As you can imagine there are lots of events spread around the country at any one time, especially throughout summer, so how do you make yours stand out above the rest?
In this post I am going to take you through 5 ways you can achieve event success so that when you hold your next event you will be ready and people will know all about it.
4 weeks before event: create your strategy to publicise your event, you by now know which traction channels work for your business, if you don’t read this post first, so you have your 3 traction channels but for events they should include Facebook and Instagram, why? Because Facebook has a fantastic events system and Instagram is perfect for photos and it’s owned by Facebook so it integrates seamlessly. See the video below for a quick overview of a Facebook event.
3 weeks before event: Start ramping up what will be on and when, so if you have a full program people can decide what they want to see and when.
Use pictures and videos from a previous event to ‘sell’ this one. Show people having a great time
Choose the best pictures and videos you can as these will be ‘shared’ by your audience
If it’s something like a gig then it’s easier to promote as its in a specific venue at a specific time, the way to win is to make it as simple as possible for people to find you, decide if they want to attend and then book tickets.
The more hoops people have to jump through the less likely they are to attend.
2 weeks before event: Visitors to your page, profile and website should be talking about your event and asking questions, if they are not go back to week 3 and start again.
This is really important as the more people talking about your event the greater the attendance will be. You need to create a buzz around it so this week is vital and I can’t stress that enough.
1 week before event: All your channels should be in melt down by now with people asking questions. Anticipation for the event should be at its highest, the week before an event is when the most engagement should be happening, if it’s not go back to week 2 and find out why you haven’t created a buzz.
If all has gone to plan Facebook and Instagram should be at fever pitch and you should be posting pictures of the event preparation, everything from the putting up of marquees to what food will be served. Remember if there are timings and tickets to book this is the week to ‘push’ those, people shouldn’t have to ask it should e a given.
Day of the event: ask people who are attending to share with friends of all social channels to mop up those last few. There will always be people who leave everything to the last minute and then complain that they can’t find what they are looking for, me included.
The watchword for any event is preparation. You wouldn’t dream of missing out something major from the event, like the marquee, would you, social media is the best way, and quickest way, to let large amounts of people know of your event, so use it. I find that Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are the best channels for this, and it that order, because they are quick and easy to use. So use them!
After the event: this is the most critical stage and it amazes me how many people don’t do anything once the event is finished. Most time people sit back and congratulate each other on a job well done. That’s great and so you should, if it has been a job well done, but you aren’t finished yet.
This is where you website really shines. Yes you have had everything on your website regarding the event, that goes without saying, but know comes the most crucial part, the blog post.
A write up on the event is a great way to collate everything you have from the previous month. While the event is in preparation mode and then actually taking place you won’t have time for this, unless you have someone employed to blog, but I wouldn’t recommend this as it’s a waste of valuable time. It’s far better to use social media to create a buzz before and after.
Let me walk you through the after part.
The event is over and it’s been a great success, now comes the collation part of the process.
Collate everything from the previous 4 weeks, pictures, videos and all the best comments from social channels
Create a blog post on your website and give a blow by blow account of what happened, this can be used to promote the next event, using all that fantastic information
Circulate your blog post on social media and you will receive even more comments and questions
Google loves this and it will be there forever for you to refer to and for people to find when preparing for the next event
Now I know at this point you might be thinking “why didn’t we use Google Adwords or Facebook ads to promote the event?” You can, no doubt about it and it can be part of your strategy in week 4, but I would only use it if you cannot gain any traction through week 4 into 3. An event should create its own buzz, if done correctly. This goes for ‘influencer’ marketing also, use it only when you feel you have to.
That’s not to say it shouldn’t be part of you strategy, it should but if you are on a tight budget use it wisely. Get in touch if you think I can help you with that?
Depending on the size and scale of your event you could start 8 weeks out or even 12, use this post as a guide to start thinking about how you can market and promote your event differently.
I hope this has helped clarify a few things for you when planning an event and please leave comments and ask questions I love to know what you think.
NLT (Next Level Thinking) is a concept by Keith McMean to help you break out of the old way of thinking when it comes to your business and how to grow it successfully. If you have any questions or thoughts on traction we can talk them through in the comments, this way if you have a fantastic idea I can give you the credit you deserve and if I use it in a future post you’ll be right there with me.
So let’s imagine for a moment you’re the owner of a luxury hotel, but this could be any business it’s just that luxury hotels suffer more than most from what I am about to take you through, and you’re posting regularly on Facebook and Instagram, occasionally on Twitter and results are not what you expected or hoped for, what can you do about it?
It could be that you have 20,000 or more followers but if engagement and shares are poor then it doesn’t really matter how many followers you have if they are not engaging with you.
Let’s take a look and see if we can remedy this.
I have been monitoring high end businesses for a while now, especially luxury hotels, and what’s happening is they are getting lazy. Some have this idea that just because they have a lot of followers its ok to take their eye off the ball, believe me it’s not, because customer experience is everything these days.
Let’s take Facebook as a case in point, Facebook is by far the biggest and most powerful social channel and it should be used to not only promote your hotel but to give your visitors, both old and new, the best experience you can. Facebook is fantastic for telling your story but many don’t, it’s the same bland updates day in day out.
