Event Marketing 101
Success in any aspect of life doesn't "just happen." Success is usually a byproduct-mixture of hard work, hustle, and healthy outlined detailed planning, and proper follow-through.
For the event marketing industry, like its cousin in the event planning sector, it is, by its very nature, unpredictable. Change is as commonplace as oxygen. With that said though, it doesn't grant you a free pass to not being prepared as best as possible--just the contrary. Proper margin in scheduling in conjunction with clarity and cohesion of current plans as well as executable contingency plans are an integral necessity in the overall experiential marketing strategy.
Whether designing an interactive experience for an eye-catching presence at the latest trade show, or a luxury suite to entertain clients at the next high-profile event, there are a never-ending logistical list that requires constant attention and updating--ranging from: travel logistics (both ground and air), possible tickets and lodging needs, catering and hospitality elements, social and multimedia components, talent and staffing reservations, permit placements, insurance needs, marketing and print collateral, vendor relations, PR, decor that is on point, adhering to a lean budget while creatively operating and leveraging a healthy ROI, is all part of the life and juggling process of an event marketer.
To help minimize uncertainty and plan for the un-expected, there are a few guidelines that should be addressed at the onset of any event or marketing program:
- Budget. In contrast to the stigma of curtailing creativity, a budget serves as a road map for how to best spend and allocate the dollars you do have.
- Timeline. Like a map that shows all of the twists and turns up-ahead, this guide provides the template for "What's Next?" in the planning and priority process.
- Margin. Without a doubt, things will likely never fully go according to plan as life is about adjustments. Adding proper margin into schedules--on the forefront--allows detours and adjustments to be made when things don't go fully according to plan. Said simply: plan EXTRA time into your timeline.
- Metrics. Like sports, business requires proper score-keeping to help gauge what "success" in execution actually looks like.
- Demographics. Just as benchmarks vary per event, so do intended target audiences.
- Location. Marketing 101: location, location, location. This principle still remains pertinent in and throughout the planning process.
- Staffing Needs. No man is an isle. To pull off any event with success, it requires a synergistic team that not only knows its respective role, but is committed to accomplishing the task at hand.
- Premiums. As determined by your target audience (and budgetary constraints), any give-aways must properly be value-added to your intended audience segment.
- Social Media. Contrary to popular belief, the internet isn't a fly-by-night operation. For many brands it is the platform to properly engage with fans and connect with consumers, so plan accordingly.
- Creative Elements. Attendees want experiences they can ultimately talk-about and be the envy for participating in (whether that's VR goggles, photography, lead generation, a luxury resort, a sports car ride, etc.)
- Recap. Post event learnings offer invaluable insights as to what worked, what didn't, and what can be improved upon as you proactively plan for future events.
- Weather. Although you can't control the weather forecast, you can help minimize prospective outdoor hindrances with proper margin and practice scheduling.