Many people in the events industry are familiar with the following story:
You worked non-stop on an event for 6 consecutive months or more. You spent so much effort and money on organising and promoting this event trying to make it the best it could be. However, when the event came around, attendance wasn't as high as you'd hoped or expected.
Promoting events is not an easy task. Especially in a place like Dubai or Abu Dhabi, where there are many events taking place throughout the peak periods of the year, many of which are targeting the same type of visitor profiles and attendees. While many event companies use tried and tested methods to attract visitors, many are not utilising the latest technological trends and advances that can help make their events more of a success.
Event Promotion and Marketing in Dubai: 7 Tips on How to use social media marketing to promote your next Event
Are you wondering how to promote your event? How to spread the word and have people know about it? Here are some tips and some of the best practices that will help you to promote your event digitally using Social Media!
1. Create a microsite for your event: The creation of a website or microsite is a vital step in your event marketing strategy as it acts as a hub for all things related to your event. By containing relevant event information, your attendees will need to know what they’re signing up to, what's involved and even who else is going. So, make sure to include the following data because this is what the potential attendees are looking for:
- Agenda: Here’s your chance to tell your potential guests what your event is all about and what they will learn.
- Speakers: Who will they hear from. It's best practice to add the speaker’s photos, bio, title and their website if they have images and videos.
- Network: Who will they be rubbing shoulders with. They need to know! So, make sure you tell them in easily digestible chunks.
- Sponsors: The sponsorship page will build a connection between your sponsors and attendees. Your sponsors are not only a source of revenue for the event, but a valuable marketing resource as well. You can read more about connecting with sponsors and proving ROI here.
- Blogs: Invite speakers to write guest posts: Speakers will recognize that although this takes a bit of time, there are SEO and social media benefits to guest blogging. If they do write something for you, encourage them to share that content with their networks.
- Registration Section: For collecting data and online payment (if it applies). This will at least have a form where you can collect the relevant registration information (first name, last name, email, phone number, etc.)
2. Create social media posts: If you have hosted a similar event in the past, use any images that show the main highlights of that previous event. Make sure the images are relevant! If you're promoting a business event, use pictures of your target audience, the industry or tools that capture the attention of the target audience.
3. Create an event hashtag : Creating one unified hashtag for all social channels will spread the word to the world and let any one easily find your event. Using an event hashtag is beneficial before the event, during the event and finally after the event. So make sure to use this hashtag on all event content. Moreover, using the hashtag won't only help people find the event but also what people are saying about it.
4. Use Facebook ads: For consumer events and some B2B events, we recommend that you consider using Facebook to help promote and market your event. For this, you can use two different types of targeting mechanisms when using Facebook adverts to promote your event: Custom Audiences and List-Based Audiences. Custom Audiences can be created using tracking pixels that record and track to your website or specific pages on your website.
By distributing adverts to people who have already visited your website or specific pages on your website (a powerful form of retargeting), you can make sure that your ads will be seen by who ever has visited your website. For events with a short life span, this provides a good opportunity for you to keep your event front of mind to those who have already shown enough interest in your event by visiting your website.
On the other hand, list audiences can be createdfrom your own customer or attendee databases. These databases could have been generated from past events or even related events hosted by your company and allows you to use Facebook as a alternative medium to reach those who have previously attended or shown an interest in these.
5. Create a creative video: Videos are becoming increasingly powerful when showcasing events. Show off what the event will be about by creating short 30 or 60 second event previews that can be used to educate your target attendees about your event and what they hope to achieve by attending. This will also help build awareness and help you gain trust for your event. In addition to that, put a little money behind the video and use Facebook or YouTube to promote the content and get more views.
6. Influencers: Bloggers and influencers are playing a massive role these days in the success of events whether these be consumer or B2B events. Work hard to find the type of influencer that will not only help you market your event to a specific audience (their followers) but also attract other attendees to your event. Influencer Marketing is turning into a cost-effective marketing medium and through social media channels and blogs they can reach huge number of people.
7. Email Marketing : Email marketing plays an essential role in promoting your event and spreading it out to the public. You can customise your own email templates and start sending it to your database. Moreover, email marketing is not just about sending one email to the database informing them of the event. You should also use this channel to announce the launch of your event, offer early bird discounts as well as introduce speakers and sponsors to your database. Email marketing also comes in handy for sending reminders to registrants and then thanking those that attended. Click here to contact an email marketing professional at Nexa!
The general guidelines for email marketing for events is to send an initial email 3 months before a major conference or a month ahead of a more local or networking event. Reminder emails should usually happen a few times -- a week before and the day before are the standards, but this will change depending on your event. A few ideas of other information to include:
- A general idea talking about the event and the mircosite link. Add a Call-to-Action (CTA) to register directly.
- The agenda and who are the speakers
- A video about the event.
- Testimonials and what happened at previous events
Learn more about how Digital Marketing can help drive attendees to Your event -- no matter how big or small!
Are you holding an event soon? Are you worried about filling seats? Are you too busy with other activities? We can help launch your digital campaign for your event. Just fill out the contact form to the right to get started.
Within this article we would hope that there are a couple of ideas that you hadn't tried previously. It might be difficult to implement all of the above but if you do, we believe you'll have a better chance of attracting the type of audience and volume that you desire! Good luck!