What can we do?
I want you to think about why people flock to Facebook before any other social channel, escapism pure and simple. People go to escape, reconnect and connect with friends and family but because we can search and see other people posts we get a fantastic snapshot of their world. People want to see content that’s relevant, fun and useful. Most of what’s out there from high end businesses is the exact opposite.
This is where your hotel, especially if you have a luxury hotel, can really make a massive play.
For most that visit Facebook we know it’s aspirational and more than likely they will never be able to stay the hotel, but because they are thinking about it and drooling we have to think that it’s not impossible, you never know. But that should not stop you from connecting and maybe answering a few questions, should it? No this is the perfect excuse to connect with potential guests and it will help you ‘get the word out’ that you listen, you are respectful, helpful and the place to be.
Most hotels, and other businesses are missing a massive opportunity to connect and have people share their content.
This example is typical of what I mean:
Click image for full size view
This is just pure laziness on someone’s part. I haven’t included the name as the person/s responsible could be in trouble and that’s the last thing I want, but come on this is lazy marketing at its worst.
What could be better?
The post mentions awards but where are the images to help the viewer decide who to vote for or at least engage with the viewer
This post should be full of fantastic images or at the very least pictures or even better, videos of last year’s event
There should be ‘calls to action’ CTA on what to do next, with links but nothing
This isn’t the only incident, this is something that goes on a lot, especially on Facebook.
So what can you do to increase engagement?
Simple, it’s not enough to upload fantastic images and video, although it certainly helps, you have to engage with your audience. The viewer has to feel part of the ‘community’ and be included, it’s not to ask a question or make a comment and then be ignored.
I speak to quite a few hotels on digital marketing and most come back with the same answer, “we don’t have time” or “we missed the comment”. You, whatever your business, can’t afford to miss either as this is reputation damaging on a major scale.
“The social phone is ringing. Are you picking up?” – Marcel Lebrun, founder of Radian6 (now Salesforce Radian6) coined this important phrase
So what’s to be done?
There’s a lot that can be done initially, monitor your feed for comments and shares, thank the person who commented, create a content calendar, blog with passion and reply within a reasonable time.
NLT is a concept by Keith McMean to help you break out of the old way of thinking when it comes to your business and how to grow it successfully. If you have any questions or thoughts on traction we can talk them through in the comments, this way if you have a fantastic idea I can give you the credit you deserve and if I use it in a future post you’ll be right there with me.
I wanted to start this post off by letting you know that I have just finished updating the original ENGAGE eBook, it was written in 2013 so an update is well overdue.
So what is ENGAGE? Well I first had the idea around 2010 and it was a concept on how businesses could engage with their audiences more productively and have conversations rather than the normal ‘push’ mentality that was prevalent back then.
I had this idea that not only would conversations help businesses get to know their audience on a deeper level they would also find out how they could better serve them.
I have stuck to this principle since then and so it seems have others, as it’s really started to grow over the last 3 to 4 years and that can only be a good thing. Now I am not trying to claim that all this is down to me but I like to think I had a small part to play.
Download the eBook
So what’s in the update?
Well to begin with it will still feature the core of the ENGAGE principle which is to be as ‘human’ as possible whether you are working from home on your own or you are the marketing manager of a large organisation responsible for overseeing all marking channels or you’re the owner of a large organisation. Anyone who is interested in digital and social marketing will really benefit from the eBook.
The ENGAGE concept will scale to any size you need it to.
What will you learn when you download the ENGAGE eBook?
You understanding and being you – this means you don’t come across as some big corporation, even if you are, you come across as a person, and why this is so important
A robust digital strategy and plan – if you don’t have one you need to think about it seriously and implement it today
How to fix your ‘publishing hub’ or website and why it’s so important that you have one, even if you have a Facebook page or blog to Medium
Why mobile is so important and what you can do to make sure you are not missing out
Email marketing – why it’s alive and kicking and you should be using it
Customer experience – are you losing customers? Find out why
Digital transformation – why it’s not just large organisations that should be thinking and implementing #DT
Growth hacking – you’ve heard the term no doubt but what it is and why it’s important not only for start ups but established businesses too
Plus a whole lot more as the eBook is over 100 pages
I will share with you proven ways to market your business online with success so you could take your business to the next level. Finding your niche and making it work for you is a great way to connect with your audience. ENGAGE makes sure you are connecting with the ‘right’ audience.
Before we get in to this I would like you to view the video below, if you haven’t seen it already:
Here’s a thought…”algorithms can only take us so far in our journey to better content” the problem from me is they aren’t human so they don’t really give us what we want, they give us what they think we need, you only have to search Google to see that.
So what’s the future? None of us have a crystal ball but I would say content that is original and shareable is the way forward. Why would I say that? Keep reading…
Every day I get asked pretty much the same questions, so I have decided to do is answer some those questions through my simple 3 step process then you can use them in your business as and when you need to. From time to time I will update this post, or write a new one, so keep checking back.
It’s really just a 3 step process to simplify all of this digital transformation, customer experience and digital marketing stuff because as I see it, and it appears so do most of you, it can be frustrating or just too hard to get our heads around.
So let’s dig into this 3 step process and take it one stage at a time. Keep reading…
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