5 event marketing mistakes you can't afford to make

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There’s a lot that goes into hosting a successful event. From planning to execution, you have to keep an eye out for what could go wrong.

To ensure your event runs smoothly, avoid these major event marketing mistakes you can't afford to make:

Failing to Research Event Competition

This may seem like an obvious mistake but having two or more big events happen on the same day is a fairly common problem. Before you pick a date for your event, do some research about what else could be going on that same day in the area.

Pick a date for your event that has as little competition for attendees as possible.

Starting Pre-event Buzz Too Early or Too Late

The phrase “timing is everything” could never be more true in this instance. You want to make people aware of your event and pique their interest earlier enough so they have time to RSVP or register, but not too early where the event no longer holds their interest. 

Start your planning early enough to ensure your team has ample lead time to produce and deliver promotions and materials with strategic intent and a thoughful cadence.

Start too early, say, by sending an event invitation two months in advance and neglecting to send event reminders and follow up promotions, and you'll see your RSVP numbers go from "yes" to "maybe" to "no" to "no show" over time.

Start too late and you run into the same problem from a promotional cadence perspective. The difference, however, is that your initial positive RSVPs will decrease due to lack of lead time and your number of party crashers will increase.

  • Start with event teasers that grab interest and get your event on people's radar
  • Give more detail each subsequent promotion, increasing the content and providing opportunities for the audience to take action
  • Deliver the official invite with an RSVP deadline about 4-6 weeks in advance of the event date
  • Send event reminders two weeks before, a week before and a few days before the event date

Paying close attention to timing will increase your event attendance rates and ensure you capture the event audience you need.

Not Having a Strong Event Message

Why should people come to your event? What are you offering?

If your leads are questioning why they should attend your event rather than signing up, then you have a problem.

Check your message. Where is it falling flat? Make sure it has all the clear details such as the location and the date and a clear call to action. The best marketing results come from having a unique proposition for your customers.

If your event isn’t offering anything special it’s unlikely that many people will be interested in going. If they attend your event will they receive special insider information? A chance to win a prize? Identify why people should attend your event and then communicate it in a way that will resonate with your audience.

Over Promising and Under Delivering

One of the worst things you can do is over promise and over hype your event only to leave your attendees confused, angry and disappointed.

The event experience has to exceed the marketing and promotional hype. You want your marketing to be persuasive, of course, but you also have to be ethical about it. Think about your messaging. Is your event going to exceed what you’re saying? If not then you may want to take those points out of your marketing.

One way to build excitement without overpromising is simple yet effective: the concept of scarcity.

  • If there are a limited number of tickets for your event, update how many have been sold every week on your website. Send email updates stating how many tickets are left.
  • As tickets continue to sell it will create a sense of urgency and people will be more willing to purchase
  • Similarly, if there is a specific time-frame for people to purchase a special offer for your event, you can add a countdown to your website

Not Following Up with Attendees Post Event

Let’s say that you have your event and it’s wonderful. You surpassed your goals, everything went smoothly and now you’re done and don’t have to the think about it anymore. Right?

Wrong. It’s extremely important to talk to and thank your attendees for coming.

Your overarching goal is to have these people continue to engage with your company and become lifelong customers. Don’t let them forget about the great time they had at your event. Whether you send them a follow-up email or a direct mail thank-you note, you’ll want to keep them engaged. 

A great thing about events is that they're a great source of marketing material.

  • You can take pictures of the event and post them on social media, for example
  • You have the opportunity to collect customer testimonials and put those on your website
  • It’s a perfect place for you to show social proof by having your attendees live tweet during the event or engage with your brand through social media.
  • You can use this material as a follow-up campaign to the actual event in order to keep people engaged and even attract new attendees for your next event. 

Avoid these event market mistakes to stay on the path to success for your event.

Good luck planning your event marketing strategy and be sure to check this blog for more marketing tips and tricks that’ll help you deliver every time.

Speaking of which, click below to download our latest tips eBook- Introduction to Content Marketing.

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