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Event marketing is one method for promoting products and services. By following a few best practices, a company can organize an event with a successful return on investment. The point of event marketing is to bring the right people together who want to hear your company messages. This ensures that the event leads to future sales.

1. Determine the Business Goal

When planning an event, it’s important to know what you want the outcome to be. High attendance can no longer be the main goal. Instead, companies need to aim for a smaller, but targeted audience. You know who your target market is after you decide on the topic and program for the event.

2. Market the Event

The only way to get the right audience is with advertising and marketing about 40 to 60 days before the event. Direct mail works well for those you know, but social media helps you to attract others who fit your profile of the ideal customer. You have to announce the upcoming event in press releases, through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and with emails. Using social media is a good way to being talking to attendees about the event. Another way to advertise is by contacting influential bloggersand other social media experts who write about your industry. Inviting these people to the event will ensure coverage on popular blogs.

3. Focus on Engagement

At the event, the focus should be on engaging with people on a personal level. The event allows for face-to-face meetings with customers and prospects. Connection, engagement and interaction are the best ways to achieve your event goals. One new trend in event marketing is having current customers share their experiences with potential customers. These peer-to-peer conversations have more meaning for prospects than receiving messages from the company itself. The trick is recruiting customers willing to share their positive experiences with people at events. Another important part of engagement is having the sales people at the event to answer questions, qualify leads, and sell the company’s products and services.

4. Following-up After the Event

It’s important to contact attendees after the event via emails, phone calls or any other communication methods you feel are appropriate. It’s also vital to continue the conversations about products and services using social media. Companies need to stay in touch with event attendees to increase sales. During follow-up conversations you need to make it clear that you are available to help with purchases.

Event planning, whether it’s a convention, conference, or trade show, is an effective way to meet with prospects, talk about company products or services, and find qualified leads. Although marketing is essential for a successful event, it takes place before, during, and, especially, after the event. It’s is no longer just about advertising an event to get a huge crowd. It’s now about the benefits an event offers a target audience in order to achieve goals.

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published by Ryan McGeary

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