Every seasoned event planner knows that organizing an event, be it a conference, trade show, product launch, or seminar, is only half the battle. The real challenge? Making sure the right eyes are on your event, and then turning those views into engagement and action. Enter the world of event marketing, specifically event marketing software.
So, What Is Event Marketing Exactly?
Event marketing is a strategic marketing approach that involves creating live, virtual, or hybrid events to promote a brand, product, or service. Event marketing aims to increase brand awareness, foster meaningful relationships with the target audience, and ultimately, drive conversions and sales.
Which Marketing Channels Does Event Marketing Leverage?
Event marketing utilizes a variety of channels to reach potential attendees and amplify event visibility. The choice of these channels often varies based on the event's format - in-person, virtual, or hybrid. Key channels include:
- Email Marketing: A crucial tool for communicating event details, reminders, and post-event follow-ups.
- Social Media: Leveraged for reaching a wider audience, promoting interaction, and sharing real-time updates.
- Event Websites: These can be standalone landing pages or event pages embedded in your website via a widget. They represent the central hub for comprehensive event information, event ticket sales, and registration.
For hybrid and virtual events, event organizers lean towards digital marketing tactics like social media and email marketing.
In contrast, in-person events might incorporate digital strategies and traditional marketing approaches such as direct mail or outdoor advertising, providing a more holistic outreach.
Five Event Types That Rely Heavily on Event Marketing
Certain event types inherently require robust event marketing strategies. Here are a few examples:
1. Product Launches: When a brand is about to introduce a new product or service, the success of that launch relies heavily on event marketing. Companies often host grand product launch events and need to drum up anticipation and excitement among potential customers. A robust event marketing software can help amplify the reach of these launches.
2. Conferences and Seminars: Conferences and seminars often have a niche, targeted audience, making it critical to reach these individuals effectively. Event marketing helps get the word out about the event, highlighting unique value propositions, like renowned speakers or must-see panels, that drive registration and attendance.
3. Trade Shows: With numerous vendors and heavy competition, standing out at a trade show can be challenging. Event marketing helps vendors differentiate themselves, engage potential customers before the event, and maintain that connection afterward.
4. Charity Galas and Fundraisers: For charity events, spreading awareness and getting people to attend, donate, or participate is essential. Event marketing tools are used extensively in this sector to reach potential donors, publicize the cause, and manage event details efficiently.
5. Workshops and Training Programs: Similar to conferences and seminars, marketing for workshops and training programs involves attracting a targeted audience. Email campaigns, landing pages, and social media marketing are all valuable ways to reach potential attendees and keep them informed about the program's details.
How Does Event Marketing Software Contribute to Your Marketing Efforts?
Event marketing software is an all-in-one marketing software solution that automates and streamlines the event marketing process.
It simplifies workflows, reduces the dependency on spreadsheets and manual tasks, and provides an end-to-end solution for organizers to plan, market, and measure their events.
Exploring Event Marketing Platform Features
An event marketing platform offers a suite of tools designed to make event promotion more efficient and effective:
- Email Marketing and Social Media Integration: These features allow you to reach your audience where they spend most of their time - in their inbox and on social media platforms.
- Customizable Landing Pages and Templates: Build beautiful, conversion-optimized landing pages that align with your brand identity.
- Online Event Registration and Ticketing: Simplify the sign-up process and boost event registration with an intuitive, mobile-friendly process.
- CRM Integration: Sync attendee data with your CRM to enhance follow-up marketing campaigns.
- Analytics and Reporting: Get real-time insights and actionable data to measure event success and inform future strategies.
The Differences between Event Marketing Software and Event Management Software
While event marketing software focuses on promoting the event and driving attendee registration, event management software primarily deals with onsite operations like check-in, real-time communication, and attendee management during the event.
However, these distinctions are blurring with comprehensive event management platforms such as Accelevents providing a single platform for both aspects, resulting in a more seamless event experience.
The Benefits of Using Event Marketing Software
From the initial planning stage, event marketing software offers invaluable benefits:
- Pre-event: Streamlines event planning and marketing, making promoting your event to your target audience easier.
- The day of...: Offers a real-time overview of event metrics, helping organizers adjust strategies on the fly.
- Post-event: Facilitates effective follow-ups, measuring event success and deriving insights for future events.
Event Marketing Metrics You Should Track
Let's take a closer look at measuring quantifiable marketing metrics at each stage of the event lifecycle, all of which can be tracked and analyzed using event marketing software.
In the planning and pre-event marketing stages, the focus is on metrics such as:
- Marketing Reach: Measures the total number of people who have seen your event promotions across all channels.
- Registration Conversion Rate: The percentage of website visitors who complete event registration, indicating the effectiveness of your landing pages and marketing messages.
- Email Open and Click-Through Rates: Metrics indicating the efficacy of your email marketing campaigns.
- Social Media Engagement: Includes metrics like shares, likes, comments, and retweets, all indicative of how well your event resonates with your audience.
Event marketing software comprehensively tracks these pre-event metrics, helping you optimize your marketing campaigns in real time.
During Event Metrics
As your event unfolds, real-time monitoring becomes essential. Here, key metrics include:
- Attendee Engagement: Metrics like session attendance, app usage, and social media mentions can give you a clear picture of attendee engagement.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): This survey-based metric helps gauge attendee satisfaction and their likelihood of recommending your event to others.
- Event App Usage: Tracking features used in the event app and frequency of use can give insights into what attendees value most in your event.
Using event marketing software, these live metrics are readily accessible, helping organizers adapt on the fly and ensuring the event succeeds.
