This is a guest post from DNL OmniMedia.
Hosting live events is a crucial part of the success of your organization. Events can be important for a variety of reasons including fundraising, outreach, and raising awareness. There are so many moving pieces involved in creating a great event, but perhaps one of the most important is marketing your event to prospective attendees. After all, an event is nothing without attendees!
Luckily, event technology is capable of aiding and streamlining all of your event marketing. Bring in more attendees by letting your event technology help you:
- Promote your event online
- Track and use your attendee data
- Communicate with attendees early and often
- Use configurable marketing software
- Raise awareness for your organization’s mission
Don’t shy away from adopting new technology trends as you plan and execute your next event. Marketing tools will ensure you see your attendee numbers growing steadily.
Let’s get started!
1. Promote your event online
The majority of people get their news straight from their phones. It’s a huge part of how we interact with the world today. Therefore, your organization should take advantage of any and all opportunities to promote your event online. Your organization’s website and social media pages, in particular, are crucial to the success of your event marketing.
To ensure everyone has easy access to information about your event, create a dedicated page on your website for it, including:
- The time/date of the event
- The event’s location
- The purpose of your event
- Why your event is important
If your events require a significant investment of time and resources to plan, it’s probably a good idea to use event-specific tools. Using digital marketing platforms designed for nonprofits will let you easily create campaign and event microsites that include embedded donation tools.
Remember, an effective website is only useful if people actually visit the site. Approximately 25% of traffic to your site’s ticketing and registration sites comes from social media. This avenue cannot be overlooked, so your organization should plan an effective social media strategy and track its engagement to ensure your online promotion is a success.
2. Track and use your attendee data
The complexities of data management have been known to be the downfall of many event planning teams. The data can easily become overwhelming if not properly maintained and managed. Make sure you are tracking and recording key attendee data so that you can more accurately appeal to individuals for future events.
People in your community or space attend your events because they support your cause, want to learn from your insights, or are simply interested in the event for personal reasons. If you want to guarantee that your invitees will actually be interested in attending your next event, the best place to start is in your list of past attendees.
Foster deeper engagement by establishing relationships with existing supporters or contacts and encouraging them to maintain their involvement in your organization. You can track your data in a constituent relationship manager, or CRM, to ensure the volume of your data does not result in an administrative slow-down at your organization.
3. Communicate with attendees early and often
As is the case with any fundraising or promotional effort, communication is key! Your organization should start contacting potential attendees well in advance of the event itself to increase the likelihood that your event gains traction. The best way to communicate with your attendees is via email— around 78% of event coordinators credit email marketing as their most effective marketing tactic.
Use your organization’s digital marketing tools to design an email campaign. You should be able to:
- Create and schedule your email campaign
- Segment your recipient list
- Receive detailed analytics reports about your campaign
Don’t let your nonprofit be held back by short-sighted communication strategies. Reach out to attendees frequently to remind them about your event. Motivate your attendees by impressing upon them the importance of supporting your organization.
4. Use configurable marketing software
If you want more people to come to your event, your organization needs to be organized and prepared to take tackle it from all sides. This means you should be equipped with all the tools you need to host and market your event beforehand.
Use configurable marketing software that is specifically tailored to the needs of your organization to ensure you are well-prepared.
At DNL OmniMedia, our experience is mostly in offering Blackbaud consulting services to nonprofits that need customized tech solutions. We recommend to clients (and to any organization!) to always look for configurable software or integrations. Adding capabilities in a way that won’t complicate your data management is the key to growing your toolkit sustainably.
5. Raise awareness for your organization’s mission
The best way to appeal to attendees is to spread the word about your organization’s mission and vision for your community. With all the moving parts of event planning, it can be easy to forget about simply communicating your organization’s mission or the core purpose of the event.
However, don’t forget the importance of personal endorsements from community members. Peer-to-peer fundraising allows individuals to share your organization’s information with their personal networks. Most people will be more likely to support an event or fundraiser if a friend or family member personally recommends it to them.
In the for-profit space, this is analogous to ‘social proof’, like online reviews and social media engagement. Look for ways to get actual customers, supporters, and industry experts involved online in organic ways. This will help to seriously increase your visibility.
Not only can these strategies provide a great boost for your broader efforts, but it will expose more people to your organization and as a result, help you promote your particular event.
Marketing an event successfully can often seem like an insurmountable obstacle, but it doesn’t have to be! Marketing technology has the power to greatly enhance the success of your organization’s event and entice more attendees. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to drawing a crowd.