5 Tips to Create Hype! for your Event with Facebook

Tip #1: Create a Facebook Page for your Event

This is a very easy process and will help you to create Hype! around your event very quickly.

Tip #2 Allow Your Colleagues/Friends to be Page Admins

You don’t have to do everything by yourself!  If you invite your contacts to become page Admins, they can utilize their social network and you can double, triple, or quadruple your reach for FREE!

Tip #3 Create a Contest or a Reason for People to Share Your Event

Create a sense of urgency by offering a prize or free ticket to the attendee who is the 42nd person to RSVP (or whatever number you choose).

Tip #4 Post Updates on Your Event Wall  

Create a daily post around one aspect of your event (i.e. an activity, guest speaker, etc).  Don’t give too much away, just a little teaser to get your attendees excited!

Tip #5: Create Campaigns for your RSVP’s (Yes, Maybe, No)

One great feature of a Facebook Event Page is you can see who has RSVP’s (Yes, Maybe, or No) and you can create a campaign for each of those groups.

 

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Create Hype! for Your Event with Twitter

Today I am going to share a resource with you that I have found EXTREMELY helpful and accurate.

5 Key Tips to Market Your Event Via Twitter

In this article, Denise Quashie offers very easy to follow advice on how to use Twitter to market your event.

Here is a summary:

1.) Keep your event tweets to 100 characters or less so people can add their content when they retweet.

2.) Create, promote, and save your event hashtag to optimize your Twitter activity and utilize your event hashtag after your event to keep the Hype! going.

3.) Create an attendee list via Twitter and add them to your event list.  Title it something like “Attending the Technology Networking Event”.”  Post a link to this on your social media and website.

4.) Run either a contest or a campaign to increase your Twitter followers and create more Hype! around your event.

5.) Connect your Twitter stream to your blog or other social media sites to increase exposure.

I hope you get as much use out of these simple tips as I have!

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Aligning Sales and Marketing for your Event

Many Event Planners are focused more on creating a spectacular, over-the-top event than on the goal of the event, which is to MAKE MONEY!  One of the smartest decisions a business owner can make when planning their own event is to team up with SALES!  Your Sales Team knows exactly what your key prospects look like, where they hang out, what they are talking about, and what would interest them.  It is absolutely KEY for your Marketing/Events person to collaborate with sales before event plans are drafted or invitations are printed.  Here are some key objectives when meeting with your Sales Team.

Develop a Specific Target Audience and Ideal Prospects

  • Ask your Sales Team for specific information on who they call on a daily basis, who they would love to get in front of, and who is not interested in your products/services. They may even be able to give you a list of actual prospects or clients who are in the midst of the sales cycle, but need a little push to be closed.

Align your event with the sales cycle

  • The goal of any business event is to make money.  This could mean attracting new clients, up-selling current clients, or conducting market research in order to improve your product or service.  Make sure you plan your event at the appropriate time in your sales cycle.  You do not want to bring in loads of new prospects to your Sales Team when they are busy closing current clients for the end of a selling quarter.

Set measurable objectives

  • Every Sales Team that is worth their salt has goals and objectives that need to be met and exceeded each quarter. Set specific goals for the events on how many prospects each team member needs to engage, build a relationship with, schedule a follow-up meeting with, etc.

Look for sponsors to help fund the event

  • Your Sales Team is the perfect resource to help find Sponsors for your event.  Make a list of businesses who could benefit from getting exposure to your target audience and ask them to sponsor your event in return for marketing exposure.

Make sure all employees are on the same page (have an elevator pitch)

  • It is VERY important to make sure all employees who will be participating in the event are aware of the event goals and are coached on what to say in order to make your company look like a unified team!
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How to Start Planning Your Promotional Event

So..I’ve already talked about why it is beneficial for small businesses to incorporate promotional events into their marketing strategy, but now we are going to take a closer look at what to do before, during, and after your event.  I will divide this into 3 different sections and each section will have a subset of projects (i.e. marketing, data collection, logistics, etc.)

The very first thing you want to do when planning an event for your business is to answer the following 5 questions:

Who will you invite?

  • Do you want to invite current or new customers?
  • Do you have a specific demographic or industry that you are targeting? (i.e. dentists, small business owners, IT professionals, etc.)

What do you want them to learn?

  • Are you rolling out a new product or service?
  • Do you want to introduce them to your new sales team?
  • Are you implementing new technology that will change the way you do business?

When will you hold the event?

