How to master event marketing and event promotion – Q&A from OpenReaktor Warsaw
Recently, I participated in Open Reaktor in Warsaw talking about the essence of event marketing and how it is often misunderstood. With our mission to give a proper meaning in the marketing industry, we also want to show a bigger role of analytics and strategies in events that will help you achieve your business goals.
Do you feel confident in talking about event marketing? Would you be able to say more about beacons’ role in events? Or how to make sure that people will come to your event? To follow your needs and interests, we have created this article with answers to the questions which attendees asked during the Open Reaktor. Ready? Let’s start!
#1 How do you exactly measure an event?
The obvious answer that comes to you, as an organizer who wants to measure his event is to count how many tickets you sold (in case of a paid event) or just how many people attended (in case of a free event). While that is an important part, with the right technology you can harness much more interesting data. Events are not just money, their value is bigger, although that makes it more difficult to measure.
Some time ago we wrote a whole article about the value of beacons at events. You can use them for multiple purposes, though they are considered best when organizing a big conference with stalls and exhibitors. By installing beacons you get information about how many times a certain stall was passed by the attendees. Later you can create a list of the best performing exhibitors and continue to work with them during your next event. It makes no sense to once more invite some exhibitor who wasn’t popular at all. Remember that it’s always the attendees who know best what they want. They usually pay for your event, promote it and it’s their happiness you should take care of. The very first step in doing that is deciding which components of your event to keep and which to say goodbye to.
The quite similar situation happens when it comes to QR codes. They’re the perfect tool to monitor business contacts made during your events. Each person can have their own personal QR code that they exchange with each other and by doing it like that they won’t lose let’s say a business card that they were given. Keeping information on their phones makes it not only much easier but also safer. And business contacts are priceless in every industry or for every kind of company. That’s why reliable statistics about how many business conversations were made last year can help you attract many new attendees.
Another feature that not only helps you to measure your event but also to engage your attendees in the lectures is voting. Speakers often ask questions to the audience during their panels and then check which answer was the majority in favor of. That’s not a very precise method, especially if you would like to ask a bit more complicated questions. Voting allows you to ask as many questions as you want and keeps all the data for you to later analyze them calmly at home and make a reflection about certain lectures. It will also be a very valuable data for your speakers.
An incredibly important thing, which is quite often looked down upon is attendees’ feedback. However, questions asked in the right way may make a precious data contribution to your system. Depending on your event you can ask which speakers were the best, what was particularly good or bad about them, what should be immediately changed or what should you keep because it’s working brilliantly…the list goes on. Again, attendees’ happiness is your most important concern. You need to hear what they think about your event.
Then there is a whole bunch of simplest statistics: clicks on agenda, speakers tab. Every single data gives you a better picture of the whole conference/event and shows you what you did well and what you still need to work at. This process may take a while as you need to gather your own data to have something to compare them to. However, the effects appear quickly and help you create a better experience for your attendees.
Not to forget about event industry’s latest obsession – event marketing. Using events to promote a certain brand or product was proven extremely successful. It’s killing two birds with one stone. We wrote a little about it here, but the topic is still new and loads of new content is about to be created. It’s worth to keep an eye on it.
#2 How to make sure that people who signed up for the event will come? For example, 2000 people signed up on your Facebook event site – that’s fantastic but only 20 people show up. Do you do tickets for sale or do you do tickets for free? Is there a way to make sure people will come?
Well, that is a great question. Whether to do tickets for free or for sale depends on what sort of event you are organizing. There isn’t any perfect solution that’s always the right one. The world just doesn’t work like that. So when you have tickets for free, you need something as a means to attract people – some kind of value that they’re going to get. Sometimes when people see a free event they feel that it can’t be something good. They think that if there was anything really interesting you would have to pay for that. If they had, for example, this great speaker that requires 10,000 $ to pay for him – well, they need to gather the money, so they’re gonna make you pay for attending the event. But obviously, that’s not always how it works. The way you promote your events is important as well. Facebook has not shaped this sort of culture that when you say “I attend” that means you’ve given your word and you will definitely come.
Even though, it’s actually good to have a lot of attendees signed up because that shows to other people that it’s popular so they should go too. Because it’s not always as if all of your attendees were 100% interested in. It may turn out like that but some people may fall just for the beauty of Facebook. If you want to create a real community which is a very good idea, you need to gather people with something I’d say more private than Facebook which is just too popular. Maybe organize something connective with speakers to help people actually sympathize with them. Then they will come just because they want to hear about these people.
We actually wrote an article about this. You see, the thing that really makes people eager to join some group is exclusivity. Being special, chosen. If all they have to do is click once to join your event, and, additionally, it’s free – there are really big chances they either forget about it or decide not to come. Having that in mind, it’s definitely more beneficial for you to design even a simple registration process. Filling in some personal data, two, three clicks – that requires them to be more engaged in the event. It equals more accurate numbers of the attendees.
The most important thing that always coaxes the attendee to go to your event is its value. Different attendees see different values in events, you simply need to make sure you show them all.
#3 Could you emphasize on the topic of beacons at events?
Beacons are still quite a new thing in the event industry. We wrote a whole article about them, but as always the best way to get to know this technology is to actually start using it. You can look at beacons from two different perspectives: as a wonderful navigation tool and/or as a precious source of data which I mentioned in the first answer.
This technology can be very helpful to the attendees. How many times has it happened that somebody got lost? That a speaker couldn’t find his way through different floors, dozens of rooms? Did somehow nobody notice that you had a special check-in desk for VIPs? These may seem like small things but an accumulation of such events can easily upset even the most patient person. This is where beacons come in. You just have to make sure that all of your attendees have their Bluetooth on and you can leave them in a professional care of push notifications. They can guide your attendees from the moment they enter the building. For people who know a lot about the newest technologies, it will be a nice addition. It shows you know the latest trends and you care about your attendees. Other people will be very pleasantly surprised and thankful for the help. Beacons will make their experience much more memorable and positive.
The other advantage of this technology is its input of data for your later analysis. They will tell you how many people exactly passed through a certain booth. As an organizer, you can also pass that information to the exhibitors and tell them that indeed you did promise them that 100 people will be at the event and, according to your information 98 passed through their booth.
Beacons are perfect to show you the exact route your attendees took during the event. And if you add QR codes to this – they make people engage more – you’ll have a full set of information. It becomes a common practice to scan and exchange QR codes. They can be used to make business contacts or participate in competitions. You could also send some kind of a push notification so that by passing through a certain booth the attendee can get a promotion or some discount or could come talk to the company about their offer and so on.
Possibilities are infinite and there is definitely a huge potential in beacons just waiting to be discovered. If you measure your events, you will be able to make data-driven decisions and control the situation.
Event marketing industry is a mine of knowledge and inspiration for companies willing to raise brand awareness and create real relationships with currents and potential clients. Measuring events is a hot topic with undiscovered possibilities by many of event organizers. Beacons and QR codes are one of the things you ask – so already the awareness is growing! Follow the news not to miss the opportunity to grow your business and conquer the market!
Do you have any further questions?
Do not hesitate to contact us and let us know which topic you want to learn more about!