Event Marketing Calendar [Template]
Planning an event is no easy task: event managers must be detail oriented and extremely organized in order to keep track of an entire array of variables. Always aiming to make your life easier, we have put together an event marketing calendar template, so you can plan your entire marketing communication schedule ahead of time, and have a bird’s eye view into your event communication throughout the entire event lifecycle.
The marketing calendar template is divided by weeks, which are grouped together as pre-event, during the event, and post-event sections. You may add or remove as many weeks as necessary to adjust to your event needs. Remember that the sooner you start promoting your event the better, as you can start selling tickets early on, in addition to building awareness towards the event.
A marketing calendar template will help you define when each message will be sent, but not necessarily what message will be shared. That’s why we added a line for theme messages, so you can map out what key messages should be shared at which stage. Here are some theme ideas that you may want to consider when planning your event marketing calendar:
- Save the date message
- Notifying of price increases
- Promote speakers
- Promote workshops
- Special offers
- Photos and videos from previous events
- Sneak peek for the key takeaways for the event
- Post-event survey: Follow up with a discount code for the next year’s event
You may want to include milestones in your event marketing calendar. For example, you can plan how many tickets you would like to have sold by a certain date. This will be especially helpful to help plan your marketing messages based on these milestones.
Special Promotions/ Price Increases
If you are running a paid event, you should include the ticket price, as well as special offers and dates related to the offers, including early-bird pricing, promo codes, and pricing tiers for different segments. This may also help guide your communication strategy.
Need help developing a price and promotion strategy for your event? Fear not! Check out this Ticket Pricing Strategy Guide that covers proven tips to help you determine your ticket pricing strategy, and ensure the financial success of your event.
Before you start planning your email strategy, think about what segments you can market to. For example, you can email people who attended your events in the past and people in your mailing list that haven’t attended an event yet. You can also think in terms of marketing to members and non-members of your organization. Go over your email lists and define which segments are relevant to your event and which messages you can send to each of these groups. With email marketing being one of the top ticket selling channels for events, you want to make sure to start emailing early and often.
Content is still king, so whether you are writing optimized copy to generate more organic traffic to your event website, or to reach new audiences, this is a strategy you must consider for your event.
Blog: Blog posts are an easy way to talk about your event and you can repurpose the content by sharing the article through email and social media. You should also consider reaching out to industry blogs and offer a guest post, in order to reach new audiences. A lot of sites accept guest posts, which is free, so you should definitely try it.
Press Release: The power of the media should not be underestimated. Investing in a press release and reaching out to media outlets can create a lot of buzz around your event. This can not only reach new audiences, but also give that extra sales push by influencing those who haven’t decided to attend the event yet. Think about what angle to take, and share interesting, newsworthy content. Why is your event unique? Why should people care about it? If possible, add quotes, interviews, relevant stats, and anything else that may get the journalist’s attention.
Influencer Outreach: Research digital influencers in your industry and reach out to ask if they would be interested in a partnership. While most influencers with 100k+ followers will likely charge for a post, you may contact micro-influencers, who have less followers, but reaches a niche market. Some may be willing to promote the event in exchange for free tickets, and some may request more perks in exchange for their voice.
Partnerships: As with influencers, you may create other sorts of partnerships. For the purpose of this event marketing calendar, you should think about partnerships that will help you achieve your marketing goals. Consider potential collaborators, complimentary brands, media partners, in-kind sponsors, and more. Once you close the deal, make sure to make things easy for them. You should create banners with their photos/ logos, blog posts, and anything else they need to share the event with their audience.
Event Listings: Listing your event on different online directories may help with your event SEO - which can expand your organic reach. Check a list of sites to list your event in this blog post (alongside other tips to improve the SEO for your event website).
It’s also worth getting into social media early on, to build awareness and drive buzz.
If appropriate to your event, you should create an event on Facebook which can help expanding your reach: when people RSVP to your Facebook event, their friends and connections may start seeing the event too, which puts the event in front of more people. To take even greater advantage of this, consider boosting your event using Facebook advertising.
You can also start the conversation on Twitter early on, and make sure to create your unique event hashtag.
Continue to share information about the event, speakers, attractions, and everything else relevant to the event, so your audience is always reminded and up to date. Consider paid posts on social media in order to reach your targeted audience.
In addition to social media advertising, think about other forms of online advertising. Google AdWords is a good option, and here are some ads you might consider for your event:
- Search: Text ads that will show in the Google results page when users do a search that is relevant to your ads.
- Display: Text or banner ads shown in third-party sites. This is a great way to build awareness of your event. There are many ways to target your audience, including demographics, location, keywords and topics used on the site or page your ads can show, users actively searching or interested in something you define, and more.
- Video: If you have a good video to promote your event, consider setting up YouTube ads.
- Remarketing: Display ads to people who have visited your event website, but didn’t register for your event yet.
- Media placement: Select which sites you would like to have your ads showing on. This can only be done if the third-party site allows advertising on their site. If they have a Google AdSense account, you may use Google to do placement advertising. Some sites, however, don’t work with the Google platform, and you may contact them directly in order to purchase online space.
Ready to start building your event marketing calendar? Download the spreadsheet template so you can build your communication calendar ahead of time and be on top of your marketing strategy.