The Secret to Killer Event Marketing
If you’ve ever tweeted something like, “Don’t forget to sign up for X, your last day to register is next Friday!” or ” Did you hear Really Big Performer will be playing at X? You don’t want to miss it!” then you’re probably an event marketer.
If you’re an event marketer, you probably also know that once you’ve updated your Facebook status with 27 different variations of that same content, you realize you’re not doing anything besides begging people to come to your event. Nobody likes a beggar. Equally as negative, nobody likes to beg!
Wouldn’t you love to stop knocking on doors and have your attendees knocking down doors to get a ticket?
Here’s the secret:
You’ve probably heard of outsourcing, but crowdsourcing? Same idea–you’re putting your audience (crowd) to work. Make your audience market for you! The more involved they are, the better. Here are three ways to use crowdsourcing.
1. Get feedback, and actually care about it.
Use social to engage your audience and find out what they want to get out of your event, why they want to attend, and what they think you could do better.
For example, post the question on your Facebook or Twitter, “If you’ve ever been to X, would you come again? Why or why not?” When someone responds, not only do you have great feedback from your audience, but you also have content for future marketing use.
Replies are visible to all–people will see people responding, buzz is created naturally. You only had to ask for feedback, not for a sale.
The trick here is to really, truly care what your followers are saying. If someone replies, “Loved the event, but the food really sucked” be sure to follow up. Figure out how you’re going to change the food, and let them know. Respond directly to them saying, “Hey, thanks for letting us know! This year we decided to bring in 20 different local food trucks so you’ll have plenty of options.” Your response will make a fan out of that guy, plus it will peak the interest of anyone else who reads it.
2. Let your audience be the content curators.
You’ve heard that real estate is all about location, location, location. In the same way, events are all about content, content, content. Even if you get people to show up for your event, you won’t get a true fan unless you make it worth their buck. You can use crowdsourcing to get top notch content.
Much of this can be done through step 1–simply asking for feedback (i.e. Who would you most like to see perform/speak at X?). But let’s take it another step further and get more creative. Run contests where attendees can vote between 2 popular bands, speakers, or other forms of entertainment. Maybe have a video submission contest and allow attendees to vote on videos–the winner gets to perform at your event. Or get really daring and let your audience decide your food, your color choices, your locations, etc.
If someone helped create an event, surely they’ll pay to see it live!
3. Don’t let the online engagement end when the show starts.
Keep fans and followers on their toes and talking about the event the whole time. Give incentives like sweet giveaways for tweeting during the event, or for checking in on Foursquare. Have a stream of photos or videos on the screens that people are sending in live from the event–and be sure to post that stream on your website/Twitter/Facebook for everyone to see, even if they aren’t at the event. Constantly innovate ways to make the live experience mesh with the digital one.
Turn your next event into a huge success, and before your event is on the radar, with a Social PR Strategy in mind, start building that fan and follower base as large as possible!