If you’ve launched your business conference and everyone is not talking about it, then you’re not using all the tools in your marketing toolbox. Integrated Event Marketing (IEM) is all about marketing your event on multiple advertising platforms, so that the activities coincide.
In this blog post, I’ll share some of the tools and platforms to use with IEM to successfully market your next business conference.
The top three essential tools I use to market business conferences are as follows:
People who attend business conferences are usually senior managers, directors, or owners of companies, they often don’t have a lot of time, and it can be faster for them to view a video than read an article. Videos also contextualise a topic quickly, in less time than any other format; it’s entertaining, and it stimulates and engages multiple senses keeping you focussed on the subject. Creating videos can be expensive and time-consuming if you want it done professionally. The videographer will require a clear brief, and the person briefing the videographer must be a good storyteller.
The use of high-quality photos, coupled with relevant content, can make a powerful impact. It gives a professional look to your event, especially if you are selling expensive conference tickets.
To successfully market your business conference, you must have a content strategy. There are so many content ideas for business conferences. You could decide to write an article on each of your speakers, and you can write a feature article about your topic, delving deep into the complexities of your topic. It’s always good to have a headline act, the drawcard, and you can write multiple articles on the headline act because people want to know more about them. It’s essential to tailor your content to the local market where your event will be hosted and incorporate and profile local business news.
For successful integrated event marketing, the following platforms is a must:
1. Social media
When deciding on which social media platform to use to market your business conference, you must consider the type of event you’re hosting and the host city. Although LinkedIn is a business platform and would be the ideal platform on which to market your event, it’s also important to consider how far developed the business community is in the host city in terms of their adoption of a platform like LinkedIn. LinkedIn is usually a platform that is religiously used by business professionals that are highly competent in social media and personal branding. Many professionals, especially traditional businessmen/women, still predominantly use Facebook. Facebook is an ideal platform to market an event, and many people consider it as a platform still generally used by most people to stay up to date about the happenings in their community. However, this is changing and more professionals are becoming aware of the value of LinkedIn.
Radio can be a great way to promote your business conference, as little as a five-minute interview in a prime or relevant time-slot on-air can help tremendously to market your event. A ticket giveaway on-air can help you to sell your event, get people to engage with it, and gauge interest through listener call-ins to the radio station.
Print is a lasting message. It is not only read by the person who bought the copy of the newspaper or magazine, it is also read by the people related or surrounding the person who bought it; it’s read by colleagues, family members and friends, it gets passed around in the neighbourhood or at the office. Readers of newspapers and magazines are still considered sophisticated readers who have a unique or in-depth interest in a topic or locality.
4. Outdoor advertising
Marketers who haven’t yet explored outdoor advertising usually consider it to be a costly platform. However, there are multiple outdoor advertising opportunities available at varying costs that can fit any marketing budget, with even the least expensive options still being highly effective. Businesspeople must go to work. They are often on the road, driving to and from meeting, therefore to market your business event, this platform should be incorporated.
Think about the sites that your target audience would visit and consider purchasing advertising banners on those platforms. Consider your local business daily newspapers and their online platforms and find out what online advertising opportunities they have available. Find your audience where they are and meet them there.
6. Professional bodies
Make contact with the professional organisations in your community, where your event will is hosted, and discover what platforms they have available for you to market your event. These organisations usually host networking events, have weekly or bi-weekly email newsletters sent to their members and quarterly magazines that they release to the community.
7. Email marketing
If you already have a database of clients from an event you previously hosted, use that database for marketing your next event. Email marketing can be highly effective when specifically tailored to your audience. With email marketing, it’s vital to add value to the recipient and for the message to not be overly promotional. Businesspeople are always asking, “what’s in it for me?”
8. SMS Marketing
Not enough companies are utilising the benefits of SMS marketing. Especially when you have an existing database, SMSs can be highly effective in driving a purchasing decision, especially when it comes from a known source. SMSs can be used as a method to keep your target audience on track regarding the status of your event, and many people tend to wait until the last minute to make a purchasing decision. Therefore, it’s essential to remind them of your event.
The above are just some of the marketing tools and platforms available to successfully market your business conference.
In a previous article, I explained the best method to use when planning to implement Integrated Event Marketing, click here to read more.
All the best with organising and marketing your conference. Are there any tools and platforms you use that work for you? Please comment below, I'd like to hear from you.