6 cost-effective ways to ensure people remember coming for your event

The event is set, the invitations have been sent and the RSVPs are looking good. You are all set to throw a huge event. However, come the day of the event, the venue fills up dreadfully slowly, there is no buzz in the air and it’s already 15 minutes past registration time. Maybe there was a train breakdown you didn’t know about or a crazy traffic jam that blocked up all incoming roads.

Or, maybe people just forgot about your event.

No event planner wants to face that crushing disappointment and sense of defeat. Here are 6 cost-effective ways to prevent such a turnout and ensure people remember to come for your event.

1. Memorable content marketing 

Content marketing that is interesting and well-targeted can be extremely powerful in building a brand for your event and getting event-goers excited. Communicating the event well will mean that

  • Event-goers immediately know what kind of experience to associate your event with
  • Your event is marketed clearly with meaningful and catchy slogans so that your event-goers can share it with their friends easily through word-of-mouth
  • Event details and registration links are easily found. It is preferable to set up an event page and ticketing site all-in-one to make it seamless for event-goers
  • Your event is shareable on social media

Memorability is of course dependent on the quality of your content which can make or break engagement with target audience.

Don’t just rely on blogs or pictures, why not dabble in fun videos as well! Visuals, in particular videos engage your audience longer and generate more clicks! This builds a more lasting impression and helps your event stay in the minds of your audience longer as well! (I hope you click ours as well!)

To stay on budget, content marketing can be directed at individual bloggers for cross-promotion. In fact, they may be more effective than traditional media because they have closer connections with niche audiences. Many events like music concerts, parenting events, fashion shows, food festivals and tech events are leveraging on individual bloggers to feature their events and it has been very successful.

eventnook cross promotion
Beerfest 2015 advertorial on Singaporean food blog. Photo Credits: Sethlui.com

 

2. Consistent social media engagement up to the event day

Your social media strategy can help complement your content marketing strategy. Social media is great to give your event the final push after content marketing has established a credible presence. Social media should be closely based on your content marketing strategy rather than decoupled from it. Adapt content from your main content marketing strategy to be more efficient as well!

More importantly, social media engagement needs to be consistent. While social media is great to give your event the final push, it cannot be done last minute. You need to build rapport with the audience first. This team needs to be dedicated to:

  • Creating a community where the event or company is seen as the clear supporter of the community. You can start a Facebook or Meetup group early on before the event
  • Identifying negative sentiments and rectifying them. If people are saying the event is lacking in certain ways, listen and engage them in tackling any pre-event problems
  • Building-up engagement to the event day itself to ensure the event stays in people’s heads. Post useful content or interesting aspects of the event. Get people excited with giveaways or backstage passes. Avoid spam at all costs.
  • Engaging community in planning event by using polls
  • Post trivia such as “Did you know…?”
  • A countdown is useful in adding to the buzz nearer the event day
  • On the day engagement is very important as well. Remember to remind your attendees to use the hashtags you’ve created. You could get people to like your group to access resources or enter lucky draws!
  • Post engagement such as posting photos of the event can get people excited about the next event and gives memorable closure to event

Social media engagement is a must for events targeted at a younger audience.

events community in singapore, facebook group
Create a Facebook community easily and keep your followers updated!

 

3. Timing content release strategically

It is also very important to time the release of content strategically. Put effort and thought into your editorial calendar.  Pushing out content too closely together can lead to media fatigue. Releases that are too far apart can leave your audience hanging and even forget about your event as time goes by.

By strategically releasing content as well as linking it to public holidays and current affairs, every media push is maximised rather than drowned out.

Editorial Calendar will help you organise release dates for content
Editorial Calendar will help you organise release dates for content

4. Listing on event directories and other portals

Easy and usually free of charge, listing your event on event directories and lifestyle portals such as Yelp, Timeout, InSing in Singapore can help your event gain exposure to wider audiences.

But again, be strategic in choosing directories and lifestyle portals. Pitch your event to make it as relevant as possible for the event directory.

You can also list your event on any association, community, affiliate or event calendars who reach out to your target audience.

Check out this list of event directory websites you can start with!

Event Listing on sites like EventNook or TimeOut can help spread the word
Event Listing on sites like EventNook or TimeOut can help spread the word

5. Group discount tickets 

People like finding friends to go to events with so offering a group discount gives them more incentive to spread the word about your event and bring more people to your event!

And when people come to your events in groups, they tend to remember it better when as they have a friend to remind them about it.

event ticketing, group discount, early bird tickets
Group discounts are useful in increasing incentive for your target group to bring their friends!

6. Invest in event registration management software

Event planners have so much on their minds that it’s easy to neglect the very people the event was planned for. An event registration management software helps make event-going convenient for event-goers and helps simplify the management of attendance and ticketing for event planners.

Registration management software allows event attendees to save the event in their calendars when they access the event page. They also allow event planners to blast email reminders nearer the event date in a click of a button. These event pages are also easy to share on social media and makes it easier for event attendees to invite their friends.

Event page that allows users to add event to calendars. Sharing on Facebook also helps them remember event better!
Event page that allows users to add event to calendars. Sharing on Facebook also helps them remember event better!

By having event-goers register even if the event is free, event-goers have to stay on the registration page longer to fill out their particulars and this helps them remember the event details better. At the same time, the registration management software provides flexibility to event organisers to make the forms as simple as possible so that it is as easy as possible for event-goers to register. The software also automatically sends a further confirmation email to event attendees after they have registered, making it even harder for them to forget the event.

Event reminders as part of event management softwares that simplify sending out event reminder emails to select audience
Event reminders as part of event management softwares that simplify sending out event reminder emails to select audience

 

remember event pinterest

Want to try out free event registration software that can help you increase efficiency substantially? EventNook can help you set up an event page for free if it’s a free event!

