26 Oct Power up your event marketing with these tips
Many event organizers make the mistake of concentrating the bulk of their efforts in delivering a fantastic event on the day. All well and good, but your event starts the minute people start to interact online, so it’s critical to get those aspects of your overall event strategy right, in order to have a great event on the day (or night for that matter!)
Getting your online presence right will actually assist your event by delivering free organic growth, rather than paid for marketed growth. And most importantly it will reduce the hidden burden of customer service, which is easy to underestimate. The more you can reduce your customer service interactions through a positive online experience, the more time you get to work on delivering an awesome event. Use these 6 points to get your event numbers moving in the right direction:
- A great website – it must be functional, attractive, and mobile friendly. Your website is often your first impression with your customer and sets the tone for your entire event, so its important that it reflects your level of professionalism. Our numbers indicate that over 50% of people access event websites via mobile or tablet, meaning mobile friendly is a must. You want your customers enjoying the experience when they’re most excited about being part of your event – at sign up and purchase.
- Keeping people on-platform – a simple registration process will help get those people who are just browsing your event converted to paying customers. Getting from your marketing website to registration and/or fundraising should be a smooth and fast transition that gives your entrants no major break in the process that could lead to “cart abandonment”. If there is a charity fundraising aspect to your event then starting people fundraising is fastest when they are excited about signing up. Every online interaction should feel to the customer like a single, easy, and exciting part of joining your event.
- Interlinked social media – word of mouth trumps every form of event advertising available. The best way to maximize this is by making it easy for people to share your event on social media. Have social share options available throughout your online experience. Use widgets to track your conversions, be they coming from Facebook, Google or online ads. This way you can understand and maximize what platform is working best for you.
- Secure and flexible payments – Sure it’s not sexy, but if you or an agent are taking payments from the public it’s critical to ensure you have strong online security in place. Secondly, there should be solid processes in place for refunds and bank chargebacks. This will mean critical customer service issues can be managed appropriately and quickly. It only takes one person disgruntled about their payment to escalate into an issue that soaks up a lot of your precious time. And if your provider allows you to avoid having to deal directly with a bank, then you’ve already saved time.
- Easy reporting/dashboarding/analytics – I don’t know of any event that is “set and forget”. Once you’ve opened for sales you need to be able to monitor how they are tracking so you can make operational decisions and marketing changes to meet your audiences needs. You should also have enough visibility of sales to track the impact of your marketing programs. If you run an ad online or in physical media you should be able to measure the response, and the time to respond, via the impact on your sales numbers.
- Systems that work with your “On the Day” process – now we’re going right up to the minutes before your event kicks off. It can save you a lot of time by working with online providers who offer combinations of a great online service, PLUS on the day ticketing options, bar code check in services, and integrated reporting. This way you have all your information coming from one source of truth. You aren’t left trying to match what happened in the pressure of event day with what was sold in the lead up. A single source of truth can save you a lot of time post event, and give you a neat single data set to help your post event analysis.
The top reasons for getting your online event strategy right are to save you valuable time, and empower you to deliver the best event you can. Good luck with your next event!