In some ways, creating a spectacular event is the easy part. With the right budget and a talented event producer, amazing results are a simple matter of careful planning and execution. However, getting people to show up can be the real challenge. Without an effective marketing effort, it can be difficult to build up the ‘buzz’ before the event to ensure a full guest list and lots of positive comments after it’s over. But, don’t despair. There are proven ways to optimize the return on your event budget – maximizing attendance & making it easy to follow up. Here’s what you can do:
Add a Theme
Theme events continue to be one of the most popular ways to engage and entertain guests. But to get the most from your theme, it must be reflected in every aspect of the event. As an example, Bright Ideas Events created themed invitations for our Groovy BBQ theme event. From the outset the invited guests could see that creativity and fun were going to be a big part of the event. The event was well-attended, guests really got into the spirit and our client was delighted with the results. Set the stage for fun and your guests will arrive ready to embrace the theme!
Invite Them and They Will Come!
For our “Christmas Around The World” event we didn’t just send out a simple invitation to the guests. Instead we started emailing teaser notices weeks before the event. Our guests received a ‘Booking Confirmation’ and an “E-Ticket” – the first clues to our travel-inspired theme, followed by some hints about the destinations guests would experience during the event. As they arrived at the actual event, the excitement continued as guests were welcomed by their pilot and stewardesses, who handed out the ‘Boarding Passes’ to start the ‘Christmas Around The World’ adventure.
Expand Your Audience with Social Media
A good marketing plan prior to your event is great, but as soon as your guests arrive, you can also create ways for them to share pictures and comments, with options such as a fun photo booth and wireless Internet capability. This way, the guests can tweet and post their comments and pictures to their favourite social media channels. Also, create a ‘hashtag’ (example: #yourevent) so others can find information about the event on Twitter. This is particularly effective for public events such as product launches and customer appreciation events. All it takes is a prominent guest with lots of followers to tweet or post a picture and you’ve really expanded the reach of your event. It might even increase attendance. Cheap, easy, and effective! Of course, your guests will expect you to provide free Wi-Fi access in order to share the fun they have at your event, so this is something you should consider in your planning process.
And of course after the event, there are lots of things to do: Share the event pictures with your guests, use the #hashtag to get opinions and feedback and remind your guests how much they enjoyed the time at your event. To get even more interactive, you could launch a contest asking guests to send in their funniest/nicest/craziest/… event picture. Put the pictures on a social media platform and let your guests vote for the best one to create interaction and some post-event excitement.
When marketing your event these days there are tons of opportunities. The growing impact of social media offers a huge number of marketing tools to choose from. Giving your guests a little taste of what is waiting for them at your event, plus letting them share their thoughts and pictures is a great way to ensure a positive return on your event marketing efforts. Request a quote today and let us offer you some amazing ideas to promote your next event!
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