How to turn event-goers into event-gelists (event evangelism marketing)

Event evangelists (event-gelists) do such a great job with evangelism marketing, they might in fact be angels sent down from event planner heaven. Event-gelists are event-goers who market the event to their friends on their own accord, defend the event and its PR troubles to their deaths, and bring in ticket revenues repeatedly.

Event-gelists have the authenticity and connections that a sales team doesn’t. They understand the market in ways you can’t. Building event loyalty is at the heart of nurturing event-gelists. The more event-gelists you have, the more self-sustaining your event marketing strategies become.

1. Relate on an emotional level

Events that resonate emotionally find a more loyal event following. Emotional marketing language is important in helping you connect with event-goers. Emotions such as excitement, sadness, embarrassment and compassion are strong levers of action. Charity runs, events like Singapore’s Pink Dot that centers around a controversial issue, and TED conferences that evoke thought and perspectives that link to social issues and impact are clear people winners.

daily mail
Pink Dot SG in support of Singapore’s LGBT community Photo Credits: Daily Mail UK

It’s much harder for a corporate event organiser to connect emotionally. But as long as you develop empathy for your event-goers and address their professional woes in an open manner, your events-goers will see your relevance and view you as an event organiser that is in the loop. This develops greater trust and credibility for your event and helps you stand apart from most events that do not address real problems.

connection, emotional
Connecting with your audience emotionally is key to building a loyal following Photo Credits: dontcatchafallingknife.tumblr.com

Targeting a smaller segment of your potential market can also help you win more loyal followers. Niche events tend to generate a much more loyal following because people feel like they own the event. If they see it as a part of their identity, they will feel more compelled to share it with their networks. You may sacrifice mass appeal in the process but don’t underestimate the power of event-gelists who can potentially infect a wider network with their enthusiasm and passion. At the same time, choose a niche that people are genuinely passionate about.

Woodworking event
Woodworking event Photo Credits: Wits Woodworking Association

By thinking about how you connect with your audience and doing so on a deeper level, your ties with your community become much stronger and your event becomes much more influential.

 

Niche Star Wars event Credits: Orlando Sentinel
Niche Star Wars event
Photo Credits: Orlando Sentinel

2. Know your event-goers and identify potential event-gelists

But before planning the event, you need to peer into the brains of your event-goer (or potential event-goer). Then, sift out the event-goers who may become event-gelists. Identify their characteristics and ask what is still preventing them from becoming event-gelists.

You can do so in a few ways:

  • Interview those in target group

  • Read event reviews. If it is the first time you are organising the event, look at reviews for similar past events
  • Haunt the target group’ favourite places, online and offline for clues to what they are looking for

  • Engage them by creating communities (online groups like Meetups and Facebook groups, LinkedIn)

  • Hire temporary staff who are part of this group (and adequately competent of course)

  • Consult influencers about the target group

  • Analyse big data to understand demographic patterns

By relating on an emotional level while keeping your eyes and ears close to the ground, you can develop a personality for the event that resonates with your target group. Redbull markets its energy drinks as a booster that gives people ‘wings’ to do crazy things. Its most famous event, Flug Tag, which involves people building flying machines and pushing it off a pier, is precisely designed with their target audience in mind, the crazy and adventurous people who do outrageous things, or like watching others do outrageous things.

flug tag, redbull
Redbull organised Flug Tag as an outrageous and crazy event so that it attracts anyone with a sense of adventure to watch and participate, the exact people who will find Redbull’s energy drink and marketing appealing

 

3. Communicate that personality

Don’t hardsell your event. Instead, exude a personality. Social media and forums are a great way to push out this personality because you can share personalised and useful content regularly. You also get to interact one-on-one with your target group, which makes your presence online seem more genuine.

You could also plan mini events in the leadup to the big event such as by having meetups or classes that link thematically with the big event to communicate event branding. It’s a great way to hype them up by giving them a taste of what’s to come. It also gives you the opportunity to understand their reservations and resolve them beforehand.

Influencer marketing can also help you reach out to your target group. I previously wrote about influencer marketing in greater detail here. Influencers are trusted communicators in the community and if you successfully engage them, they could even even become your event-gelists! Their insight into the head of your targeted event-goer can be extremely valuable.

Associate yourself as much as you can with things, topics and people that are linked to your event personality and branding to get the word out!

4. Brand the event

That means being consistent with branding on all platforms when marketing events. Achieving a balance between customising the experience to individuals and being relevant to the entire group at the same time is very challenging. That’s why long-term communication is important to event promotion as it enhances trust, shows commitment and creates more opportunities for you to successfully connect with the different individuals within the targeted community.

While I have mentioned developing an emotional connection, event merchandise can augment the personality as well. Again, make sure it is consistent with the brand you are projecting. Merchandise like flower crowns at music festivals, T-shirts at conventions, glow sticks at night runs etc. are things that event-gelists can collect and easily show off. These collectibles are another avenue to increase excitement for the event.

flower crown, hipster, music festival
Flower crowns are popular amongst young girls at music festivals Photo Credits: becauseimaddicted.net

 

5. Long-term engagement to build long-term followers

Ultimately, you do not gain a loyal event following overnight. Event organisers need to continuously engage with the community in a consistent and genuine manner to nurture event-gelists, who are not just loyal to your event but loyal to the company because they know you have their best interests at heart. Support your event-gelists and produce useful and meaningful content and products to sustain customer loyalty.

 

6. Plan a kickass event

No matter how much community engagement and event marketing you do, the quality of the actual event is what keeps people coming back. So plan a good event that is enjoyable and demanded by event-goers and your event will fall in place!

Event evangelism Pinterest