Event Branding with Integrated Marketing Communications

At Coho Events, we are working on innovative ways to create and promote events. The most common objective for all event planners is getting people to the party. You need to fill those seats and we can help!

We like to think of an event as more than just that. In fact, it’s a catalyst to further your mission, to save the world, or whatever you’re seeking to accomplish. Think of an event like its own entity; there’s a mission statement for the purpose of this entity or event. Of course, strategies and tactics are needed to support and fund the event. Then the event needs to be curated for an experience based on the mission statement and who’s involved. Thought also needs to go into human resources and how the festivities will be organized. Then, the fun part starts.

The branding of an event needs to reflect the mission statement and the desired experience of the potential guests. This is when an event starts to create an identity for itself and begins the process of developing a reputation. Is it fair to say that events like ACL and SXSW have built an identity? I think so. Would the social perception of Austin be as favorable without ACL and SXSW? Most unlikely. People come from all over the world to “experience” what everyone, who has been to either of those events, talks about. It’s something you have to see for yourself. Indeed, these events affect the whole city, that’s strong branding.

So how does an event promote itself and what’s the best way to create this identity? How does an event build a reputation? ACL and SXSW have built their reputation over years of delivering an exceptional experience to their guests. Now we see new events and smaller festivals that are growing, they are capturing event goers because they are leveraging marketing and promotions tools.

Social media has been a great resource for promoting events, especially Facebook. We see trends of even more use of Facebook to attract potential guests to events. Social media is also being used in conjunction with event email marketing campaigns, which has become also very popular with companies like MailChimp, that make it so easy to create custom emails, import your network, and blast away.

Other than social media and email marketing, there are still approaches like snail mail or a press release; even a simple blog can make an impact on an event. The key to having an effective message across all of these channels is called integrated marketing communications.

The Data & Marketing Association defines integrated marketing as “an approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers to interact with the brand/enterprise; it attempts to meld all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, and social media, through their respective mix of tactics, methods, channels, media, and activities, so that all work together as a unified force. It is a process designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on the customer.”

Think of your event marketing having one uniformed message and stick to consistency. The consistency in the message will lead to more people understanding the mission, take action, and ultimately make an impact. Find new ways to capture attention of your target market and analyze data in real-time which has measurables. Below are some interesting statistics we found regarding current event marketing trends.

Please reach out if you need help with any integrated marketing needs!

– Help good people do great things –

jp@cohoevents.com

 

Event Marketing Campaign Timeline

Whether this your first time hosting an event or the 1000th time running the show, you’re likely aware that events don’t promote themselves. To sell tickets you need to, at the very least, let others know that the event is going on! Word of mouth, physical & digital invitations, social media, and advertising campaigns are all great ways to spread the word.

Hosts should have a vague idea on how to employ these promotional tactics, but when is the appropriate time to take action? Timelines will change as the big-day approaches, but it’s important to prepare properly, in order to maximize the awareness and branding of your event. The information possible party-goers receive sets expectations about the upcoming event, and it’s important for materials to help patrons envision themselves having the time of their lives at your get-down!

In order to help craft you craft an effective event-promotions timeline, here is the Coho Events event promotion timeline:

PRE-EVENT LAUNCH

  • Have your event page ready, or build an evolving landing page that you can make improvements to as more details come together
  • Choose appropriate social media platforms for your launch announcements
    • First impressions are crucial when getting the word out!
    • Create a blog post or article that can also be shared, and which clearly highlights the “WHY” of your gathering, and why you are passionate about this event – What’s your mission statement?
  • You must get partners and influencers on board – A MUST!
    • Leverage your partner’s existing networks – create an incentive that works for you and your partner/influencer
    • Get big names on board first – then go for in-kind and monetary sponsors who want to align with your event and your partners/influencers
  • SAVE THE DATE – email blast
    • Blast out to your current network

EVENT LAUNCH

  • Create tickets – Whether you go the physical or digital route, create incentives for people to purchase tickets early: Early bird, packages, discounts to influencers, discounts to groups, etc.
  • This is an important time to plug and promote your entertainment, VIP partners, and influencers
  • Create a press release and use it to amplify your social media promotions
    • Push more content on your blog, using the event as a catalyst for awareness of your  mission statement
  • Seek more partnerships and sponsors!
  • OFFICIAL LAUNCH – email
    • An email blast to your extended network, including your partners and influencers
    • Again, leverage your connections – grow organically and create a ripple effect

