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How to Market and Promote your next Corporate Event

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How to Market and Promote your next Corporate Event

Corporate events are big business, but even the most successful events need expert promotion and marketing efforts before the big day in order to enjoy success. Make sure your next event attracts the right attendees and delegates with these top tips:

Tap into Social Media

Businesses are rapidly waking up to the power of social media when it comes to event marketing and beginning to understand how targeted adverts can bring a healthy ROI without waste. From promotional and sponsored posts through to banner adverts; the ability to not only define and then target your audience but also to scale your event marketing represents a huge advantage over offline marketing channels.

To start with, choose the social media platforms that your would-be attendees are likely to be active on. The biggest platforms tend to be LinkedIn for B2B and Facebook for B2C. Twitter tends to work for both audiences and is also very powerful for on-site updates and the use of hashtags. Instagram and Pinterest are also growing, but focus on the ‘big three’ initially if you don’t already have an active promotional presence cross-platform.

If you are keen to reach out to an industry influencer to share your promotional message, be prepared to offer something in return such as a VIP ticket to the event, or even the opportunity to speak. These big social media names get bombarded with promo requests, so you’ll need to give them an offer they can’t refuse.

For LinkedIn, use your own network to share messages about a B2B event and contribute to groups and forums in order to raise awareness. Twitter is ideal for doing a countdown and all platforms offer targeted banner ad opportunities to further spread your message. Remember to send different reminders about the event rather than hoping a single post will do all the work for you. Ideally use a combination of words, images and video to bring your content to life.

Remember, too, to create an event hashtag so that your attendees can comment and share content that is relevant to the event on the day itself, as well as before and after the event. This will give you a head start on promotion for the next one and allow you to create a real buzz which is participant-generated and authentic.

Email Marketing

This is easy to do, low-cost and a ready tool in every marketer’s armoury. Again, think and plan before you simply fire out a promo email. Analyse your data list and segment it accordingly. Create groups of emails that will meet the interests and objectives of each segmented group. Use images and text to make the final piece engaging. Make sure you use your branding, along with professional messaging and a clear call to action (which is likely to be a link to your online ticket sales page.)

Trade Press

Don’t forget the power of trade press. Depending on your relationship with existing publications within your industry you may simply be able to issue a press release and enjoy ready coverage or you may need to sponsor a banner or print ad. Remember to schedule in plenty of time for anything with a print deadline. Speak to your PR contact or company and ask them to leverage their journalist relationships in order to secure some good coverage.

Speakers

If you are using speakers at your event, ask them to promote it via their own networks and platforms (online and off). Most speakers will either be paid for or have an interest in appearing in front of your audience, so build this expectation into the arrangement. Your speakers will naturally be well known in the industry, so make use of this visibility and don’t be afraid to ask them to mention your event hashtag in order get more social media traction (if they’re speaking at your event, it’s likely they’ll be talking about it to their peers anyway).

Your Network

Most industries still rely heavily on word of mouth marketing, so get out there and talk to your own network about the event. Don’t bore people and dominate genuine business conversations with your own agenda, but do remember to mention it. Ideally you could get a short speaker slot at any business event and use this to namedrop and bring it to the attention of a wide and targeted audience. Get your sales and customer-engaging frontline staff to do the same and offer training where necessary so that they provide the right level of ‘light touch’ information.

Online Marketing and SEO

SEO is typically a long-term activity, but you can boost your short-term online rankings by using the right keywords, hashtags, alt and image tags and relevant headings for the event-related content that you produce.

Online Marketing and SEO

Last but not least, remember to add news, features and flag-ups onto your own website so that your event is strongly positioned and visible to all of your customers and leads who visit it. You can boost exposure by creating a dedicated page on your site, making sure to use the right keywords, hashtag mentions. Talk about it in your blog and also add video content to bring the news to life. Clearly position your ticket purchase or registration links on your homepage and consider incentivising early bird ticket sales with a discount.

Consider running some online marketing adverts on Google – again, narrowly defining your audience so that the return on your PPC budget is healthy and avoids any spiralling costs.

With all these marketing channels and tactics covered, you can look forward to a great turnout at your event. Just make sure you tell people the right venue.

About the Author: Denise Sharpe is Managing Director and founding partner of London based event management company Outsourced Events. With over twenty years in the event industry, she has helped run events for global corporates such as Dell, Citrix and renowned UK organisations like the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. You can get in touch with Outsourced Events on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook or check out more of Denise’s insights on their event blog.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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