Also known as experiential marketing, event marketing is an effective strategy that drives lead generation, customer engagement, and strong ROI for your business. In fact, 80% of marketers believe live events are critical to their company’s success, while 98% of people feel more inclined to purchase after attending an event activation, as reported by Experiential Marketing News.
And while planning your first event can be challenging for businesses, the payoff is huge. To get started, here are four simple steps to help you launch your first event successfully - from start to finish:
The first step in planning your event is to set goals, define your vision and establish a budget:
- Define Your Vision. Determine the overall purpose of your event. Are you launching a new product or celebrating a business milestone? Write it down, and use it to help you make the right decisions, as well as motivate and empower your team.
- Set Goals. Identify event marketing goals that align with your vision. For example, you may aim to “increase sales of X product by 15%” or “generate X qualified leads through your event activation.” Outlining your end goals helps to create a clear road map to help you and your team stay on course.
- Dictate Your Budget. Create a detailed budget that includes every anticipated cost - like catering, decor and equipment fees - as well as projected expenses, actual expenses and any other important details. Once set, be sure to track your expenses to avoid going over budget.
During the planning stage, you can design the foundation of your event by doing the following:
- Choose a Venue. Based on your event, you’ll want to consider factors such as cost, location, capacity, style and layout. Regardless of the type of venue you choose, do your best to find one that is experienced in hosting events.
- Marketing. Getting the word out to your desired guests is crucial. Promote the event through various channels, like emails, brochures, social media posts and radio advertisements, and offer incentives like door prizes and raffles to increase registration.
- Develop a Timeline. Set realistic benchmarks to ensure your event is ready to launch on time. This may include deadlines to book the venue, confirm sponsors or for attendees to register to the event.
Once you have laid out your plans, it’s time to gather your team to accomplish everything leading up to and including the event itself. Here are a few ideas to help you master this phase of event planning:
- Delegate to Staff. From making seating arrangements to managing vendors, it’s essential to delegate duties to skilled and reliable team members. A successful event requires a dedicated team, so depend on them to help you during this crucial stage.
- Fill in the Details. Review your event itinerary to ensure you have covered everything. Here, you might revisit small details such as parking, refreshments and entertainment. Confirm that everything is accounted for, and make the necessary adjustments.
When the big day arrives, make sure you have the proper staff on hand to execute the event as planned. If you are serving refreshments and food, for instance, hire waiters that are suitable for those functions. Additionally, make sure that you and your marketing team are available to answer any questions from guests, who could be potential customers.
Launch a Successful Marketing Event for Your Business
Although planning an event may feel intimidating at first, event marketing is a highly effective and rewarding way to attract, engage and convert customers. Use the simple steps above to organize your upcoming event. You will likely walk away from the event with new customers, and thereby, drive business and increase your bottom line.