Organising an event is like a planning road trip: it might be tempting to dive straight in, but taking the time to strategise at the start lays the foundations for a smooth journey with no wrong turns and a wealth of great conversations during the ride. That’s because devising and implementing a well thought-out event marketing strategy ensures your event doesn’t meander off-track from its primary purpose and that all campaign elements are aligned to achieve the end goal. The result? A truly memorable neuroexperience that not only stands out from the crowd, but also has a tangible business impact. Here’s how you go about it.
Deciding the event objective
Finding out an event’s objective (the why) involves digging deep internally to understand the reason for making the event road trip. Is the destination enhanced brand awareness? Are you looking to boost customer engagement in a new market? Are you going on a journey to promote a new product?
After choosing the destination, it’s time to plot the event roadmap: the strategy. However, not every road trip takes the same route even if it has the same destination. Take brand loyalty, for example: an event to boost support amongst Generation Z consumers – who favour a brand’s mission, purpose and authenticity will require a different strategy than building brand loyalty amongst baby boomers. That’s because events can’t just be a compelling idea, you also need a compelling reason for your target audience to attend and pay attention, a compelling reason for them to stay and a compelling reason for them to engage post-event.
Going on trend and on brand
A key part of an event marketing strategy is analysing what your target audience craves and then designing the event to indulge that craving. Working alongside event professionals, brands should first look at internal data they have from previous events – what were the audience demographics (age, income, industry etc.)? What was the no-show rate? What parts did guests enjoy most? Thanks to their experience and event-trained perspective, event professionals will be able to spot what worked and what was lacking and what type of indulgent treats are needed to always keep the audience coming back for more.
Event management and event marketing companies can also help you take an external data dive, scraping social media and competitor info. For example, what is your target audience discussing on social media? What other events are they attending? What are their current feelings about attending in person events during a pandemic? What is hot and what is not? What are your competitors doing?
Then it’s time to align these insights with a brand’s wider marketing and corporate strategy. Left unaligned, and you often end up with a square peg in a round hole. A little like choosing a route for your new motorhome with low tunnels and narrow bridges. For instance, what is your brand image and messaging style? What are your expected marketing KPIs and return on investment (ROI)? How have you engaged with your audience previously? Red Bull are masters of this: their brand is about pushing the boundaries of human endurance and so is every one of the extreme sports events that they sponsor or create.
Making it impossible to say no
The event marketing strategy will pull all these ingredients together so there is a clear streamlined direction towards memory-making heaven. The final stage is making it as easy as possible for your audience to attend. Brands should:
Choosing the right event professionals
Marrying brand insight with consumer data and key objectives lies at the heart of event marketing strategy, but it can be a time-consuming endeavour. That’s why it pays to work with event professionals that know the ropes. At Rebel & Soul, we’re the ultimate travel agent for your event road trip. Blending our extensive knowledge of event channels and extensive catalogue of past experience with brand insights and consumer research, we devise bespoke event roadmaps with impactful destinations. Pack your bags, let’s go make some memories.
For more information on event planning and management success, read our whitepaper: The ultimate guide to event planning & management.
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