Event Marketing Strategies to Reach New Attendees and Grow Your Following

- by Alyson Shane

Are you looking for new ways to reach new attendees and grow your following on social media?

If you’ve been trying to figure out how to turn your attendees into social media followers who engage with, promote, and stay excited about your event all year, keep reading:

Always be posting

Often, annual or recurring events will “go silent” for months at a time in-between events. This is a mistake, because it means you’re missing out on months of opportunities to remind attendees about how much fun they had, and promote the value of attending.

The easiest way to post new content is to blog regularly. 

Regular blogging isn’t just a great way to keep your website updated with fresh content (which search engines like Google love and helps with search engine optimization) but it also gives you multiple chances to send traffic back to your website, and promote your event year-round.

Some things you can publish on your blog include:

  • Speaker or keynote highlights
  • Industry news and updates
  • Updates to the next event
  • Thought leadership articles
  • Interviews

Make sure to make use of your social media channels and well as your mailing list to stay connected with attendees, as well.

Create campaigns centered around your events

The key to successfully building an online following is to engage with the people who follow you regularly.

Not just be replying to them, but by asking their feedback and thoughts, too. Some great ways to do this include voting, polls, or the “ask me anything” option available through Instagram Stories.

Make sure to include a clear call-to-action that tells people what you want them to do; if your followers don’t know what to say, they may not say anything at all!

To really boost engagement with your posts, try using incentives.

Make sure to choose prizes that are appropriate for your event’s brand, like “bring a guest for free” or free entry into a door prize.

Even better: if you have sponsors, discuss partnering with them to provide gifts, coupons, or free services as part of your incentive campaign.

Include testimonials in your marketing

Many event planners will spend time describing how great their events are, but fail to include testimonials from real-life attendees as part of their marketing.

Take a lesson from the business community and start including attendee testimonials in your marketing. 

88% percent of consumers polled by Vendasta stated that they trusted these reviews just as much as personal recommendations. 

This stat tells us that testimonials can play a vital role in showcasing the value of attending our events. After all, if people are more likely to buy something after reading a testimonial, it’s safe to assume that they’re just as likely to register to attend your event based on a recommendation.

Highlight what makes your event unique 

What makes your event different? If you don’t know, now’s the time to dig in and find out!

The easiest way to do this research is to compare your event against other, similar events, and determine what makes yours unique. Some ideas include:

  • The unique experience you and/or your team bring to organizing
  • Unique topics, themes, or perspectives
  • Milestones (largest, first, location-specific, etc.)
  • Venue details and features

Make sure to @ mention any speakers, venue accounts, or other relevant accounts as part of your social media promotion. 

Cross-promoting with event partners typically means you’re reaching an audience of people who will be interested in what your event has to offer, abd is an easy (and free) way to reach more attendees and grow your following.

Follow up after your event

Don’t leave your attendees hanging after a successful event! Make them feel appreciated and included by following up with them after the event has ended.

The easiest way to follow up with everyone who attended is to send an email to the list of people who were registered, but the trick is to send more than one follow-up email.

This is your chance to thank them for attending, showcase any highlights, and ask for their feedback on how to make the next event even better. But here’s the catch: instead of jamming all three of these topics into a single email, send three separate emails over time.

Sending emails with only one ask is the easiest way to get readers to take the action you want them to take, so consider a follow-up strategy that looks like this:

  • Day after the event: thank you email
  • Four days after the event: event highlights email
  • One week after the event: feedback survey email

This strategy has the added bonus of keeping your event top-of-mind for attendees, even after the event has ended.

Do you have any event marketing strategies that have helped you reach new attendees and grow your following? Tweet them at us.

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