get the person's title and expertise.

2. Use a Consistent Color Scheme

Your event should have an overall color palette that you use anytime you promote the event. If you have a website, similar colors should be used there as on your Twitter page and in any material you mail out. Event attendees should immediately recognize you from the color scheme you use.

TedGlobal advertises the event on their website, in business magazines and on their social media channels. Note how they use the same black and white logo with a splash of red, but in various combinations of those three colors across all the different mediums.

Ted Global Event Page.png


3. Create Excitement with a Promotional Video

Video is a powerful marketing tool. When potential event attendees watch a message within a video, they retain 95 percent of it compared to only retaining 10 percent reading text alone. A promotional video that highlights the key advantages of attending your event sticks with viewers.

The Inspire 2019 event from Leading Authorities has a rousing video on their website about their Day of Ideas that draws the viewer in and makes them want to attend the event. The video highlights the excitement of attendees of past events.

Inspire Video Thumbnail.png

4. Get Social Media Buzz Going

Even though event marketing gives you a chance to connect with people face-to-face, you first have to get them to your event. One of the best marketing tactics with the highest return on investment (ROI) is social media marketing.

The SXSW Festival does a great job of promoting their event and sharing details about keynote speakers and things you'll experience if you attend. Their use of modern graphics and exciting speakers invites others to share their posts, extending the reach of their social media buzz.

5. Encourage Registration with Emails

40 percent of event marketers feel email promotions are the most effective tool to drive event registration. Those who sign up for your mailing list tend to be highly interested in what you have to offer. Your list is made up of people who have contacted you via social media, signed up through your website or attended events in the past.

Take a look at HubSpot's Inbound advertisement that was sent out via email for their event in Boston, MA. The colors are bold and eye-catching, highlighting the event speakers and why they're noteworthy. They also personalize the email, addressing the subscriber by first name. Finally, they end with a strong call to action (CTA) button.

HubSpot Event Email.png

6. Add Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are beginning to transform the world around us. As mobile phones become more adept at allowing users to experience the world around them on the fly, expect to see AR more and more often. It's transforming event marketing as well. Think about ways to draw the user into the world of your event.

One example of this type of technology is the new Noovie app used at some theaters. While someone is watching a preview for a scary movie, a zombie might pop up on their smartphone screen and scare them. Users might also play a game while waiting for the film to start.

Live Events Combine With the Online World

Events today combine easily with the online world. Use a hashtag to promote your event as it's happening, for instance, or gather the posts of all attendees in one place.

Promote your live event online and your online channels at your live event. No longer does marketing involve only online or offline tactics. Instead, it integrates both worlds into a perfectly cohesive experience.

VPO Content CTA.png

Most Recent Posts

Cision Blogs Topics

  • Communications Best Practices

    Get the latest updates on PR, communications and marketing best practices.

  • Cision Product News

    Keep up with everything Cision. Check here for the most current product news.

  • Executive Insights

    Thought leadership and communications strategy for the C-suite written by the C-suite.

  • Media Blog

    A blog for and about the media featuring trends, tips, tools, media moves and more.

About Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews writes about branding and digital marketing for websites like Convince and Convert, The Daily Muse and VICE. You can learn more about Kayla and her brands here.