There’s no doubt that industry events are valuable and good for business. With 1.9 million meetings and 251 million participants, the average annual revenue for the B2B events industry has been estimated at $30.3 billion in the U.S. alone.
On average, industry events generate $1,294 in spending per participant, and B2B marketers consider in-person events as the most effective form of content marketing. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The average ROI for events is in the 25% – 34% range.
But that doesn’t mean that just by hosting an industry event you’ll achieve success. It takes hard work and know-how to promote your presence and get results.
By following these 4 tips, you can make your next industry event the single most effective marketing channel.
1. Develop Written Content
Whether you’re trying to build awareness or drive registration, writing and sharing written content about your industry event is the first step of event promotion. Consider writing a blog series that includes relevant calls-to-action at the bottom and highlight various aspects of the event. The goal is to target your potential attendees with interesting and helpful content.
Some blog ideas include:
- An interview series with event speakers.
- A “behind the scenes” series to show your readers what goes into setting up, planning, and pulling off your event.
- A series focused on activities participants can expect to enjoy.
Here’s an example of a blog from SHP Online promoting the 2019 Safety and Health Expo.
When creating each blog, be sure to keep SEO in mind. Completing the appropriate keyword/keyphrase research using a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner to make sure each piece of written content helps build awareness for your brand and the event.
2. Use Sponsors & Speakers
There are many marketing opportunities already available to promote your event, but every sponsor and speaker offers another promotional opportunity. Some ideas include:
- Sponsors: If your industry event offers sponsorship opportunities for influential brands and companies, use those sponsors to create quality content. Interviewing a sponsor about who they are and why they’re excited for your event can become a great blog and/or video content that you can share on your landing page, social media, and across the web.
- Speakers: You can create content that highlights all of your speakers in various ways. Some ideas include:
o An overview introducing each speaker and what they’ll be discussing.
o Individual interviews with each speaker about their area of expertise.
Reach out to your sponsors and speakers and ask them to help promote your event. Provide these influencers with key pieces of content and marketing materials that they can then use to share with their own audiences. By helping your sponsors and speakers share about your event you can greatly expand your reach.
3. Reach Out Via Email
According to the 2019 Event Marketing Benchmarks Report, email marketing is the single most effective channel for promoting an event, so take advantage of it by sending emails to potential and current attendees on a regular basis. Tell prospective attendees about your event while building up excitement for individuals who have already registered. This helps spread knowledge about your event via referrals and word-of-mouth.
Just remember to segment your email marketing campaigns for the best results. A few ideas for this include:
- Industry: Create email campaigns based on industry so you can include industry-specific content, further cementing the relevancy of your event and generating buzz.
- Job Title: A C-level executive might be interested in your industry event for different reasons than a sales associate. By segmenting your email campaign by job function and title, you can address the interests of your intended recipient more directly.
- Registration Stage: Send emails to potential attendees based on their registration stage. For example, someone who has never heard of your industry event would do better with an introductory email, while someone who has browsed your website multiple times might be better served with a speaker introduction or even a pricing brochure.
4. Create High-Quality Videos
Videos offer you an opportunity not only to talk about your event but to show why it’s important and why people and brands should attend. You can use video before, during, and after the industry event to build awareness, increase registration, generate buzz, and illustrate its relevance.
The key is to share your videos in as many locations as possible. Share videos on:
- Social Media: Social video generates 12x more shares than text and images combined.
- Blogs: Blog posts that incorporate video attract 3x as many inbound links.
- Meeting Invite Emails: An initial email with a video increases its click-through rate by 96%.
- Schedule-a-Meeting Landing Pages: Videos on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.
- Pop-Ups on the Homepage: Video drives 157% increase in organic traffic from SERPs.
There are also many different types of video you can create, with a tool such as Wochit, providing templates to make the creation process quick and simple.
- For example, take a look at this video from SHP Online. While promoting the Safety & Health Expo, they shared a video asking for speakers to join the lineup, sharing snapshots of the conference alongside key facts—over 100 speakers and 6,000 visitors—to get viewers excited and interested.
- Then, there’s a follow-up video from the Las Cruces Sun News about the 6th annual Mesilla Valley Outdoor Expo to show what the event was like, how you could participate, and reasons to attend next year.
For more ideas on how to use video to maximize your industry event, read our article, Your Comprehensive Guide to Event Marketing.
Promoting your industry event is easy if you have a plan and strategy in place for success. The key thing to remember is that the very nature of a live, in-person event offers a myriad of content opportunities from speaker interviews to sponsorship pieces, email marketing, videos, and more. So take advantage of every chance to promote your event.
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