LEADING UP TO EVENT – 1 – 3 MONTHS

  • Employ targeted ads from created content on appropriate channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
  • To amplify visibility, have your event partners and sponsors promote the event on their most active channels
    • In return, promote the sponsors and partners who are involved with your event
    • Leverage thought leaders and other individuals who have credibility in your industry
  • Continue email marketing campaign to stay top of mind (and top of inbox) for potential guests
    • People become more and more aware of the event as the date gets closer
  • EVENT REMINDER, FLASH SALE, BUILD EXCITEMENT – emails

LAST CALL – 1 WEEK TO 1 MONTH

  • Final email blast to networks – create “last chance” social media or blog post
    • Include an incentive to push attendee referrals or to have guests promote the event as well
  • Speak with your influencers and partners individually to make one last effort to sell out tickets
  • SEE YOU SOON, FINAL REMINDERS – emails

DAY OF EVENT

  • EXCITED TO SEE YOU – email and social media posts
  • Create hashtag or engagement incentive to facilitate real-time picture, video, and general text social media posts from the event
  • Showtime!

POST EVENT

  • THANK YOU – email, event recap blog post including media collected on-site, recap photo collections and posts via your various social media channels
  • On to the next one..

Please reach out for a demo or more information on how an event marketing email campaign impact your next event – jp@cohoevents.com

HELP GOOD PEOPLE DO GREAT THINGS

Email Marketing For Events

Email Marketing for Events

Day-in and day-out our personal and work inboxes are swamped with automated emails. More times than not, our lack of spare time leads to a quick “delete” for most, usually as soon as the message populates. Don’t let this stereotypical scenario deter you, however! In reality, email marketing remains a critical tool for event management and promotion!

Email marketing can be just as effective, if not more effective, for conversions and improved ROI when compared to some of the popular promotional tactics of today. Yes, email may not be as hyped up as social media marketing tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. However, no matter if you’re an individual throwing a party, a corporate entity working to attract new clients by providing a memorable experience, or even a non-profit striving to grow their network, email marketing might do the trick!

In recent times, launching event marketing campaigns have been more focused on social media marketing because it seems like these outlets receive more attention by the public. One may wonder, which promotional path is most efficient time-wise? Why fuss with additional email invitations when specific targets can be reached through social media platforms?

There are a number of reasons why an email marketing campaign may generate more conversions for your brand:

– Emails can add an extra level of personalization that social media ad’s cannot, while achieving the same goals

– Well-designed emails can help build brand awareness, by including logos and media that may not gel with traditional social media promotions

– Emails establish direct contact with individuals as they are opening the emails, and allow a promoter to track how far an individual may go through the event registration process. Once you know where someone jumps out your email marketing funnel, you can address the issue for the next round of emails

– Creating email content can be extremely cost effective and measurable. Again, the process makes it easy to track what people are doing with the email and, if the network is large enough, to contact many people about content curated around your brand.

So, how do hosts and event planners engage potential guests?

The idea is to create an exceptional email marketing campaign, one that attracts genuine attention within someone’s cluttered inbox:

Brand your event registration page and email invitations with a consistent theme:

– Create subgroups of potential guests

– Potential cohosts, sponsors, influences, 1st layer of guests, 2nd layer of guests, etc.

Make sure your messaging is:

– Kicked off with a personalized subject line (try to avoid gimmicks)

– Personalized (think personal note vs promotion)

– Connected to your target customer

– Desktop AND mobile friendly (most emails are consumed on the go via smartphone)

– Appropriate for the entirety of the email list being targeted

And what if you don’t have a large targeted email list?

One should acquire an email list or use what you have to build your own. Use the opportunity to do some targeted research and expand your network in the process. Likewise, creating a host committee that will be involved with your event will allow you to engage those individual’s networks via email marketing, and more organically than if you were to target those same contacts yourself. At Coho, we’ve worked hard to simply all of this by creating our cohosting feature, giving hosts and cohosts the ability to use email marketing tactics to tap their networks effectively.

For more information on how we can help you build the email marketing plan your event needs, or simply to grow your network, please contact me at jp@cohoevents.com.

– Help good people do great things –