After your event, the focus shifts to measuring outcomes and long-term impacts. Metrics here include:
- Post-Event Surveys: Attendee feedback is a goldmine of information for improving future events.
- Follow-Up Conversion Rates: The effectiveness of your post-event communication, measured by actions taken like purchases, registrations for future events, or webinar sign-ups.
- Social Media Sentiment Analysis: Examining post-event discussions can reveal attendees' perceptions of your event.
- Long-Term Impact on CRM Metrics: Increases in lead conversion rates, customer lifetime value, and other CRM metrics can indicate the long-term impact of your event.
Event marketing software can effectively monitor and measure these post-event metrics, comprehensively analyzing event success and delivering actionable insights for future strategies.
How Event Marketing Software Supports Your Overall Branding Strategy
Event marketing software isn't just a tool for managing your events; it's a powerful ally in reinforcing and amplifying your brand strategy. Here's how it integrates your branding into the event lifecycle:
- Brand Consistency Across Touch Points: A robust event marketing software lets you infuse your brand's visual identity - including colors, logos, and typefaces - into every customer touchpoint! Ideally you should be able to customize the look and feel of your landing pages, registration forms, email communications, and even the event app interface. Maintaining brand consistency across these touch points reinforces brand recognition and delivers a cohesive brand experience.
- Customizable Landing Pages and Registration Forms: These key conversion points must be tailored to reflect your brand's aesthetic and voice. Modern event marketing platforms offer drag-and-drop editors and customizable templates, enabling you to create on-brand, engaging landing pages and registration forms without extensive coding skills.
- On-Brand Email Marketing: Event marketing software typically integrates with your email marketing tools to some degree, for example by allowing you to design on-brand email templates for invitations, reminders, confirmations, and post-event follow-ups. This enhances your professional image and reinforces brand recall.
- Custom-Branded Event App: A mobile event app isn't just a utility; it's a mobile billboard for your brand. Event marketing software often comes with event app solutions that can be entirely white-labeled, ensuring that your brand, not the software provider's, is front and center.
- Brand-Aligned Social Media Promotion: Event marketing software should integrate with social media platforms, allowing you to schedule and post event promotions consistent with your brand messaging. This increases event visibility and ensures a unified brand narrative across channels.
- Data-Driven Brand Strategy: Through integrated analytics, event marketing software provides insights into the best branding elements, helping you refine your brand strategy for future events.
In short, a sophisticated event marketing software solution intertwines with your overall branding strategy, reinforcing your brand's presence and image throughout the event lifecycle.
Choosing the Best Event Marketing Software: A Checklist of Evaluation Criteria
When choosing an event marketing software solution, take into account the following evaluation criteria:
- Ease of Use: The software should be user-friendly with a well-designed interface that simplifies event marketing tasks.
- Pricing: Check if the pricing structure fits your budget and ensures good value for money based on the features offered.
- Customizability: The software should allow you to tailor the interface, templates, and workflows to meet your specific needs.
- White Labeling and Branding Options: Look for software that supports custom branding across all customer-facing elements, from landing pages to email communications to the event mobile app.
- Analytics and Reporting Capabilities: Robust data gathering and real-time analytics and reporting are crucial for gauging event success and refining future strategies.
- Integrations: The software should be able to integrate seamlessly with your existing tools and platforms like CRM systems, social media, and email marketing software.
- Support: Look for platforms that provide reliable customer support, including 24/7 assistance, online tutorials, and an extensive knowledge base.
- Versatility: Your event marketing platform should be able to handle different event formats - be it onsite, virtual, or hybrid events.
- Security: Especially for online events, ensuring attendee data is secure is critical. Look for software that complies with data privacy regulations and provides secure payment gateways.
Remember, the best event marketing software for you is one that ticks all these boxes and aligns perfectly with your event objectives and requirements.
Comparing Top Event Marketing Software in 2023
Navigating the multitude of event marketing platforms can seem like a daunting task. However, certain names consistently outshine the rest. Here's a closer look at these top contenders, with a specific focus on their event marketing features:
- Accelevents: Known for its comprehensive approach, Accelevents integrates advanced features like email marketing automation and customizable landing pages, allowing brands to engage with potential attendees effectively. Its standout feature is its white-labeling package, ensuring consistent branding across all aspects of the event.
- Bizzabo: Bizzabo offers a multi-channel marketing automation suite that lets you schedule and automate your marketing campaigns, track their performance, and adjust on the go. It supports extensive integrations, allowing for seamless synchronization with CRM systems and social media platforms.
- Cvent: Cvent's event marketing strength lies in its vast set of integrations and automation features, including an attendee management suite for personalized attendee engagement, comprehensive email marketing tools, and extensive data analytics to measure the success of marketing efforts.
- Eventbrite: Eventbrite's marketing tools include built-in social media integration and promotional tools to enhance event visibility. The platform also provides tracking and reporting features to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and adjust strategies as needed.
- Hubilo: Hubilo stands out with its immersive marketing features, which include event website and app branding, email marketing automation, and attendee engagement tools. It also offers real-time analytics, helping marketers track their campaigns' success and adjust in real time.
Empowering Your Vision: The Human Factor in Event Marketing Software Success
Each marketing software platform has unique strengths, and the optimal choice will depend on your specific needs and objectives.
As you leverage this event technology to market your next successful event, remember that software is a tool, not a magic wand. It can streamline your marketing workflows and provide valuable insights, but the ultimate success of your event depends on your ability to excel at event strategy and execution.
Keep your focus on delivering genuine engagement and value for your audience. Embrace the possibilities these tools offer, but remember, it’s your vision and effort that truly bring an event to life.