Other than Digital Marketing, another thing that I really enjoy doing is organizing events! I have done a few of them in the past starting from my school days to now and they have varied in terms of the type of event, the scale, the audience etc. There are a lot of tasks involved in different stages of the event planning process including logistics, admin work, PR and the one of the most important tasks is the marketing of the event itself.
Marketing has always been a key factor in determining how successful your event is. In a lot of events, it is very important to brand it the right way in order to get the right kind of people for the event. The way we manage and organize events has changed a lot over the years with a number of new technologies being introduced to us. We now have more efficient collaborative tools like Google Docs, Doodle, online registration tools like Event Brite and many such tools that have eased a lot of tasks in the event management process. Similarly, technology has influenced the way we market our events. Digital has played a major role in modifying marketing strategies and has had a huge impact on the marketing activities.
I feel that more than anything else, Social Media has had a huge impact on the way we market events. It helps us to reach out to a super large audience within a very short span of time. It has made marketing so interactive, allowing event organizers to stay connected to their target audience. So, here is how some major social networksare helping in better marketing of events.
We all know that Facebook has now become a very integral part of everyone’s life. Not marketing on Facebook is like leaving out more than half of your target audience. Facebook’s features like “Pages”, “Events” play a very important role in marketing events.
Once an event is well conceptualized and it is time for publicity, the first thing the marketing team ends up doing is creating an event on Facebook. Facebook events allow you to invite all your friends and give them all the information regarding the event in the simplest way. It is also a great way to enable the interaction between the guests of the event.
Posting on an event page gives a notification to all the people who are in the guest list thus ensuring that everyone gets the latest updates instantly given the amount of time users spend on Facebook.
For events that happen regularly like TEDx events, marketers also create a Facebook page for the event. This allows the organizers to build a community of people who like their event and engage them before and after the event.
Facebook is also one of the most flexible platforms which allow many people from the organizing team to take up different roles in the marketing efforts. Facebook pages and events can have more than one admin which ensures that the whole team can contribute towards marketing if need be. Secret Facebook groups also make it super easy to collaborate with team members.
Another very popular social network, Twitter has now become the best way to send regular updates about an event to the public. For example, events which involve a lot of speakers would like to use Twitter to reveal one speaker at a time and also tweet about them constantly just to keep people excited.
A lot of people, who love tweeting, do the live tweet about the event while attending it. So, event marketers now create Twitter accounts for their events and associate a specific hash tag with their event. So the attendees usually use the @ and # to include the event’s official Twitter page in their tweets and when many people do the same, the event sometimes becomes the trending topic on Twitter.
The 2nd largest search engine in the world can obviously not be neglected when it comes to marketing! Event trailers, past event videos, videos after the event is completed, all of this can come together in one YouTube channel. Good videos are very powerful in attracting people as they can go really viral. This has made event marketers think about ways to build their YouTube channels as well and have quality content on it.
Other than these 3 social networks, there are many others like Pinterest, Google+ etc. that have the power to shape the way we market and organize events. In the Google I/O 2012, Google+ Events was revealed which now offers the capability to submit and stream photos real-time from an event. So all the photos from an event are in one place and everyone can submit these pictures using something called the “party mode”.
Apart from these features of the social networks, the power of social media in itself has made marketers think out of the box and come up with creative campaigns to better use these features to that market their events. Marketers now have to think about various kind of content that can be appropriate for a particular channel of marketing. Even if they have the same information to give out to their audience, they need to put in a lot of efforts in packaging and presenting it creatively on different platforms. From simple marketing strategies like sharing the event, liking the event to complex strategies integrating different platforms, social media has completely taken event marketing to a new level. It has also enabled the integration of offline and online marketing efforts.
Even though the basic aim of marketing even now is reaching your audience, it is no longer just about informing them about the event. It is about how marketers include their audience in the entire journey of organizing an event. It is about engagement and the excitement created for the event!