In 2020, events are going to become an even stronger pillar of B2B and B2C marketing. With major organizations like Salesforce, Google, Adobe and HubSpot investing heavily in planning out innovative and interactive events, the smaller organizations aspiring to be industry leaders have to rush into event planning just to update their marketing strategies. Top B2B Chief Marketing Officers plan to allocate almost 30% of their marketing budget to event planning in 2020.
While this is good news for event professionals, they need to start preparing to handle all of this work that is set to come their way. From determining and meeting event targets to choosing a top planning software to use – there is simply too much to focus on. Adopting a clear event strategy will be critical to seize this great opportunity. Here is a comprehensive guide for event professionals as they gear up for what could be the busiest year of their lives.
Planning the Event
The planning stage is unquestionably the most important. Event managers must set a clear schedule prioritizing each step of the event. From choosing what type of event will best suit the event objectives to a clear budget – decide on every important factor during this stage.
Determining Event Goals
The first and the most significant step of your event plan is determining the reasons behind organizing the event. Answer these important questions at the start of the planning stage - What are the objectives behind organizing this event?
The most common event objectives include:
- Increase brand awareness
- Generate and secure qualified leads
- Improve customer relationships
- Educate customers about new products
- Educate employees
- Boost sales
As much as companies have evolved with progress in technology, face to face interactions still are as important as ever in marketing. All of these objectives are achievable when an event is well-planned. It is the duty of the leadership team to determine the main goals of the event and prioritize them so that a clear event schedule can be devised. (If you want to learn more about setting your event plan, check this whitepaper with a comprehensive step by step guide to building your event plan.)
Event Budget Estimation
During the planning process, event administrators must also have a clear estimate on –
- Number of expected registrations
- Expected gross revenue
- Plans to ensure attendee satisfaction and engagement
- Number of projected sales leads
Based on these estimates, the leadership team must then create a final budget. Itemize every possible expense. Leave some room for additional expenses. Without a set budget approved by the leadership team, it becomes impossible for workers down the line to determine the safest promotional channels for the event and the necessary tools needed for managing these channels.
Event Management Software
Lastly, event profs must decide on what types of Event Management Tools they must use to ensure that the event goes smoothly. Modern event planners have to use event management tools to keep track of every activity. Depending on the budget, select some of these key tools necessary for efficient event management -
- Event registration software for managing attendee sign up processes. Make sure the registration software offers on-site event registrations.
- Event analytics software for administrators to collect important data about the number of visitors, leads generated, revenue, etc.
- Event marketing software for overseeing the various marketing channels tied to the event, send emails to attendees and prospects, and more.
A comprehensive solution is to get an all-in-one event management tool like Attendease. Attendease helps event managers create customized, branded and full-featured event websites, supporting from the simplest to the most complex registration needs. Offering all the key features needed to manage your events, Attendease power their platform to provide attendees with an intuitive, seamlessly branded and convenient digital experience to go hand-in-hand with a live experience.
With a tool like Attendease, event managers have a comprehensive one-stop-shop for all the event-related information that they need. Here are a few features you can expect:
- Easy to use website and email templates
- Event marketing automation
- Flexible registration forms
- Integrations with your existing marketing and sales tools
- Powerful session scheduling
- Event registration tracking
- Attendee tracking
- Dashboards, surveys and survey answer roll-ups
- Sponsorship and exhibitor management
- Automated call out for speakers
- Ad-space for event sponsors to post their advertisements
- Visual analytics dashboards
Launching the Event
Once the planning process is complete, start sending invites. Create a comprehensive mailing list to reach out to masses of potential attendees. Inform them about event details and create a countdown to the event. A simple mail mentioning a detail like ‘7 days left for you to register for the best tech event of 2020’ can influence potential attendees to check out the event website.
Update the event app and website. Create an event hashtag and encourage target attendees to post about the event on social media websites using the hashtag. Start reaching out to social media influencers to create hype around the event. Publish a press release detailing the activities that are expected to take place at the event. Press releases, blogs and articles about the event increase the chances of potential attendees hearing about it.
In all of the event-related content, focus on mentioning how unique and different the event is going to be. Mention the names of notable guests, speakers, event goals and outcomes in all the event-related content that you post. To make sure that the event details are read by a large number of people, reach out to top Press Release Networks like 1888 Press Releases, SB Wire, PR Newswire, PR Web and Business Wire. By doing so, target attendees and journalists will start receiving Google Alerts on their phones alerting them about the upcoming event.
Promoting the Event
Once the word is spread about the event, team leaders must use all media avenues to promote the media in the best way possible. This includes email marketing, blog posts and social media integration. The best social media platform for promoting events is Facebook. Create a Facebook event and invite all potential attendees. Send customized messages to these potential attendees informing them about registration time, costs, best ways to reach the event location and the benefits that they can get from attending the event. The key question to ask when promoting the event is – what should potential attendees be expecting when signing up for the event? Raise their interest and expectations.
Team up with SMO and digital content marketing experts so that regular posts containing high-quality images, infographics, etc. can be made on the official event page. If the budget allows it, hire videographers to create and edit promotional videos. Create a promo code for users and track how many times this code has been used to get a better estimate of potential attendees. Offer discounts and prizes to attendees for sharing event related content on their social media profiles.
Managing the Event
If the planning process is precise and detailed, managing the event surprisingly becomes the easiest aspect of the entire ordeal. Especially for event administrators who have invested in a customized event app, it is very easy to keep track of attendees. Make sure all the attendees are satisfied with the event proceedings. Greet them with a welcome email or an update on the event app containing the Wi-Fi password and other relevant information. Encourage visitors to engage with each other and take part in the planned activities. Ask attendees to take part in brand-related or event-related surveys.
Wrapping up the Event
Make sure to follow up on all the attendees via mail. Ask them about their experience and thank them for visiting. Now that all the guests have left, the final task is to assess all the collected data. The event objectives are already established so match them with the overall event Return on Investment. Adopt an attribution and analysis model. Assess the success of the event by analyzing the total number of attendees, attendee surveys, number of business engagements made, etc.
2020 is the perfect year for event managers to balance technology with face to face communication. Events are usually very successful because they are the most personal form of marketing. As long as event admins have a clear set of objectives and the necessary event technology tools needed to achieve those targets, they can expect great results. The goal must be to create unique and memorable event journeys for visitors – an experience that they will never forget!
Need professional help with planning your 2020 events? Attendease is one of the leading names in the field of all-in-one event management software. Offering all the key features needed to stay relevant in 2020, Attendease provides event managers with an intuitive, seamlessly branded and a convenient digital experience that goes hand-in-hand with a live experience. Book a demo to learn more.