You have an exciting business event planned, and you know it will be a hit – if only you can persuade the right audience to attend.
Once you’ve invested in a venue, tech, staffing and the rest, you need to make sure the turn out justifies your outlay – especially if you’re not charging for the tickets. Every conversion you make from your business event is a return on your investment, so filling the venue with relevant prospects is a must.
So what is the best way to do this online? How can you best utilise your online presence to find and entice the right people?
An integrated approach using web content, email-marketing, social media, and public relations will help you to achieve your aims.
The most important thing to do first is to identify the most attractive aspects of your offering – e.g. well-known speaker, hard hitting topical theme, complimentary product – and prepare to put these messages at the forefront of your content. Then you can get on with promoting your event:
Make a Facebook event page
Facebook has a great events tool, enabling you to set up a page for your event, and to keep an eye on who is attending. You can create the event page, add the date, time and details about the event, then invite people directly from your Facebook contacts. When someone clicks ‘attending’, it shows up on their newsfeeds so that their contacts also see the event.
Run a competition
Competitions are guaranteed to attract interest, and, if you’re ticketing your event, you can offer a ticket to the event itself as a prize to ensure the winner attends. Post the competition on all your online platforms. Example post: ‘Win a free place at our hands-on workshop next month – simply answer this question / like this post / enter your email address for a chance to win’.
Advertise on social media
In addition to any print advertising you’re doing, running an advert on one of your social media platforms is a cost effective targeted way to spread the news of your business event. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all offer targeting options so that you can tightly control the audience to whom your advert is served. To support the advert, schedule regular organic posts promoting the event. Tag relevant supporters or partners in the comments sections to enlist their help in spreading the word.
Tip off the press
Not everyone is on Facebook, hard to believe as that may be. To capture your remaining online audience, reach out to relevant writers and editors for local, trade and national publications. This means writers whose patch covers your business – and whose readers will be interested in your event. Explain the purpose of the event and outline the ‘hook’ for them – the reason they and their readers should be interested. Offer them a press pass and ask them to write about the event in advance online (and in print). If there’s a stand out publication you want to target, consider offering them an exclusive interview.
Plan an email campaign
Keeping your event’s main selling points front of mind, draft a series of emails to gradually reel in your readers. Engaging copy is a must, as is a link back to a page on your website with full details; the email itself doesn’t have to include all the information – it should be short, snappy, attention grabbing, preferably with a good graphic. Give those who can’t make it an option to stay in touch i.e. ‘Can’t make this event but want to keep an eye on our other activities? Follow us on Facebook’
Finally: ask for help
Enlist the support of your business partners, customers and other ambassadors. Invite them along to your business event, and ask them to help you to spread the word.