  • When is a convenient time for your target demographic to meet?
  • Do you want to hold an event at the beginning, middle, or end of your sales cycle?
  • Will you host quarterly events or will you base the timing on something else?

Where will you hold the event?

  • Do you want to hold it at your store to bring people into your business?
  • Do you want to partner with other businesses and host it at a neutral venue?
  • If you want to serve food and alcohol, will you hold it at a restaurant or hire a caterer?

How will you accomplish your goals?

  • What is the time frame to complete each of your tasks?
  • Who will be in charge of helping you plan your event?
  • How will you track your ROI from the event?

After you have answered all of these questions (in detail!), it is time for the fun to start!  Here is a good template to use to help you plan the logistics of your event.

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Goals of Promotional Events: Brand Recognition, Lead Generation, and Thought Leadership

Hi All!

I am reading a FANTASTIC book called The Event Marketing Handbook by Allison Saget and I highly recommend buying this book!  Allison coined the term EventBLT and that is what I will explain in this post.

According to Allison, a successful event has 3 ingredients: Brand Recognition, Lead Generation, and Thought Leadership, or BLT.

Brand Recognition:

I know the concept of integrating your brand into your promotional events seems like common sense, but many people fail to take full advantage of this. Not only should your logo be included in your ads, marketing materials, booths, give-aways, and signage, but your attendees should also leave with a sense of your company image and mission.  You need to integrate your branding into your event, but it should be included in all pre and post event activities and marketing as well. When your event attendees leave your event, they should know about your core products and services, how you differ from your competitors, and what your “brand” is really about.

Lead Generation:

One of the main reasons companies host promotional events is to invite their target market to come and learn about their core products and services in a fun environment where they can meet with the owners face-to-face. This is a perfect way to take your leads and convert them into prospects. However, many companies fail to follow up with the attendees in a strategic manner after the event, so they do not see a ROI.  It is very important to track all of your event attendees in your CRM (like Salesforce or Zoho). When you enter the guest list, make sure you label the source of the lead and also any conversations that took place during the event. In doing this, you will be able to track your ROI as a direct result of the event and you can measure the length of the sales cycle.

Thought Leadership:

Promotional Events are a great way for you to share your industry expertise with your target market!  Whether you are part of a Trade Show or you are hosting your own Proprietary Event, demonstrating your product or service knowledge and explaining how your product or service can solve your customers’ problems is invaluable. It is a great idea to invite some of your most valued customers and have them share testimonials or case studies about how your company solved a problem for them.  Inviting a local blogger or journalist to attend your event will continue to increase public awareness for weeks following your event. Also, make sure to connect with anyone you had a conversation with at the event with either a phone call or e-mail.

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Integrating Promotional Events into your Marketing Strategy

So many marketing books and blogs out there today are stressing the importance of social media, content media, digital marketing, etc., etc.  While all of these marketing tactics are very important, sometimes people forget about the value of being face-to-face with their customers.  This will be my first blog out of several on the topic of Event Marketing, because I believe it is an integral part of a comprehensive marketing strategy!

Why Promotional Events?

Events are a fun and low-cost way to promote your products

When people think of events, they think of spending thousands of dollars without a measurable return, but this is not the case.  You can create very successful promotional events on a small business budget.  There are also several methods to calculate your ROI from an event, and I will discuss those in a later session

Experiencing a brand first-hand leads to an emotional connection

Think about your own purchasing behavior.  Do you prefer to see a product in action and know what to expect before you buy it? Do you find it frustrating when you buy something online, only to see that it is not what was described and you have to return it?  Most consumers like to get to know products before buying it.  Hosting an event is a great way to give your customers hands-on experience.

Customers can get 1 on 1 time with you

I know that face-to-face social interaction seems to have taken a backseat to online and mobile interaction, but people still value the importance of personal connections.  I am sure that you are very passionate about your business and this will rub off on your customers when they speak to you at your events.

Events are a great way to gather consumer feedback

I realize that your customers can leave feedback on Yelp, Twitter, Facebook, your website, etc., but speaking with your customers in-person is so much more valuable.  You can engage them in a conversation, rather than just reading their comments in a vacuum.  You will also find that your customers have the most insight into how to improve your product or service.

It increases word-of-mouth for your product and company

Think about a time when you went to a promotional event and you were blown away by a product.  When you create a fun atmosphere for your customers to learn about your products/services, they will create the “buzz” for you. Not only by telling their friends and their family, but also by taking it to the web and producing much more valuable content for your business than you can.

Now you know what promotional events can do for your business, so stay tuned for more information about how to integrate events into your marketing strategy!

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