There is nothing as bad spending your time promoting your event and then on the big day only a few people show up. This happens to a lot of people all the time. The good news is, you can avoid it and make your event a success. What will set you apart from other event organisers is your promotion techniques. In this article, we are going to look at some ways you can market your event in Singapore.
Before we jump into the marketing strategies, there are a few things you need to consider when planning an event.
What is your goal?
Before you start the marketing process, you need to determine what your goals for the event are. Ask yourself what you want to achieve once the event happens. Most organisers usually expect a return on investment. This can be done through ticket sales.
As you identify your goals, ensure that everything is set for the event. If, for instance you’re planning to have dance crews in your events, you have to prepare by contacting them early enough. The same applies to sponsors of the event. You need meticulous planning to ensure that your event runs smoothly on the set date.
Know your target audience
When organizing an event, your target audience is vital. Do you have a target audience for the event? If let’s say you’re planning a weight loss event, you will probably target individuals who portray poor eating habits. If you want to get the best out of the event, the specific group you’re targeting must to show up in large numbers.
You must identify some of the strategies you can use during marketing to get the intended audience interested in your event. If you want to sell products during the event, you can find some ways you can make attendees want to purchase them.
What are the more popular events being organized in today’s market?
Networking, both online and in-person, is a type of event that is very widely hosted these days. In Singapore, various professional networking sessions are held every week wherein professionals from every industry gather to meet with new people and make connections. Networking events require no keynote speaker and you only need an appropriately sized venue and catering.
Conferences are important to B2B and B2C brands and are typically hosted by one large company or corporation, and sponsored by many small businesses. Compared to other types of events, conferences are expensive to host as the hiring of speakers, accommodation for both speakers and attendees, costs incurred if travelling is involved and, of course, enough food for everyone. These are the reasons why tickets for conferences are usually pricey and also why many sponsors are required in order to cover costs.
For us in Singapore, mention expos and trade shows, and what immediately pops into mind is the Singapore Expo where majority of such events are held. Expos and trade shows offer businesses an opportunity to display their products and services, and is a great way to increase leads. Some of the more popular expos that have been hosted in Singapore include the NATAS Travel Fair, IT Expo, Baby Fair and the Food and Beverage Fair.
While the format of seminars is similar to conferences, it is usually a half-day event and tickets for seminars cost considerably less than tickets for conferences. Attendees at seminars attend lectures, discussions, talks by invited speakers and networking sessions.
Tips to successfully market your event
Sell your event
Use engaging and captivating content on the event page/website to market your event. Include details of the event such as date, location, notable speakers and target audience. Hire a professional graphic designer to craft quality images that will appeal to users and quote positive endorsements and testimonials from attendees of previous years.
Create some buzz
Curate or customise interesting marketing materials that will be handed out to attendees of your event. These can be T-shirts, badges, backpacks, caps and/or stationery. This is not only to add value for your attendees but also to effectively promote your event.
List your key speakers
Have a page dedicated to presenting the speakers who will be at your event. Include their photos, a quote or two from them, some information into their background and their credentials.
Add a blog
Take users behind the scenes at how your event is coming together as the big day draws nearer by posting articles and photos on a blog for your event. Make the stories conversational and personable with funny anecdotes and stories. This will bring you and your audiences closer together to form an interesting camaraderie that may increase the number of registrants to your event.
If the event has been hosted before, it will be beneficial to have photos taken of the event then posted on the event website/page. As the event gets underway, hire a photographer to take pictures and to post them up on social media in real time.
Build a list
A great way to build a useful email list is by having interested parties register on the event website/page. Be sure to have a prominent “Register Now” button on the site to allow users to easily register their interest by providing their name and email.
If you are able to build a sizeable email list via your event website, the next step would be to put that list to good use in the months leading up to the big day. It would be a good idea to split your email list up into different groups in order to customise your emails so that they will create a bigger impact on the receiver. This type of email targeting can be easily done with services like MailChimp and Active Campaign.
Start sending event emails at least 3 months before the date of the event and resend it once every 3 to 4 weeks. You can choose to include early bird specials to recruit early registrars and remember to send a reminder email a few days before the day of the event with information such as time, date and location.
Marketing for an event when you aren’t yet established in the industry can be quite difficult. This shouldn’t be a worry because you can use bloggers who are viewed as experts in your industry. Bloggers usually have huge followings on their blogs and on their social media handles.
All you have to do is contact them and inform them of your event. Some will charge for it but this shouldn’t discourage you since you stand to gain a lot. They will market the event directly to the target group and increase the number of attendees.
Almost every adult who has access to the internet in Singapore uses social media. The number of social media users has increased steadily over the past few years and will only continue to do so. Some of these platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Note that all these platforms are unique so you have to tailor content for each one. If you’re using Instagram, for instance, focus on creative images because it is mostly used for sharing photos and videos. For LinkedIn, ensure that you explain to the users how they will benefit by attending the event.
You can engage the users by posting industry news or having a question-answer session. Ensure all your social media accounts are active. This way, you will attract more people and sell more tickets.
Influencers – you either love them or hate them. Nevertheless, one has to admit that they do attract attention, both positive and negative, and motivating or hiring influencers does work in creating awareness for your event.
The perfect hashtag
Hashtags are all the rage nowadays and it is a highly effective way to uniquely brand your event. Craft a succinct and catchy hashtag for your event that is easy to remember and distinct, and include it in every social media post. Additionally, you should invite attendees, the influencer(s) who you have chosen to market your event for you and speakers to also include this unique hashtag in any posts that mention your event.
All the above marketing strategies will help you reach out to the target audience and achieve your event goals. For people who know little about digital marketing, applying SEO and SEM techniques can be a daunting task. If you want to know more about it, there are numerous resources online. Alternatively, contact MediaOne (a top digital marketing agency in Singapore) and you won’t have to worry about digital marketing for your event again.