Effective event marketing thoughtfully ties event strategies to business objectives, while artfully connecting on-site experiences to audience and brand insights. This intermingling of business strategy and artistry is the result of a solid event planning process. With decades upon decades of experience, we at GES Events have perfected a process that helps to align stakeholders and get buy-in; that informs and inspires high-value experience creation; that drives business outcomes. We’ve developed this guide to help you plan and implement high-impact event marketing programs.
Assess Your Current Events Program
Collect the necessary information from your event stakeholders.
Event marketing sits at the intersection of branding, sales, PR, HR and more. One might say that the event planner is a diplomat, continuously negotiating between stakeholders to build an effective plan that meets (or at least tries to meet!) a broad array of objectives and needs.
No easy task.
The first step is to gather relevant information, which we sort into three categories:
- Business information – The event planner needs to understand the priorities and challenges of the business. Talk to stakeholders in the C-suite and leadership across the company to get a sense of what is most important to them from business, sales and marketing perspectives. This will help you align event strategies to the needs of the business.
- Event information – Look at any credible data you can get your hands on about past events. Ask stakeholders about their perceptions of your events and the role they play in the business. If possible, assess competitive and/or best-practice events in your industry.
- Attendee information – It’s critical to understand the needs and “care-abouts” of your targeted attendees. Talk to them. Get their insights about the industry, your company, and their experiences at events, etc.
The key element to effective information-collection is knowing what questions to ask. But don’t worry, we’ve got you. We’ve created a questionnaire to help you get started.
Determine Your Key Initiatives
Establish your event metrics and summarize findings.
While you need to establish objectives and metrics specific to your events, GES believes there are four key “outcome-oriented” metrics to use as a framework.
- Changes in the likelihood of attendees to purchase your products/services (surveys)
- Anticipated revenue based on analysis of leads
Lead analysis formula:
Number of qualified leads
Potential revenue per lead based upon product/service of interest
- Changes in brand awareness & perception across key brand dimensions (customized to your brand attributes)
- Changes in the likelihood of an existing customer to remain a customer as a result of the event
- Net Promoter Score*
- [*Established customer satisfaction metric: netpromoter.com]
The perceived value of the event
- Attendee perception of event value, based on key dimensions (customized to event experiences offered)
The Events Program Cheat Sheet will help you summarize your findings and share what you know, what works, what needs to evolve, and the metrics for success. This summary is also important for setting expectations by providing a realistic view of the current program and requirements to improve results, an indication of the level of resources and required investments, and ballpark estimates of expected performance results.
Develop Your Execution Plan
Build program elements around a focused marketing strategy.
Download "The Essential Event Marketers Planning Guide" to get started.